Sunday, May 24, 2009

Honoring All Veterans

A few weeks ago I was privileged to spend some very special time in Washington D. C. with a wonderful friend, who happens to be a veteran of the Viet Nam war. Thanks to the phenomenal grace and mercy of God, my friend returned from his tour of duty with neither physical nor mental wounds to serve as a reminder of his sacrifice, and for that I am grateful.

While we were visiting the Viet Nam Veteran’s Memorial, a massive wall listing 58, 260 names of service persons who fought and died for our country, I lightly ran my finger across a few names, painfully aware that each etching represented someone’s child or spouse or parent who waited for mail from home each day and dreamt each night of the time they would return home to the ones they loved.

My mind wandered off to the spring day in 1969 when Chuck Lowe, the ag teacher at French High school, accompanied the officials to bear the news that Larry, the brother of my best friend, had been killed. God bless Mr. Lowe, who performed that difficult task so many times over the next few years. He always accompanied the officials on those dreaded visits so he could break the news to the families himself. Many are the times Mr. Lowe stood by the heartbroken and wept as he buried yet another of his former students.

Thanks to the unselfish sacrifices of countless veterans, we are blessed to live in the greatest nation on earth. To all those hero’s who have fought bravely, who have served our country, and to those who have husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandsons, granddaughters, nephews, nieces, serving now, I salute you and give you my heartfelt thanks and eternal gratitude for the sacrifices that you have and will make.

Tomorrow I will spend the afternoon baking cookies to take to a few elderly veterans in my neighorhood. The look of appreciation on their faces will be priceless. My neighbor, L.C. will be home Wednesday, at which time he will again share his experience of visiting the wall, a place he goes every Memorial Day to honor his brother who neither came home from Viet Nam, nor was ever found. A black POW/MIA flag flies from his porch this weekend.

In seeing the faces of these folk and listening their stories, you will gain a new appreciation for these men and women who have given so much for us. I encourage everyone to salute and honor a vet today, and everyday. I promise, the experience will not leave you unaffected.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Six Word Life Story

"For sale. Baby Shoes. Never worn.”

Back in the 1920’s, the great writer, Ernest Hemingway made a $10.00 bet with someone that he could write a complete story in six words. He won the bet with the above words. Never have six words been more thought provoking, or conveyed such strength of meaning.

The online magazine, Smith, has used the Hemingway anecdote to inspire its readers to write their own life stories in just six words. This effort has resulted in a book of the best contributions, entitled "Not Quite What I Was Planning".

I began to think about how could I sum up my own life in six words. What is my six word life story? I’ve been many places and have had many wonderful experiences . . . some good, some bad, other’s boring and many were quite sad. A handful were heartwarming and exciting...well, at least they were to me.

Here are some of the wonderful examples of six word life stories that people submitted. I find them quite fascinating.

Even the stars look lonesome tonight.

Some days are better than others.

Life: Why do I even bother?

Conceived, implored, employed, adored, retired, ignored.

Still waiting for it to begin.

Stars shine brightest in dark skies.

If only I had turned left.

She loved. He didn't. How typical.

Waited. Met. Connected. Lived. Happily. Everafter.

Seventh Day, God rested, Satan didn't.

Strife? Regardless, we remain a team.

Dandelion never saw the weedwacker coming.

I lost everything. CEO got bonus.

And so this evenning I began to ponder what my six line life story would be. It’s a lot to take in. And though that sentence is just six words, that's not my story. And then it came to me . . . joy is coming in the morning.

That is my six word life story....

What We Pass On

As the birthday of my mother--who died unexpectedly at the age of 59-- nears, I am once again reminded of a sobering, yet simple, lesson I learned during that time. It was during that lonely, heartbreaking period that I truly realized what the old cliche “you can’t take it with you” really means.

I realized this as I said goodbye to her for the very last time. As I held her cold, lifeless hands---the soft, gentle hands that changed my diapers and dried my tears for many, many years. Somewhere, I thought, there’s a handbag with a MasterCard and probably a Visa in it, each bearing her name, but when you’re lying in a satin-lined whitewashed oak box with every drop of life sustaining blood drained from your body, no one accepts MasterCard.

We all know that life is ephemeral, but on that particular day and in the months that followed, my shattered spirit got a painful but extremely valuable look at life’s simple backstage truths. A soul shaking reminder of what’s important and what’s not. Things like, we come in naked and broke. We may be dressed when we go out, but we’re just as broke. Bill Gates? Going to go out broke. Warren Buffet? Going to go out broke. Oprah Winfrey? Broke. Not a crying dime.

All the money you earn, all the stocks you buy, all the mutual funds you trade—all of that is mostly smoke and mirrors. It is still going to be a quarter-past getting late whether you tell the time on a Timex or a Rolex. No matter how large your bank account, no matter how many credit cards you have, sooner or later things will begin to go wrong with the only three things you have that you can really call your own: your body, your spirit and your mind.

With that thought in mind, perhaps one should consider making their life one long gift to others. And why not? All we have is on loan anyway, and all that really lasts is what we pass on.

Charity indeed begins at home. If we are blessed to be able to pay for the college educations of our children then we have done a wonderful thing. If we can give them a further start in life—a place in business, help with a home, so much the better. Because charity begins at home. And up to a certain point, at least–-we are all responsible for the lives we add to the world.

Giving isn’t about the receiver or the gift but, rather, it’s about the giver. It’s for the giver. One doesn’t open one’s wallet or heart to improve the world, although it’s nice when that happens; one does it to improve one’s self. I give because it is the only concrete way of saying that I’m glad to be alive and that I can earn my daily bread doing something that I really enjoy. I love because, as the old addage say’s, ‘it’s not really love until it’s given away.’ Giving has way of taking the focus off ourselves and our own needs and putting it back where it belongs—on the lives we lead, the special people we love, the communities that nurture us.

A life of giving—not just time and money, but love—repays. It helps us remember that although we are going out broke, for right now, well, we’re doing okay. Right now we have the power to do great good for others and for ourselves and to love like we’ve never loved before. And why should we hold back? It's certainly can't be because we’re saving it to take with us.

As for me, well, I choose to give and to love now. With ever fiber of my being I will invest my soul. Because I have learned, nothing else really matters...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Be Back Soon...

