Wednesday, November 13, 2013

To Live Is Christ To Die Is Gain

Lately I have been listening to more and more audio books.  It is so convenient to listen in the car, in the kitchen, or during the afternoon when I rest a bit.  Recently, I finished To Live Is Christ/To Die is Gain by Matt Chandler.  One of my favorite books in the Bible is Philippians and I was excited to listen to this new book.  The narrator, David Cochran Heath, does an excellent job and I enjoyed listening to him.  

There is nothing new or profound in this book and that's ok.  Sometimes we just need a reminder of what the Christian life is all about.  Matt reminded me over and over that my sanctification is not a one-time deal...that I will continue to grow and mature in Christ every day.  And this takes work; not work to be saved but to grow.  He reminds the reader that "while we are not saved by our striving and in fact saved from our striving, we are also saved to our striving--a striving after Christ."  It was a good reminder that I need to also be striving to live out my salvation.

The book as a whole was a great encouragement to me to focus on Christ, to put Him first, to rejoice in Him, and to live for Him.  I appreciate that message!

Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audiobooks at

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

This and That

I am happy to report that I have now lost 10.5 pounds...and yes, that .5 is very important!!  I am learning to eat healthy and to eat good portions.  I am learning to exercise each day.   Right now I am doing that by walking but I'm thinking about joining a local gym.  I would love to swim and do water aerobics and I would also like to do some strength training.
The past three weeks have been so pleasant as far as the weather goes.  Temperatures in the 70's during the day, 50's at night, and low humidity.  We haven't had to run the a/c much this September!
On September 9, we had my mom's memorial service in NJ.  It was a bittersweet time but it turned out really lovely.    Here's a picture of me and my siblings after the service:

My brother read a psalm and Michael sang "Amazing Grace" and was able to share the gospel with those that attended.  Afterward, just our family went out to eat together.  Then Michael and I had to drive back to VA.
I know everyone says this all the time but it is hard to believe that September is almost over.  Seriously, this month went by so fast.  The leaves on some trees are just starting to change and I'm looking forward to October when they will be in all their glory!  Our hummingbirds are still coming to the feeders but less and less frequently.  I think they will be moving on soon.
I am enjoying swapping post cards and other items over on  I will post about it soon!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Doris Trujillo 1929 - 2013

I haven't been around much lately because my mom passed away suddenly on August 7.  You can find a tribute to her that my sister put together here.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Slow and Steady

I have slowly incorporated walking into my daily life.  I've been trying to go around 7 in the evening.  Today was absolutely wonderful.  The temperature was about 80 and low, low humidity.  It's hard to believe it's August.  I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

Tonight was the first time I walked twice around the block.  That equals 1.25 or so miles.  Woot!  I am not out to win any races or see how fast I can go; I'm just starting out slowly and eventually working up to maybe an hour a day.

I bought some new sneakers and they have really helped with my walking.  My ankles are pretty weak but these give me good support.  They are called Addiction 10 by Brooks.  They're the only pair of sneakers that support my flat feet.  They're "running" shoes but also great for walking!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

A Good Start

On July 1st a good friend of mine, who had lost some weight, told me about My Fitness Pal.  It's a site where you keep track of your calories and your exercise.  And it's free!  I started using it the next day and in one month have lost 7 lbs!  When you first sign up, you put your goals in and it calculates how many calories you should have each day.  By keeping to that number, you will lose weight.

I also added exercise to my routine.  I joined our neighborhood pool and go when I can.  Although this summer it has really been rainy.  I do something called "water jogging".  Basically I am running and/or walking around the pool and, believe me, it is hard!  But my feet and ankles are really weak and this has been a way for me to exercise and not put a lot of pressure on my joints.  Plus it's a lot less sweatier!

Counting calories and watching portion sizes has really been great for me.  It was hard at first but now I'm used to it.  I knew that I needed something that was not a big change from what I've been doing but a slow, gradual change that I could incorporate into my daily routine.

