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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Next Two Weeks

If I don't post much in the next weeks, it's because I'm really busy. Somehow these next two weeks have filled up and there is not much white space on my calendar! I am babysitting six times, have dentist/orthodontist appointments, going to a stamping night, cleaning the church, participating in our Keepers at Home program, teaching 5/6's (and the preparation involved), bowling Saturay mornings, Small Group fellowship this Saturday, and there is our usual karate on Tuesday/Thursday nights and Wednesday night with Trish.

Whew! I don't know how I managed to get all that scheduled in these two weeks but I did. But the Lord knows how much I can handle and He has already seen fit to cancel an appointment that I had for this coming Saturday. Whenever I find myself in a week or two like this, a few appointments or activities will get cancelled and my load is lessened. Yeah! God is good :-).

I have to admit that I was fretting a few days ago about how I would get all this done. Remember there are still meals to make, school to be taught, household chores to be completed. But I took everything to the Lord and asked Him for His strength because I can't do it on my own. It is so wonderful to know that I can go to Him anytime and bring my burdens, my cares, my conerns to Him and He. will. listen. Isn't that such a comfort? He is concerned about every area in our lives. Every thing that concerns us, concerns Him.

One of my favorite hymns is What a Friend We Have In Jesus. I am so thankful that I have a friend in Him. I'm so thankful that He cares about me in an intimate way. I'm so thankful that He never gets tired or is never too busy to listen to me. He truly is the dearest, most blessed friend I could have!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our Refuge--
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms He'll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
PS: for some reason I can't get blogger to double-space when I use the center-align button. Anyone know how to fix this???

Friday, January 26, 2007

My Day

After being busy this week I was hoping I would be able to stay home today. I was home most of the day and got a lot accomplished:

laundry washed, dried, folded and put away!
bathrooms cleaned
downstairs vacuumed and dusted
kitchen floor swiffered (is that a word?)
started working on menu plans for the next two weeks
cleaned desk and decluttered all old paperwork

I had to run out to the bank this afternoon and since it's so close to Target, well.........I just had to stop in. I'm glad I did! I was able to get two cute fleece throws for $5.88 each. These will go in our family room to keep us warm while we're watching TV or reading. I bought two rugs for my living room that were desparately needed. One was $10 off and the other $5 off. I also bought gloves for $1.48 and a headband (to cover your ears when it's cold) for .74 cents. I found some blue socks that were marked way down. Yeah for the clearance items at Target. I love walking around the perimeter of the store to find all kinds of goodies! The rugs weren't on the clearance rack, though, but in their usual spot. I pulled one out to look at it and noticed the red price tag. Red signals clearance!

As part of my "try a new recipe a week" program, we had this tonight and it was a hit. I think the next time I make it I might add some tomato sauce to make it more like chili. Otherwise, it was good. I did make a few changes: I added 1/3 cup sugar to the crust and I didn't add the red pepper because when I went to buy it the other day, it was $2.24. For one!!! I figured we could live without it. :-)

Tomorrow looks as if it will be busy: grocery shopping, library (Bleak House is in!), haircut and nails done (it's been a month; they are in bad shape). I'm leaving early in the morning to get it all done so I can be home and prepare for worship.

What was your day like? What about tomorrow? Please share!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My Ambition

Yesterday's Bible reading included Psalm 19 and the verse highlighted for memorization was 14:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Oh, that this would be my prayer each day. And not just my prayer but how I actually lived! I want to grow in grace each day and become more and more like His Son! I long to please Him in everythng I do and say. I want to give Him glory in everything--because He is my everything!!!

Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. (2 Corinthians 5:9)

Have you made it your ambition (a strong desire to succeed or achieve something; the thing so desired) to please the Lord today? Have you asked Him to make the words of your mouth and meditation of your heart pleasing to Him? There's no better ambition to have than that.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Nice Afternoon

Today was "lunch bunch" with some of the women from my church. The last Tuesday of each month we pick a restaurant and all meet for lunch. I've been going for over a year now and I always look forward to it. Today's choice was Can-Can in the Carytown section of Richmond. It reminds a lot of South Street in Philadelphia with lots of different restaurants and unique, one-of-a-kind stores.