All is well in this little corner of the kingdom, I've just taken a brief blogging break in order to spend time with my friends who have a need bigger than anything I can imagine. I trust God, in His infinite grace and mercy, will dry every tear and restore the peace and joy ten times greater than anything they could ever imagine.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Baby is a Baby...

A great story...from a great friend who happens to be an Ob-gyn.

A worried woman went to the OB and said: "Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your Help. My baby is not even 1 yr old and I am pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together.

So, the doctor said, "what do you want from me?" She said, "I want to end my pregnancy, and I am counting on your help with this." The doctor thought for a minute and after some silence said to the lady. "I think I have a better solution to your problem and it's less dangerous for you, too." She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

He continued, "You see, in order for you not to have 2 babies to take care of at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is amd there would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms."

The lady was horrified and shouted, "How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!"
"I agree," said the doctor, "but you seemed to be ok with it so I thought maybe that was the best solution."

The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point. He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that's already been born and one that is still in the womb.

The crime is the same.

Just 18 days after conception the heart begins to beat at 6 weeks, brain waves can be measured, at 8 weeks the vital organs are functioning and fingerprints have formed. Before 9 weeks the unborn child is able to feel pain.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


A young wife sat on a porch in Waycross, Georgia, on a summer day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

"Don't forget your girlfriends," she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass.

"They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you'll have, you are still going to need girlfriends. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them. And remember that girlfriends are not only your friends, but your sisters, your daughters, and other relatives too. You'll need other women. Women always do."

"What a funny piece of advice," the young woman thought. "Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness' sake, a grown-up, not a young girl who needs girlfriends. Surely my husband and the family we'll start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile."

But she listened to her mother; she kept contact with her girlfriends and made more each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her mom really knew what she was talking about.

As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, girlfriends are the mainstays of her life. After 50 years of living in this world, here is what I know about girlfriends:

Girlfriends bring you casseroles and scrub your bathroom when you need help.

Girlfriends keep your children and keep your secrets.

Girlfriends give advice when you ask for it. Sometimes you take it; sometimes you don't.

Girlfriends don't always tell you that you're right, but they're usually honest.

Girlfriends still love you, even when they don't agree with your choices.

Girlfriends laugh with you, and you don't need canned jokes to start the laughter.

Girlfriends pull you out of jams.

Girlfriends help you get out of bad relationships.

Girlfriends help you look for a new home, help you pack, and help you move.

Girlfriends will give a party for your son or daughter when they get married or have a baby, in whichever order that comes.

Girlfriends are there for you, in an instant and when the hard times come.

Girlfriends will drive through blizzards, rainstorms, hail, heat, and gloom of night to get to you when your hour of need is desperate.

Girlfriends listen when you lose a job or a friend.

Girlfriends listen when your children break your heart.

Girlfriends listen when your parents' minds and bodies fail.

Girlfriends cry with you when someone you loved dies.

Girlfriends support you when the men in your life let you down.

Girlfriends help you pick up the pieces when men pack up and go.

Girlfriends rejoice at what makes you happy, and are ready to go out and kill what makes you unhappy.

Times passes. Life happens. Distance separates. Children grow up. Marriages fail. Love waxes and wanes. Hearts break. Careers end. Jobs come and go. Parents die. Colleagues forget favors. Men don't call when they say they will.

But girlfriends are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you.

A girlfriend is never farther away than needing her can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley, and you have to walk it for yourself, your girlfriends will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you. Or come in and carry you out.

My daughter, sister, sisters-in-law, mother-in-law, nieces, cousins, extended family, and friends bless my life. The world wouldn't be the same without them, and neither would I.

When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead, nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Every day, we need each other still.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Saving Soles

Once a week Father Book and other volunteers wash and scrub the feet of Atlanta's homeless.

ATLANTA — Bryan Flournoy sits in a downtown church, sipping coffee and taking inventory of his life: He's 33 and homeless. He's a stranger in Atlanta, where a bus dropped him off from California last month. He needs a place to live, and he needs it yesterday.

In a few minutes, he'll be hoofing across the city, looking for work.

For now, his feet soak in hot water as a preacher buffs them with a pumice stone.

Every Monday afternoon for the last year, the Rev. Bob Book and his wife, Holly, have transformed the Church of the Common Ground into a spa for the homeless. They scrub the feet of the city's forgotten, mirroring the act of Jesus washing his disciples' feet.

The service, repeated at clinics and churches elsewhere, isn't simply symbolic - it helps stave off foot infections, which affect the homeless disproportionately and can lead to more serious health problems. Men and women also leave with polished dogs and a shot of self-esteem that volunteers hope can help them turn their lives around.

Book says the ritual is patterned after services practiced by many Christian congregations leading up to Easter. He takes it further with about 35 homeless men and women each week: Five at a time, they get a soak, pumice, nail trim, massage and a fresh pair of socks. Volunteers wearing gloves provide apricot scrub, ointments, air freshener for shoes, nail polish and even insoles.

The church doesn't tackle medical issues; Book tells people with serious foot conditions to come back when there's a doctor volunteering time at the church.

"The worst ongoing thing is the fungus that goes on with people's feet. It eats away and destroys the toenails and just makes it very hard for people to walk," says Book, who once saw a black man whose feet were white from days in soggy shoes.

That was almost certainly trench foot, a common homeless condition that can lead to bacterial infection, says Dr. Jessie Gaeta, who practices internal medicine with Boston Health Care for the Homeless, which has operated a foot clinic for 25 years. Similar clinics run by religious groups and medical practices have popped up in Nashville, Tenn., and Orlando, Fla., among other cities.

The American Podiatric Medical Association estimates more than 75 percent of Americans have foot pain, with infections four times more frequent in homeless people.

"It's much more than cosmetic. These are really functional problems," said Gaeta, who has seen everything from fungal infections to maggot infestation. Foot problems often exacerbate other health issues in the homeless.

"Even a simple callus or blister in a diabetic patient is likely to become infected and can result in necrosis, and result in the need for amputation," she says.