I also purchased a Fit Bit Zip. It's a little device that I wear all day long that counts my steps.  When I first started wearing it, I only logged in 1000 steps.  Ugh; what a slug!  Now I am between 3000 and 4000 but am working on the goal of 5000 a day.  This little device has been a great motivation for me as I'm always trying to add a little more.  I park far away to add more steps, etc.  One of my friends has it and she has challenged me each day.  She does 10,000 steps each day.  I am nowhere near that but I hope to be someday.  Frankly, I'm not into a competition like that but is fun to see how much I do each day.  My competition is with myself.

Why after all this time am I getting in shape?  I guess I just got tired of being tired all the time.  I also have two events that I would like to look nice for.  One is my nephew's reception in September and the other is our church's ladies' retreat in October at the beach.  I want to be able to walk along the beach w/o huffing and puffing!!

Lord willing, I will keep up to date here with my progress.  There's a button on the right-hand side that lets you know how I'm doing!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Lord Reigns Over the Flood

Tonight as I was working at my desk I was listening to BBN Radio's program called "Building Blocks for the Family".  The featured speaker was Elizabeth George and she was talking about trusting God's promises.  In her talk, she referenced about a friend who went through a terrible tragedy but gave thanks in the situation.  I found a video about this woman, Ney Bailey, and here is her story.  It's about 16 minutes long but worth watching.

The Lord Reigns Over the Flood

Would I be able to give thanks in a situation like that?  I really like what she said about knowing she had to "choose with her will" to give thanks.  Even when we don't feel like it, we must choose to obey. It was a good reminder for me!  That phrase "choose with my will" is such a powerful reminder that I have a choice when it comes to sin.  I don't have to let it rule over me.  I can choose, with the Holy Spirit's power, to do what is right.

Elizabeth mentioned that Ney had written a book about faith so I looked it up on Amazon and ordered it on my Kindle.  I can't wait to start reading it!

Let's choose to obey!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Thoughts on God by John Piper

Before creation there was no void, no emptiness.  There was only God.  God was all.

God is utterly free from any constraints that do not originate from the counsel of His own will.

God consults no law for the right.  No almanac for facts.  No guild for excellence.  He Himself is the standard for them all.

God is not becoming anything.  There is no development in God.  No progress.  Absolute perfection cannot be improved.

The entire universe is utterly secondary.  Only God is primary.  All of it depends moment by moment on His thought.  

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Independence Day!!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and are thankful for the freedoms we have in this country.  I'm not sure how much longer we'll have them!  I'm even more thankful for my freedom in Christ.  I am no longer a slave to sin!  "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36)

We are having our annual cookout and then heading to the local baseball park to watch the game and enjoy the fireworks.  Every 4th of July we treat several families to the game and cookout; it's been a lot of fun over the years. As usual I'm making my mom's potato salad.  We will also have the great American food of hamburgers and hot dogs. My holiday menu has been the same for many years.  It makes it simple!

The heat index is supposed to be 100 today.  Lord willing, it will cool down a little before the game begins!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Downed Trees and Gazebos

For a long time now Michael has wanted to take down two trees on our property.  One was an oak in our side yard; and though it was on our property, most of it was leaning and hanging in our neighbor's yard.  The other was a tulip (poplar) tree in our backyard that is right off the deck. I knew these had to go but the cost was keeping us from doing it.  And I was not looking forward to seeing them cut down while they were still living.  But two weeks ago we got a great deal on taking them down and our neighbor said he would pay for half on the tree that was leaning toward his house.  So, down they came...and with a lot of tears from me.  We've lived in this house for almost 23 years and those trees were always there.  I was sad to see them go but knew it was necessary.

Now that the poplar was near our deck, we looked into getting a screened-in porch.  I was picturing something like this:

But when we found out the cost of building one, we decided not to go ahead with those plans.  Instead we decided to look for a nice gazebo that has screens all around.  After shopping at several places, we found this one:

Michael bolted it to the deck so it is safe from storms.  Of course, if a hurricane blows through we'll have to take the canvas off.  