I had the duck sandwich with brie (w/o mushrooms) on cranberry pecan bread. Yum! We didn't get dessert (although the selection was excellent) because we walked to For The Love Of Chocolate and Jean Jacque's Bakery. More Yum! I bought a cannoli for Michael, tiramisu for Jessica and I split a Strawberry Alumette with Jared. Julianne had a raspberry truffle from the chocolate store. Everything was delicious. I'm not going to eat for the rest of the day (or perhaps the rest of week!).

After visiting the bakery and chocolate shop, we walked around to some stores and I ran across the street to visit Jessica at the bank. She had popped in on us at lunch but only stayed for a little while as she had to get back. I only had a few moments to "hi" since the bank was busy. I told her she would have dessert when she got home!

It was a wonderful afternoon of food and fellowship with some very special ladies in my life. They are all excellent examples of the Proverbs 31 wife and Titus 2 woman and I am blessed and grateful to have them in my life.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Voice of Our Feelings

On a daily basis we're faced with two simple choices. We can either listen to ourselves and our constantly changing feelings about our circumstances, or we can talk to ourselves about the unchanging truth of who God is and what He's accomplished for us at the cross through His Son Jesus~C. J. Mahaney (Living the Cross Centered Life)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Beautiful Hymn

In Evil Long I Took Delight

In evil long I took delight
Unawed by shame or fear;
Till a new object struck my sight
And stopped my wild career.
I saw One hanging on a tree
In agonies and blood;
Who fixed His languid eyes on me
As near His cross I stood.
Sure never till my latest breath
Can I foget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death
Though not a word He spoke.
My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins His blood had spilt
And helped to nail Him there.
Alas, I knew not what I did
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain.
A second look He gave which said
"I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid
I died that thou mayest live."
Thus while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue;
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled;
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by Him I killed.

(John Newton)

Jane Eyre


Jane Eyre will be on Masterpiece Theatre tonight at 9:00 pm. I'm looking forward to watching this and comparing it to all the other "Jane Eyre" that I've seen. I'm curious how it will compare to this version, which is my favorite, and to this version. The second version stars Ciaran Hinds as Mr. Rochester and I absolutely loved him in Persuasion.
There is a freezing rain going on right now so tonight is the perfect time to make some popcorn, grab a blanket and enjoy Jane Eyre.
Stephanie and Pam, I hope you're watching!!! :-)

Friday, January 19, 2007

My Prayer for Today

Psalm 17:3b~

I am determined not to sin in what I say. (NLT)

I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. (NIV)

I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress. (NAS)

In my Bible reading this morning, I read Psalm 17 and came across the above verse. I pray that as I go about my work today as a wife and mother that I would not sin in what I say. That I would "not let any unwholesome talk come out of [my] mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (Eph. 4:29). I pray also that I would "consider how [I] may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Heb. 10:24).

It will be a happy day indeed!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Snow?


The weather forecast is calling for some sort of winter precipitation today! Here in Central Virginia it could be snow, rain, sleet, freezing rain, or a combination of all four of those in the same day! Most likely it will just be rain because it hasn't really been that cold lately. Tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 50's. But, as Aragorn would say, "there is still hope".

Another winter system is supposed to come this weekend. Will it be snow? One can only hope!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Margin


The first time I heard about “margin” was at a workshop given by a local homeschool speaker, Shelley Hendry, in 1998. She was giving a workshop on the Titus 2 woman and encouraged us to put margin in our lives.. Like margins around the edge of a sheet of paper, we need to have margins around all the areas in our lives.

The principle of margin is from the book, “Margin” by Dr. Richard Swenson. He has also published a book called “The Overload Syndrome”. I highly recommend both of these books if you wish to put the principle of margin in your life.

What is this margin and how do I create it? Margin is a “white space” around all you have to do during the day. It’s allowing time in your homeschool to work on character qualities when the need arises. It’s allowing time for the unexpected when you are heading out the door to church or on errands. It’s thinking “can I do this (activity, work, etc.) without relationships suffering or losing my sanctification?” It’s having enough time in our day that we can joyfully go about our duties as wives and mothers. It’s planning your life with a cushion for mistakes.