Burly but gentle, Book massages Pamela Parks' feet on a recent Monday. He doesn't push religion. If visitors take an interest - commenting on a painting of Jesus washing feet, for instance - he may talk about his faith. And he always says a silent prayer over the feet, for their owners.

"Usually, the last thing I include is that they find their way to Christ," he says.

Between bites of a peanut butter-and-cookie snack, Parks explains her struggle with job loss, crack addiction and a bad relationship.

"Once he hurt me, I just gave up," she says.

She now sleeps in an abandoned house and makes money where she can, which lately means selling Barack Obama pens and calendars along a highway. It keeps her on her feet.

"Sometimes I walk two or three days because I'm scared to go home," she says before slipping on her boots.

When it's Anthony Barnes' turn, volunteer Rick Hutchison slathers a mentholated ointment on Barnes' tired feet.

"Everybody's got their own technique," he says. "And everybody's got their own challenge."

He'd know.

Two years ago, Hutchison says, he was "drinking and drugging." He bounced through Kentucky, California and New York before landing in a recovery center across the street from Common Ground. Eventually, he straightened up and began volunteering. He worries about men drifting like he was, and hopes sprucing up their feet motivates them to fix up their lives, too.

Barnes had a job at a car parts factory and his own home, but lost both in October. Finding a new job has been tough because he has a felony record.

In this moment, though, as he slides his feet into saddle shoes, he feels rejuvenated.

"Having my feet (done) gives me a little patience," Barnes says, "to keep walking."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Simple Questions That Can Be Answered In One Word...

101 Things About Me #5...I did not learn to paint until 4 years ago.

Where is your significant other? Waiting
Your hair color? Blonde
Your mother? Intellectual
Your father? Handy
Your favorite hobby? Gardening
Your dream last night? Dunno
Your long term goal? Secret
The room you're in? Cozy
Other hobbies? Crocheting
Your fear? Nothing!
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Ecstatic
Where were you last night? Hospital
What you're not? Selfish
One of your bucket-list items? Italy
Where you grew up? Texas
The last thing you did? Cooked
What are you wearing? Scrubs
Your TV? Nice
Your pets? Family
Where is your mobile phone? Ha!
Your computer? Dell
Your mood? Hopeful
Missing someone? Always
Your car? Pilot
Something you're not wearing? Make-up
Favorite bargain spot? Marshall's
Your summer? Hot
Love someone? Relentlessly
Your favorite color? Earthtones
When is the last time you laughed? Always
When is the last time you cried? Sunday

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How Cool Is This...

Yes, He truly does have the whole world in His hands....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wishin' N Waitin'

And speaking of Alaska...well, I'm countin' the days 'til June, when my best friend, Elizabeth, and I will be joining a group of six couples for a wonderful Alaskan cruise!

Typically, I'm not the type to partake of a 'tour group' adventure, but these traveling buddies are the same precious friends we journeyed with to the Holy Land in 2006, a trip we still talk about. We love these folk dearly and anticipate having a grand time of making lots of new memories!

On the flip side, I guess I really am getting a little older...or perhaps I should sweeten that a little bit and say 'more mature'.

The brochure from the travel agency says that the typical passenger on the Alaskan cruise is 55 years +.


Am I looking forward to the gambling and dancing and comedy clubs and such on the ship? Nope, not even a tiny bit. In fact, chances are slim to none that I will even know the location where these events occur.

But I do know where you can find me at 6:00 a.m. every morning. Sipping tea on the balcony of our suite, wrapped in a blanket and watching the glorious sunrise.

And about the aging concern? Well, membership has its benefits.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

From My Wonderful Friend, Tim...Thoughts On Investing

leisure time while ministering in beautiful Alaska

My simple thought for today is, 'good things come to those who are patient.'

In Ecclesiastes 11:1 we are told, 'Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days'....the waters are a type of simply means to invest in people, but the important thing is the essence of time in this verse, after many days. That certainly doesn't sound like a get-rich-quick plan does it?

Ronny Milsap sings a song that says..."let's take the long way around the world...and lets take it real slow"....Proverbs 28:20 tells us 'he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent' and the message Bible says...committed and persistent work pays off; get-rich schemes are your patience possess ye your souls...simply stated: just stay with the program and don't give up!

....if you stop, you'll drop,
....if you doubt, you're out,
....if you pray, you can stay,
...if you fast you'll last,
...if you can take it, you can make it.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Answering some silly stuff...

Granmommy's babies...

1. Do you like blue cheese? Not a chance!
2. Have you ever smoked? Never! Can't stand the smell!
3. Do you own a gun? Nope.
4. What flavor Kool Aid is your favorite? that a flavor?
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Nope.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? They're great, if they're the good ones.
7. Favorite Christmas movie? National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Diet Dr. Pepper!
9. Can you do push-ups? I think so. I haven't done them lately.
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? Idon't wear much jewelry, but I have a great watch.
11. Favorite hobby? Painting...and knitting...and blogging...and delivering babies.
12. Do you have A.D.D? Sometimes I wonder.
13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? Yes, ever since I hit the big 4-0!
14. Middle name? Lynn.
15. Name thoughts at this moment? Hmmm...I've got about 125 spring bulbs that need to be planted...
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water, Diet Dr. Pepper, tea.
17. Current worry? Worry??? My God's bigger than that!
18. Current hate right now? not hatin' on nothin.
19. Favorite place to be? At home, usually.
20. How did you bring in the New Year? delivered the New Year baby @ 1201
21. Where would you like to go? Tuscany, France and Alaska, for starters.
22. Name three people who will complete this? Just me, probably.
23. Do you wear slippers? Yes. I hate having cold feet.
24 What color shirt are you wearing? A black sweatshirt.
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Nope, I'm an Egyptian cotton gal.
26. Can you whistle? A little.
27. Favorite Color? Red. And yellow. And all the earth tones.
28. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't shower. I'm a bath tub girl.
29. If you changed careers what would you be? A lawyer.
30. Favorite Girl's Name? Isabella
31. Favorite boy's name? Grayson
32. What's in your pocket right now? Nada.
33. Last thing that made you laugh? The new edition of the employee safety handbook, but lots of things make me laugh.
34. What vehicle do you drive? Honda Pilot.
35. Worst injury you've ever had? Does a broken heart count?
36. Do you love where you live? My home? Yes.
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? I'm not much of a t.v. fan, so I'm ashamed to admit....4.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully, Ben Stein

101 Things about me #4...I make the best apple butter you've ever put your lips on!

Benjamin Jeremy Stein (born November 25, 1944) is an actor, writer, conservative political and economic commentator, and attorney. He gained early success as a speechwriter for American presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Later he entered the entertainment field and became an Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian, and game show host. He is famous for his monotonous yet humorous voice in acting.