Last night Michael strung little lantern lights inside across the top and they look so pretty.  This will definitely become my new place to sit and relax in the evening!  I absolutely love it.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Try to Catch Up or Begin Again?

It has been a long while since I've been here and my posts have been few and far between.  I think a lot of that is because I've been on Facebook.  I've come to realize that I miss blogging and that I'm spending too much time on FB.  Last week I remedied that.  I added Chrome Nanny to my browser and have FB blocked for most of the day and evening except for a couple of hours.  It has really helped! I also deleted the app from phone, which was a huge time waster.

I have debated whether to catch up everyone (those of you that are still here)or begin again.  I thought I would add some highlights from the last few months and then begin again with, Lord willing, more regular posting.

Now that I have a lot of free time, I want to use it wisely.  I especially want to help young moms.  To that end, I have babysat the children of two moms while they went out (on separate days). One mom went shopping for clothes she needed for a wedding.  Another mom went to the library and enjoyed the quiet.  I hope to do more of this in the coming months.

I took over 1,000 books to our local homeschool used curriculum sale and our state convention's sale.  What a blessing to have those out of the house!!  I still have many more to go but our "schoolroom" (I'm going to have to call it something else now) looks so uncluttered.  A breath of fresh air!

Our ladies' Bible study finished up The Afternoon of Life: Finding Purpose and Joy in Midlife.  If you are in the afternoon of life (children gone, etc.), I highly recommend this book.  It helps you navigate some of the changes impacting your life and it does it from a biblical perspective.  The main premise of the book is pouring our life into others; now that I have time what am I going to do with it?  Serve self or serve others?

I attended some weddings, graduations, showers, and parties; had lunches with friends and dinners out with my husband; went to the movies with my girls, and shopping with my son.

I also had many quiet days at home where I am in the middle of various organizing/de-cluttering projects.  I've also been working on my embroidery.  I've decided I want to embroider quilt squares for our bed but I've purposed that I will not start it until I finish ALL my other projects.

I went to Williamsburg for a weekend retreat with our Women's Leadership Team.  It was a time of planning for the fall.  We had a great time of fellowship, prayer, devotional, discussion, and food!

Michael and I took a quick weekend trip to NJ.  We went to Wildwood with my brother-in-law and his wife.  We rode bikes on the boardwalk in the morning and in the afternoon walked around and had all our favorite foods.  Good memories!

Well, that's enough for now.  Lord willing, this blog will not be too quiet anymore!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Books and Memories

I am in the process of selling off the books in my home school library.  I've been doing it little by little over Amazon but haven't yet done a curriculum sale.  Well, tonight I am.  I'm taking 11 boxes and hope to sell a good chunk of them.  Whatever is left over, I'm donating to a local home school group.  I hope they will be a blessing to someone.  Our state convention is coming up in a few weeks and I think I'm going to sell the rest there and donate what doesn't sell.  I'm at the point where I just want to get them out of the house!  

As I was going through the books one at a time and pricing them, I was overwhelmed with all the memories associated with them.  Especially all the books we read for history, using the TruthQuest Guides.  When they were younger, we used Beautiful Feet study guides.  What good memories I have of reading these books aloud and the children working on notebooks, projects, speeches, etc.  I'm so thankful that I spent the time to have a home library while we were home schooling.  It really was a blessing to be able to hand one of the kids a book on whatever subject they were interested in at the moment!  

As of right now, I only packed up most of our science and about one-fourth of our history books.  And about one-fourth of the fiction books.  I haven't looked through all our picture books but I know I'll be saving a lot of those.  Lord willing, I will read those to grandchildren one day!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Free Audio Bible in Several Versions

Free Audio Bible in Several Versions! Click on the link to see the different versions.  I'm not sure how long these will be available to be sure to download it soon!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Seeking Great Things

"Are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them!" Jeremiah 45:5

This lesson is not an easy one to learn, for we all want to erect our work for God on the summit of a mountain, where it will be seen by all the world. We easily forget that sometimes the greatest work we can perform for Him, is to do the little things He gives us to do, quietly and sweetly.  (J.R. Miller)