One practical way to do this is when running errands. If you have little ones, you know that nothing takes “ten minutes”. Allow extra time for things to go wrong. Remember that an errand involves stopping what everyone is doing, getting ready, getting everyone into the car, driving to the errand, doing the errand, loading everyone back into the car and driving home. Once you are home it takes a while to unload everyone (and things if you’ve gone shopping) and to unwind and get back to your daily routine. Allow time for this!

Allow margin for time to do important things. If you are so tightly scheduled that when your child asks you an important question you don’t have time to answer it, then you need margin. If you have outside activities so crammed together that you are in a panic when a child loses a shoe or there is a detour in the road, then you need margin.

One of the things that Shelley said during the workshop that stuck with me all these years is “life is not a dot-to-dot”. It’s not about getting from one place to the next in the quickest way possible. We need to have time in our lives to worship the Lord, train our children, manage our households, and care for our husbands. If we are on a dot-to-dot journey, then those areas will be neglected and we “will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:5).

Do you have margin in your life? If so, can you share some of the ways you accomplish this? If not, will you prayerfully ask the Lord to help you in this area?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tonight--8:00


The wait is over! Jack is back.


Sunday Hymn

Rise Up, O Church of God

Rise Up, O Church of God!
Have done with lesser things;
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O Church of God!
His kingdom tarries long;
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O sons of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task,
Rise up, and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod;
As followers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O Church of God!

(William P. Merrill)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dinner for Tonight

Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
3 lb. red potatoes, thinly sliced (about 12 cups)
1 pkg. (16 oz.) ham, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup frozen peas (I used the new Green Giant steamed sugar-snap peas; delicious!)

Preheat oven to 350*. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and chicken broth in large bowl until well blended. Add potatoes, ham, peas and 1 3/4 cups of the cheese; stir gently to coat all ingredients.

Spoon into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Bake 1 hour or until heated through and potatoes are tender. Makes 15 servings.

Recipe Collecting

I have collected recipes for a long time and a few weeks ago I finally organized them and started a system to use them. A while ago I went through my recipe collection and sorted them into various categories:

~Main Dishes
~Side Dishes
~Snacks, Dips, Breakfasts
~Cookies & Cakes
~Pie & Desserts
~Muffins & Cupcakes
~Bars & Brownies
~Breads, Rolls, etc.

I labeled plastic file folders and put each one into a notebook:


Here's what the cover looks like:


The problem was using them! I had everything neatly organized but I didn't really go through the notebook much to see what was there.
Two weeks ago I went through every recipe in the notebook. I threw away what I knew I wouldn't really use. Sometimes I see recipes that look good but then when I look closely I realize, for a variety of reasons, that I'll never make it.

I decided to make a list of the recipes I really wanted to try. I organized the list by week and added the headings "main and side" and wrote down each recipe that I wanted to try that week. Just one a week. Sometimes I added a side dish, sometimes not. I haven't added any desserts or breads yet because I wanted to get this system under my belt. Here's a picture of the list:


Last week I made Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes--a big hit--and tomorrow night I'll be make peachy chicken.
I made the list for an entire year so I'm excited about finally using all these recipes I have!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What's Going On Around Here

I can't believe I haven't posted since Friday. Time flies when you're having fun!

I started a new adventure in my life. I am now working. Not full time; not part time; more like part-part time. I'm babysitting a 3-month old girl and 4-year old boy for about 8 hours a week. It has really worked out well. I'm babysitting in the afternoon so JK and I can do our chores and school in the morning and then head to my friend's house. It is only a 15-minute drive from here so the commute is not long. Her house is on 10 acres on a quiet road and it is set back far from the road. I love it! It's so beautiful there and very, very quiet. I will probably never get my house in the country but now I can enjoy it for two days a week.