Stein has frequently written commentaries on economic, political, and social issues, along with financial advice to individual investors. He is the son of noted economist and writer Herbert Stein who worked at the White House under President Nixon.

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crïeche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.

She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.

How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Time Has Come...

Well, this is the day. This afternoon, Barack Obama will take the oath of office as President of the United States of America, making today, perhaps, the highlight of American history up to this time.

I did not vote for Barack Obama, and if I had it do to all over again, I would still not. But because he will be my President, I will honor him.

I am quite sure I will not agree with many of his decisions, but I will trust that he is performing to the best of his ability.

I will not speak ill of Mr. Obama, and I will petition the Lord to bless the man from the top of his head to the soles of his feet, and to provide a wall of protection around him and his family that the enemy cannot penetrate or cross over.

God knows, better than we, that this nation does not need an attack on this high office---from home or abroad.

All eyes will be on the White House, and regardless of how badly Mr. Obama wanted this position, it is not going to be an easy task to fulfill the duties in a manner that is both positive and pleasing to the people.

As God fearing christians and Americans, it is our duty to lift this wonderful nation, and Mr. Obama, up in prayer. The task which looms before him is huge, and just as we are subject to feel the ripple effect of his success, so are we his failures.

May the blessings of God and the spirit of unity flow over our nation and it's leaders.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Morning...

Outside My's a little dreary and gray, with quite a nip in the air. But the day is young and, hopefully, the sun will soon show its face and spread a little warmth and light.

I Am true it is that, aside from God and family, nothing can take the place of true friend. True is the key word here. Many call themselves 'friend', but really, true friends can be counted on 1 hand...with fingers left over.

I Am Thankful wonderful friend, Elizabeth. We spent the entire day together Saturday, from noon until eleven p.m., and savored every single minute of it. We didn't do anything big or exciting, just laughed and talked and watched the inauguration fan-fare and played the piano and made tomato basil soup, and we even got in the mood to get out the oils and dabble a little on a canvas. I feel abundantly blessed to have one with whom I can share the contents of my heart! Someone who truly cares and is so in tune with me that she can feel my pain and cry
with me as though the sorrow were hers. God is so good.

From the Kitchen...Not sure yet. I probably won't be cooking much of anything for around here, but at some point I will be preparing food to take to a family who just lost a most precious member. It will be something special, for sure.

I am Wearing...It's seven a.m. You don't even want to know that one.

I am on a canvas. True genuine, straight from the heart, warm, fuzzy love. Can't speak about the subject right now, just in case the special recipient is reading, but, hopefully, this gift from the heart will be extraordinarily special.

I am Going...nowhere special today. Just the routine stuff is on the agenda...the drycleaners, the grocery store, and Goodwill. I don't function well in a clutter filled, disorganized environment, so when the 'purging' mood strikes, the GW folk love to see me coming!

I am Reading...the Word, in the order outlined by the B.R.E.A.D. (Bible Reading Enriches Any Day) Program, which, if followed correctly, will take you through the entire Bible in a year. It's an ongoing program for me.

I am Hoping...for grace, mercy and restoration.
And hope maketh us not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us Romans 5:5

I am Hearing...A collection of Big Band music made for me by a dear friend

Around the House...all is warm and cozy and comforting and welcoming. Yesterday, I moved some art from room to room and also rearranged a few accessories. It's amazing what a difference these little things make.

One of My Favorite Things...
is the weekly Sunday afternoon lunch date I have with a tiny handful of folk I hold near and dear. It's an old tradition that we all look forward to and rarely break. Sometimes we get so involved in sharing the events of our lives that, before we know it, we've been there 2-3 hours!

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week...
Paint, paint, paint! Gotta meet a deadline. Other than that, I am only working two nights this week, Tuesday and Saturday, and that's a great thing, because I really do have a lot on the agenda! In the upcoming days I'll be meeting with a couple of ladies to plan the menu for our annual Ladies Conference brunch, shopping for carpet for upstairs and colors for trim paint for outside, and making a fun decision--whether to go to a conference in San Francisco or Los Angeles. The rest of the tasks will fall in place as time moves along.

Good News to Share...
Saturday morning, I was notified that I was nominated and elected to the office of Treasurer for the local chapter of AWHONN (Assoc. for Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses). AWHONN is the national organization which sets the standard for nursing practice in this highly skilled specialty. It is, essentially, the 'golden rule' in the world of women's health care. Being elected for this position is quite an honor, as my chapter is the only one between Houston and New Orleans.

A Picture to Share... A blast from the past...Strawberry Preserves, made in July. Ahhh, 'summer in a jar'

A Recipe to Share...

Creamy Potato Soup

4 slices bacon

3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

water to cover

2 cups milk

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon paprika

In a large saucepan cook bacon until crisp. Set bacon aside, along with 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings.

Add potatoes, onion, carrot and celery to drippings. Add enough water to cover vegetables and cook over low heat until tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

In a separate bowl, stir together sour cream, flour and paprika. Gradually stir 1 cup of hot soup mixture into sour cream mixture.

Pour sour cream mixture into sour mixture. Cook until good and bubbly hot. Top with chopped bacon pieces

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Morning Thoughts...Healing

The road to Jericho, Holy Land tour, March, 2006

We may not want to admit it, but we are in the midst of an onslaught from hell called sickness and disease, and Satan has attempted to rob us of the healing God has given us.

While the modern church dabbles in experimental theology and looks for new answers to old questions, there are suffering, bleeding, dying people in the world all around us. Where are the miracles we read about in the scripture?

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Matthew 9:35

People read of God's provision for healing of the human body, but as they see the overwhelming amount of sickness and disease and observe an apparent absence of healing manifestations, their logic reasons that since they do not see divine healing, it must not be for us today.

God does not change. He was the healer in the Old and New Testaments and is still the healer today. When Jesus encountered the man sick with palsy, He told him that his sins were forgiven and announced, "Arise, take up thine bed, and go unto thine house" Matthew 6:9.

Is healing for us today? Will all Christians be healed? Here is what Christ declared:

"Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 14:12

We know that God has the power to heal, but we question if it is His will to heal us. The leper came to Jesus and said, "If thou wilt, thoust canst make me clean." Mark 1:40 In verse 41, Jesus was moved with compassion and replied, "I will: be thou clean."

Over and over when Christ healed those who were sick, He said, "Be it done according to your faith." Faith begins where the will of God is known. It is God's will to heal us.

Our Heavenly Father has one objective concerning our healing, and that is His will to heal us. Healing is not a promise, it is a fact.

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with his stripes we were healed." Isaiah 53:5

The same blood that washed away our sins took the sickness and pain out of our body. Jesus bore every disease---from the common cold to cancer. Whether the modern church likes it or not, the truth is this: Jesus paid an unimaginably high price for our healing, and according to the Word, it is our decision---our faith---which will open the floodgates and allow His healing waters to flow.

He is willing.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Faith, Prosperity, and The Word

101 Things about me #3...When I am downhearted, and life is not what I feel it should be, I call my best friend, Elizabeth, to come play wonderful music on my piano. Today was such a day. I thank God for true friends, for they are rare, indeed.

Painting by my wonderful friend, and once love of my life... John. The original work is in the Aladdin Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.

In the midst of the economic recession, it seems that Satan has blinded our eyes to God's abundance. While we live in the land of plenty, he has given many a mentality of poverty. Satan wants us to see the hungry faces of third world nations and forget about the fact that trillions of dollar worth of minerals and precious materials will be extracted from the earth in the next few years. The problem, as I see it, is not the resources but, rather, the distribution.

Why does Satan want us to believe we live in a world of scarcity? Probably because he does not want the church to invest in a mission of global evangelism that will escort back the King of Kings.

Whether the world believes it or not, I serve a God who promises He will supply all my needs and who continues to release His abundance in my life everyday.

I. Opening The Floodgates

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:10

II. Praying And Giving

As Christians, we need to stop being timid with our requests to the Lord. The giver of all gifts says, "Ask and it shall be given you." Matthew 7:7

The world has come to the conclusion that the only way to become financially prosperous is to lie, cheat and steal. The Lord has another plan.

Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. Luke 6:38

It is time for God's people to say, "Satan you didn't give it to me; and you're not going to take it away. I am the apple of God's eye. I am righteous of God in Christ. Jesus shed His blood for me, and my God created more than enough for all of us!"

III. Jesus, Who Was Rich, Became Poor So Those Who Are Poor Could Become Rich

...For ye know the grace if our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9

Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go Isaiah 48:17

And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. II Chronicles 26:5

And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my fathers house. Genesis 24:40

IV. Riches Must Not Be Our Priority

If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures Job 36:11

And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground and in the land which the Lord swore unto thy fathers to give thee Deuteronomy 28:11

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

V. Obedience Is The Key

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. Isaiah 1:19

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:31,32

VI. The Purpose Of Divine Prosperity Is To Build The Kingdom

Then answered I them, and said unto them, the God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build; but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2:20

The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22

He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. Proverbs 22:9

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children; and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. Proverbs 13:22

VII. The Gospel To The Poor Is That You Do Not Have To Be Poor Anymore

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Psalm 68:19

Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. Wealth and riches shall be in his house; and his righteousness endureth for ever. Psalm 112:1,3

That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and will fill their treasures. Proverbs 8:21

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 1:2

Clarification: I am not, nor have I ever been a follower of the 'prosperity' theory, as I feel there are many, many more facets of the gospel which hold life-sustaining substance. I do believe, however, that when we align our lives with the Word, prosperity--physically, spiritually, and financially--is part of the big benefit package He wishes to bless us with. I believe that in order to bless, I must be blessed, and for that, I rely on His grace, mercy and abundance daily.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

101 Things about me: #2...In my home, I prefer the comfort of my own paintings and handiwork, or those of my friends, as opposed to the 'showcase variety.'

In the Beginning, and Make a Joyful Noise, my very first oil paintings

A woman shall be satisfied with good
by the fruit of her mouth:
and the recompense of a woman's hands
shall be rendered unto her.

Proverbs 12:14 KJV (modified)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ten Ways to Shorten the Duration of a Problem...

1. First and foremost, take responsibility for the problem.

If we give ownership of the situation to someone else, then we must wait for that person to repair the damage and we may wait from now to eternity for the problem to be rectified.

2. Be willing to work for what you want, no matter how impossible the task before you appears.

Put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6) and work as if your future were depending upon it. It just may be.

3. Don't waste time fighting over what you can not change.

Believe in the 'spilled milk' philisophy. Heartaches, disappointments and betrayals can not be changed, but through the grace of God, the outcome of these things can. Remember, it is not what we are 'going through' that matters, but what we are 'going to.'

4. When you are wrong, admit it. Take charge of your life.

Make sure that you never pay back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. I Thessalonians 5:28

5. Do not hold a grudge and refuse to forgive.

In Matthew 6:12, Jesus say's,"Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." Forgiveness liberates you from an emotional prison. When you refuse to forgive, you are the prisoner.

6. Be generous to those who need help.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.(Luke 6:35)
What God gives, gives. God gave the sun, the sun gives light. God gave the seed, the seed gives the harvest. God gave his son, He gives life.
If what is in us resents giving or if we give without joy, it is not of God.

7. Let your mouth be ruled by the law of kindness.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22 Yes, even at home, not just on the job or with strangers. Be quick to say 'please' and thank you' and to express your genuine appreciation, especially to your mate, the one who is most often taken for granted.

8. Refuse self-pity when life gives you a raw deal.

Pick your self up and dust off your pants and move forward with the knowledge you are a child of the King. When royal blood flows through your veins, NOTHING is impossible, no matter how bleak and hopeless it appears at the moment.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philipians 3:14

9. Learn to listen..really, really listen. Try to understand the point someone else is making.

How often have we been in an 'intensive conversation' and not really listened, because in our minds, we were frantically 'rehearsing' our next remark? Listen to God. Wait patiently for His voice. Many times in the Word we read where the servant is instructed to 'listen to the Lord,' never do I recall the Lord being reminded to 'listen to the servant.'