While I am taking care of the baby and/or doing some light household chores, JK is playing with the little boy, W. She is getting some good hands-on experience to help her when she starts babysitting on her own.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Anytime I'm in the car I've been listening to Max McLean reading the Bible. I found it on sale at our local Christian bookstore and I had a 25% coupon so I got a good deal. It's the New Testament, Proverbs and Psalms. If you go to the website, you can listen to today's Proverb and if you register (free), you can download other clips. It has been so relaxing to just drive and listen to the Word. I just finished the book of Matthew today. It has added another dimension to my daily Bible reading.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
JK is doing very well in her studies and I am so glad I made the decision last spring to change some of the things I was doing. It has worked out very well and I am so thankful! God is good.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I also made some changes to my recipe collection and I have a few to share but they will have to wait. It's late; I'm tired; so good night!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thr3e


Is anyone planning on seeing this movie based on the book by Ted Dekker? We went to a free preview last night and all I can say--don't waste your money! It was not very good. Bad acting, bad directing, cheesy dialogue, etc., etc. The main girl in the story was Justine Waddell, who had the lead in PBS' Bleak House, but even she couldn't rise about the script.

It's supposed to be a Christian movie but there was no clear-cut message of the gospel. The next to last line mentions that God is the only way to overcome the struggle between good and evil. No mention of Jesus so it can be interpreted however the viewer wishes. Supposedly the main male character is a Christian but he never prays, never reads the Bible, only relies on himself. He is attending seminary but it seems as if he is a professional student.

Thankfully we were with a group and we out for ice cream afterwards so the evening was salvaged. We had a great time of fellowship at Friendly's.

The movie opens nationwide today but I don't think the reviews will be good.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Daily Bible Reading


The elders at our church have encouraged everyone to be involved in daily Bible reading. To that end, they have made available The One Year Bible for us to order if we wish. They sent an e-mail yesterday stating that if we didn't want to purchase the book, we could view it online for free. The One Year Bible Online is a free resource for anyone to use. Each day's reading is there to view in many different translations. If you want to use your own Bible, they also provide a schedule that you can print out.


If you have younger children and you think they might not be able to do the entire reading each day (although you could read it to them), then visit here for a Children's Daily Reading Plan. It provides a year-long schedule for reading the Bible that highlights many important Biblical events and truths about God. It will also get them in the habit of reading the Word daily.


Last year I read The One Year Bible (although I just read NT, Psalms and Proverbs) in the English Standard Version. This year I'm reading it in the New Living Translation. This is the first time I've read a translation that wasn't "mainstream" and I'm enjoying it very much.


So whether you choose to read the Bible through this year or just read portions of the Word, it doesn't matter as long as you are in the Word daily. If you are not, then from where are you drawing your strength? How can you know God intimately if you aren't in His Word?

Occupied for Jesus

Occupied for Jesus

Martha, in the kitchen, serving with her hands,
Occupied for Jesus, with her pots and pans;
Loving Him, yet fevered, burdened to the brim,
Careful, troubled Martha, occupied for Him.
Mary on the footstool, eyes upon the Lord,
Occupied with Jesus, drinking in His Word.
This one thing is needful, all else strangely dim.
Loving, resting Mary, occupied with Him.
So may we, like Mary, choose the better part.
Drinking in His wisdom, strengthened by His grace,
Waiting for His summons, eyes upon His face.
When He comes we’re ready, spirit, will and nerve,
Mary’s heart to worship, Martha’s heart to serve.
This the right order, as our lamps we trim,
Occupied with Jesus, then occupied for Him.
(author unknown)



Monday, January 01, 2007

A New Year

A new year is always fresh with possibilities. New opportunities to change; to achieve; to become a better person. Resolutions to be made and kept. I start out with a list like everyone else. Good intentions; lofty goals. But, I suspect like a lot of other people, many of these things fall by the wayside. But every January I do it again!! I had a list made out for 2007: better organization of home and school; lose weight; read more; watch less TV, spend more time in prayer, read through the Bible in a year, etc. All good; all attainable. But my heart wasn't in it; I just made the list because that's what I do every year. That's not exactly the way to get motivated!

Then, about a week ago, I heard an advertisement on the radio for a Kay Arthur conference. I don't remember much about the conference except a verse was mentioned that was apparently the theme of the weekend. John 2:5b. The ad only mentioned the verse reference so I wrote it down to look it up later.

Once home, I looked up the verse: "Whatever He says to you, do it" (NASB). There was my motivation for 2007! This was all the resolution I needed! I'm sure the Lord is interested in my list of goals and intentions. Perhaps not. I'm positive He is interested in my complete obedience to all He says in His Word. I still have my list--but on the top of it I wrote John 2:5b to remind me of what's really important. Of what is most important.