Luke 12:11 " not worry how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."

Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

10. Be a peacemaker. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath.

What have we gained if we win a battle, but lose the relationship or burn the bridge? Many times something must be broken before God can use it, therefore, He will sometimes send a problem that will break us.

From the broken clouds He brings rain, from the broken soil and seed He brings crops, from the broken atom He brings the power to make a bomb, from the broken alabaster box He brought the perfume which was used to annoint His body during the last 48 hours of His life. When the heart is broken, it opens and the Word of God penetrates it in a deeper measure.

Peter was broken when, three times, He denied Christ. The same Peter was used of God to speak in the midst of the crowd in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost, the glorious day the spirit of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon man.

(Acts 2)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another phenomenal work from my marvelously, multi-talented friend, John...

What a wonderful lift on a dreary day...receiving a letter from my sweet friend, John.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Food For Thought

The greatest sin.........................................fear

The best

The biggest Fool.........................................the one who will not go to school

The best who would not have you any different from what you are

The great who will not come to the point

The still greater who keeps on talking after he has made his point

The greatest who decieves himself

The greatest invention of Satan..........................war

The greatest secret of production........................saving waste

The best work............................................what you like

The best

The cheapest, stupidest and easiest thing to do..........finding fault

The greatest comfort.....................................the knowledge that you have done your work well

The greatest up

The most expensive indulgence............................hate

The greatest trouble who talks too much

The greatest stumbling block.............................over-analyzing

The most ridiculous asset................................pride

The mose precious

The worst bankrupt.......................................the soul that has lost it's enthusiasm

The most dangerous person................................the liar

The most disagreeable person.............................the complainer

The meanest feeling of which any human being is capable..feeling bad at another's success

The greatest need........................................common sense

The greatest security....................................knowing God

The greatest

The greatest mystery.....................................death

The greatest thought.....................................God

The greatest thing, bar none, in all the world...........Love

Sunday, January 11, 2009

But, 'What If?"

The 'what if's' in life are the stumbling blocks that Satan puts in our path in order to rob us of what God wants us to have. 'What if's' always keep us focused on fear, not faith. 'What if's' continually distract us from our vision. 'What if's' turn us away from wonderful possibilities to dreaded problems, from positives to negatives, and from glorious hope to heartbreaking despair.

Just before the hill is crested and the problem is solved, just before the impossible becomes possible and the harvest is reaped, we are tempted to pause and dwell in the land of 'What If.' The longer we stall the higher the mountain seems, the greater the problem appears, and the longer we must wait for our answer. How many inheritances have been lost by those who lost sight and did not finish strong and hold on to the promise to the end?

I pray that God delivers me daily from the land of 'What If' and that He continues to remind me, when I have done all that I can in obedience, to press on in faith and prayer, standing firm against all attacks of fear and doubt until He fulfills His promise.

How blessed we are to serve a God who delights in giving us the desires of our heart.

"Therefore, I say unto you, whatever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Mark 11:24

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking Ahead...On The Eve of the Eve..

This will probably be my last entry for the year 2008. Saturday morning I'll be leaving for an anxiously awaited trip, and there's much to do between now and then.

This post is sort of a re-run of a previous New Year's post which was derived from a questionaire I received in 2005. As those who know me would expect, my answers have not changed much. And though I've never been one to make, or perhaps I should say 'keep' New Year resolutions, I still resolve to do things a little differently in the coming year.

While on this remarkable journey called life, I've learned that sometimes there are no seemingly right or wrong answers in life, and that each decision leads to the here and now, where there are always more questions and more answers which seem to hold everything needed for the moment. I learned long ago to cling to the passage in Proverbs wherein we are told to lean not on our understanding, but to trust God. It's tried and proven and it works. I'm living evidence of that.

I wish you a blessed New Year, a safe New Year...and a New Year filled with Love and Peace and Joy.

1. In one word describe your expectation for the year 2009.

Favor---the God kind. I have faith that God will continue to bless all areas of my life and will fulfill the desire of my heart.

2. If you won the lottery tomorrow, who would you give the first dollar to?

I would give God the first ten percent. He can do more with the remaining ninety percent than I can do with the whole.

3. If you had to choose fame or fortune, which would you choose and why?

Fortune. Fame comes with too many pitfalls. Fortune would allow me to bless others who come my way.

4. What three words would you want associated with your name in memorial?

Faithful, loyal, loving

5. What does the word “time” mean to you?

Time is an illusion we use for our benefit when it suits us least.

6. What three guests (anyone) would you invite to a dinner party?

Assuming my significant other is already present, of mother (if she were still living), my friend Mike Hayes, and author Mark Hanson, a most interesting and phenomenal man whom I had the pleasure of meeting in 1983 while in Napa Valley.

7. Name one work of art or literature you would hate to live without.

Proverbs. My absolute, all time favorite of the favorites. The wisdom of King Solomon is phenomenal.

8. What is your one weakest point of character? Your strongest?

My weakest is probably the fact that I am generous to a fault; my strongest is definitely loyalty, hands down, no doubt.

9. What one quality would you most like to give to your significant other?

His qualities are overwhelming and abundant so anything I could offer would be but an extra portion.

10. If a life affects all others, who would you say yours least affects? Most affects?

Least affects: I believe that would be impossible to say, not knowing which of our actions has the most rippling effect. I believe a simple smile to someone can and does change the world.

Most affects: My beautiful grandaughter, Savannah and, of course, my patients.

11. BONUS: Are you where you thought you would be when, ten years ago, you thought of your future?

Yes and no. I have changed, the world has changed and like John Lennon said, "life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." I am happy even though I feel I have much to discover, create, and more to experience in love. I am healthy, gainfully employed and have a roof over my head... all is well; all is getting better. I'm favored of God and, yes, all is truly getting better--one sweet day at a time....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you, you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.

Luke 2:11-14

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Outside My Window...
It's cloudy and gray, very windy, and there's quite a chill in the air. It's a great change from the mid 70's of yesterday which required the a/c to be on much of the day.

I Am Thinking...
About what I should wear for a special up-coming event ;-)

I Am Thankful For...
the wonderous soul cleansing, body and spirit healing, powerful blood of Jesus.

From The Kitchen...
It was 'semi-home made' around here today. Grilled boudain, baked sweet potatoes, field peas, cornbread and iced tea. Good old country comfort food.

I Am Wearing...
A gray sweatshirt with navy pants and my gray and red New Balance runners.

I Am Creating...
a more organized system for filing what seems like thousands of recipes! Part of the organization includes getting rid of all the ones I've hung on to for years but have never yet tried.

I Am Going...

to Macy's later on tonight! I think they are open until midnight and I don't expect the crowd to be too terribly bad. Maybe. This will be my absolute last retail experience until after Christmas!

I Am Reading...
How To Achieve Total Prosperity, a book given to me by the author, Mark Victor Hanson, when he and his wife, Patty, stayed in the condo next door to ours at the Silverado Country Club in Napa Valley, California. That was many moons and many memories ago!

I Am Hoping...
with the help of God, the dream deferred will be made manifest.

I Am Hearing...
A Hallmark Christmas movie is playing in the background. Don't have a clue what this one is, but I usually really enjoy these.

Around The House...
It's warm and cozy and 'Christmassy' around here! The fireplace is burning, candles are glowing and permeating the air with lucious fragrance, and I'm about to get busy in the kitchn making some fudge for my across the street neighbors. Too bad Mr. Wonderful isn't here...

One of My Favorite Things...
is having a few friends over for dinner. I love preparing a special menu and getting my home all spiffed up for my guests. The lights are dimmed and each room is filled with cozy throws, piles of fluffy pillows and wonderful triple scented candles. Lavender soap is at all the sinks and great music plays softly in the background. We have such a great time and get so comfortable that before we know it, hours and hours have passed by!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I'm off work most of the week so winding up holiday preparations shouldn't be stressful at all. I'll be spending most of the day at my Dads house on Christmas Day and I'm still undecided about what I should take. I'll be preparing a side dish and a dessert, so hopefully I can come up with something pretty special that isn't too labor intense!

A Good Holiday Recipe...

Pumpkin Roll

1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)

1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar.

2. COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and slat in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

3. BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

4. BEAT cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Ten Commandments of Intimacy

1. Love God first....Matthew 22:37

2. Always speak the truth to each other...Ephesians 4:25

3. Communicate clearly and honestly...Matthew 5:37

4. Resolve unhealed wounds from the the past and leave them
behind...Phillipians 3:13

5. Forgive your mate everyday...Luke 17:3-4

6. Resolve any anger everyday...Ephesians 4:26

7. When you are wrong, admit it...Proverbs 12:15

8. Don't blame or criticize your mate...Romans 14:13

9. Focus on the positive in each other...Phillipians 4:8

10. Serve your mate everyday...Galatians 5:13

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Outside My Window...
all is peaceful and still. The ground is still a little wet from the melted snow which we received on Thursday. I'm thankful to see that my beautiful knock-out roses are thriving and blooming like crazy, even though their gentle stems were dragging the ground a mere 2 days ago.

I am Thinking...
there's much left to do and little time remains! I need to finish a little shopping, a little baking and a little wrapping. I am also reflecting on the wonderful day I spent yesterday with my friend Elizabeth...talking, eating, laughing, shopping and confiding while we perused the wonderful shops of the Galleria.

I am Thankful for...
that cold night in Bethlehem, long, long ago when a child was born. What a difference that event has made in the lives of all mankind.

From the Kitchen...
today would be a good day for chicken spaghetti. Savannah is here and that is one of her favorites. I'll serve a simple salad, garlic bread and iced tea with it. Desserts are rare around here, but today we'll have Almond Butter Pound cake, made from scratch yesterday morning.

I am Wearing...
what I slept in. Enough said.

I am Creating...
Im just beginning a beautiful little pink crocheted baby dress for the expected baby girl of my co-worker who is due just before Easter. Pictures will be posted as the project progresses. I've made many of these over the years and they are beautiful heirlooms, indeed.

I am Going...
nowhere until 7:00 p.m., then it's off to Labor and Delivery. Hope no creatures are stirring tonight.

I am Reading...
my favorite book of all, Proverbs. My, what a blessing it would be to be a true Proverbs woman. That is what I strive for everyday of my life.

I am Hoping..

that time flies at lightening speed for the next few weeks. Got some special plans happening which begin when I depart from George Bush Airport exactly three weeks from this very minute!

I am Hearing...
a commercial about how Nutri-System can change your life. Personally, I can think of much more interesting life change events.

Around the House...
all is calm, all is quiet, except for an occasional "Merry Kissmus!" or "Praise the Lord!" or "What's your name?" or "Where's Andi?" coming from the parrot. Much like a small child, she always wakes up joyful and ready to take on the day. She is so happy to see Andi each morning she can hardly contain herself.

One of My Favorite Things...

is spending Christmas day at my Daddy's house. I'm crossing my fingers that it will be a little on the cold side that day. The sights and sounds and fragrances from the woods are absolutely wonderful!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
finishing the Christmas shopping ranks top, and that includes the wrapping! Savannah has volunteered for that job and I'm glad to pass it on.

A Recipe to Share...

Peppermint Bark

1 lb dark chocolate, chopped
1 lb white chocolate, chopped
12 peppermint candy canes, crushed (about 1 cup)

Melt the dark chocolate and pour onto a jelly roll pan lined with aluminum foil or a silpat. Spread evenly to desired thickness. Place in refrigerator to harden. Sift peppermint candy to separate the large chunks from the peppermint sand. Melt the white chocolate. When cooled, fold the peppermint sand into the white chocolate taking care not to overmix (and getting pink chocolate instead). Remove dark chocolate from the refrigerator and spread the white chocolate on top. Sprinkle the peppermint chunks evenly over the white chocolate and gently press the pieces into the layer. Refrigerate until hardened. Break the bark into pieces.

A Picture To Share...

Did you ever have one of these? I was probably three years old when I had a sock monkey, and I still remember it. What memories flooded my mind when I saw this little guy dangling precariously from the branch of the Christmas tree in Cracker Barrel! I could hardly wait to give him a new home!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Outside my Window...'s a little windy and the temp is somewhere in the 40's. Nice little gettin' close to Christmas nip in the air!

I am thinking...
...visions of...well, I'll just say nice visions are dancing in my head!

I am thankful...
...for Jesus.

From the Kitchen...
...13 Bean Soup made with a leftover ham bone was on the menu today, served with cornbread and iced tea.

I am wearing...
...I'll plead the fifth on that one.

I am Creating...
...lists! So much to do, so little time.

I am going...
...somwhere very special in 32 days...

I am reading...
...a guidance book, or perhaps I should say a 'book of suggestions' by none other than Dr. Laura. I love her strong commitment to marriage, family, and doing 'the right thing.'

I am Hoping...

...for the favor of God in a giant mountain my dear friend, Jeffrey, is facing.

I am Hearing...
'All Because of Jesus' by Andre Crouche and Marvin Winans.

Around the House...'s beginning to look...and smell...a lot like Christmas. Lucious, holiday scented candles are burning this evening, permeating every little nook and cranny with scents of gingerbread, bayberry and cinnamon.

One of My Favorite Things...
...'I love you' texts from Savannah

A Picture...

...of two little boys who were born one year and five days apart. They call me 'Mom' and I love them more than life. This was taken when Jarad (L) had an emergency appendectomy at the age of 9. His brother, Justin, never left his side...or his bed.

A Favorite Passage...
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19

Sunday, November 30, 2008

'The Baby' Is No Longer A Baby...

...Savannah, my only grandbaby, turned 12 years old yesterday. And though she really isn't a baby anymore, she'll always be this Granmommy's baby...

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Food and Thoughts

I have several fancy-schmancy bundt pans, and today I chose to use 'The Rose.' Somehow, the food just seems to little taste better when the table is pretty, the candles are glowing and a few special touches are added here and there.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Icing

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (15 oz can)
3/4 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs

For icing:
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons buttermilk (well shaken)
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bundt pan generously, then dust with flour and knock out the excess.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.

Beat 1 1/2 sticks butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.

Spoon batter into pan and smooth top. Then bake about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes. Then place rack over cake and flip the cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.

For icing:
While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over slightly warm cake, then cool cake completely.

Thanksgiving was rather simple around here this year. Jarad couldn't come home, and because I must work tonight I was not be able to go to my Daddy's house, the place we usually all gather for the holidays. So it was just me, Justin, Savannah, 2 of my clients and Andi, of course, who scampered around the table in search of whatever may have landed on the floor. A friend stopped by and brought a pumpkin pie, and another friend came bearing the biggest, prettiest poinsetta I've ever seen. I'm wonderfully blessed to know a handful of folk I can truly call 'friend.'

Regardless of how many or how few gathered around my table today, I know have much to be grateful for. I'm thankful to know and serve the one and only living God---the God who allowed me to be born in this wonderful country of freedom and plenty. May I never forget that my plight could have been much, much different. I have a wonderful family, a precious grand daughter, a sweet place to call home, and the ability to make a good living. I walk in good health and I'm free to gather with believers and worship God any time I so desire. God is good. All the time. And I am thankful.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Outside My Window...
...the sky is gray and it is cool this morning. It has been raining lightly, on and off, for the last couple hours. Not enough to flourish the garden, but just a little kiss for the flowers, with the promise of more to come.

I am Thinking...
...that in the blink of an eye Christmas will be here and I have done virtually nothing to prepare. Zero. Zip. Nada. I usually try to get a head start on my shopping, especially if I have taken a nice trip during the year, because that's often a good way to find unique gifts. Last April I was in Yellowstone and the midwest, but I was so mesmerized by the magnificent mountains that shopping was the last thought on my mind.

I am Thankful for...
...this morning I am thankful for my ability to generate a good income. With the economic state such as it is and nationwide financial uncertainy looming ahead, I am
grateful that I can feel secure in my career. Chances are slim that births will slow down and seasoned L & D nurses are few and far between.

From the Kitchen...'s soup day around here and I think today's selection will be corn chowder. My recipe includes potatoes, carrots and smoked ham and it's so wonderful it will knock your socks off!

I am Wearing...

...flannel p.j. bottoms, an oversized tee shirt and some warm, fuzzy socks. Oh, and my hair is pulled up and secured with a yellow pencil because I wasn't motivated enough to get up and get a clip. Lookin' good, I tell ya! Glad the one that matters isn't stopping by this morning...

I am creating...
...still making Santa caps. My goal is to have one for every delivery I have from now until Christmas. They're precious! I'll post a pic later.

I am going...

...nowhere but the routine this, church, Central Market, Sams, Target, and I just may try to pick up a gift or two Friday if there is something unique that I feel is worth fighting the crowd for. Chances are slim I'll be that taken with any given item so I just may try to do a little shopping beforehand.

I am reading...
...I'm still enjoying reading 'The Message.' God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Psalm 23

I am hoping... this point my hope is tucked in a little secret place in my heart, therefore, it is secret!

I am hearing...

...'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' from the Eva Cassidy 'Songbird' CD

Around the House...
...are indications every where that Savannah is here! A tennis shoe here and there, a Twilight CD in the stereo, empty Dorito bags and Dr Pepper cans in the bedroom waste basket and it seems that someone has been in my jewelry box...

One of My Favorite Things... getting into my car when it is squeaky clean with 'armor-alled' tires and shiny wheels and sparkling glass and the hint of vanilla in the interior.

A Picture to Share...
...14 going on 20, with my friend Gayle...her twin Dayle took the pic. Guess which one is me?

fast-forward, uh, a few years...

Dayle and Gayle (on the right). Aren't they cute?

A Great Fall~Holiday Recipe...

Gooey Butter Cake

1 Golden Butter cake mix

1 egg

1 stick butter

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a greased 13x9 pan.


1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened

1 stick butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoons of vanilla

1 16 oz. box of powder sugar

Beat cream cheese until smooth, add eggs, vanilla and butter and beat together. Add powdered sugar and mix well.

Spread topping over cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes until top is a golden brown.

Cool and cut into bars.