Thursday, December 13, 2007
MUNCHING PEANUT BRITTLE
1 c. Sugar
1/2 c. white corn syrup
In 1 1/2 qt. casserole stir together sugar and syrup.
Microwave at High (10) 4 minutes.
1 c. roasted, salted peanuts
Stir in peanuts.
Microwave at High (10) 3 to 5 minutes, until light brown.
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Add butter and vanilla to syrup, blending well.
Microwave at High (10) 1 to 2 minutes more.
Peanuts will be lightly browned and syrup very hot.
1 tsp. baking soda
Add baking soday and gently stir until light and foamy.
Pour mixture onto lightly greased cookie sheet.
Let cool 1/2 to 1 hour. When cool break into small pieces and store in air -tight container.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I heard about an idea for presents the other day and searched for it in between chauffeuring today. It's about giving the kids three presents each to represent the three gifts of the magi. Each gift has a tie-in to the original gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It's titled "Begging for Myrrh".
Instead of another thing to do, it seems like something that will fit in with what we already do, with the terrific bonus of pointing our eyes toward Christ as we celebrate His birthday.
Read it. I think you'll like it.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
This morning I read and wrote down Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. "
Then promptly went to church and got irritated that something that should have been taken care of wasn't. And I let that irritation turn to criticism.
I did feel convicted, however, and apologized, and spoke about this verse.
A few hours later I was yelling at someone I love very, very dearly.
I think that among other things, I was trying to be "good" on my own. And honestly, I can't be what I'm not. I needed to take more time to really surrender my self to the power of the Holy Spirit, so that He would be working through me. In the busyness of the day, I hadn't taken the time on my knees that I so desperately need.
I could tell you the whole story and then some. And you probably would really sympathize with me. But honestly, I'm just feeling sick.
I know the Lord forgives me. My family still loves me. But I feel so rotten that I didn't stay on the right path. So I'm hoping that I can turn this into a lesson of how much I have to stay on my knees. Guard against trying to do it myself. And hopefully God will give me some grace tonight, because right now it feels too hard.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
So I put the phone down and said a brief prayer. I really felt better, and I was kind of disappointed, because I really wanted to complain. I know I could have gotten some sympathy. Someone would have told me I was right to be hurt and angry.
But as God has been working on my heart, I really see how arrogant it is to complain that someone didn't live up to my expectations. I wasn't hurt intentionally. I wasn't sinned against. I was just disappointed.
And without thinking it through, I could've really injured someone's reputation, just because I was hurt. Really, when you think about it, telling anyone how someone hurt, or injured, or disappointed you is damaging to their reputation.
And that's not really love.
If I had disappointed someone, would I want them telling others how I didn't live up to their expectations? Or would I want them to give me some grace? Or give me a little allowance in my behavior, realizing that my priorities might not match theirs?
So the Holy Spirit spoke, and I listened. That's a good day. No complaints.
Friday, December 7, 2007
As I've been seeking God instead of hiding out in the snack department, I've noticed a few things. I'm a lot more critical than I realized. It's easier to hide my feelings in food than to be honest about things I'm not proud of feeling. I'm taking these to the Lord.
As I've let God know how powerless I am to do this on my own, I've also noticed a few helps. For the first week, ice cream lost all of its appeal to me. I have however perservered to like it again. But a half cup or so suits me just fine.
I have had a greater thirst for plain old water. We have a new refrigerator with water in the door, and the filter makes our otherwise nasty water very tasty. In the past, I've tried to limit my intake of soda to one Diet Rite a day, but now sometimes I go without one for the whole day. And there are other days I have more than one. I'm trying to let the Holy Spirit be my guide, not some hard and fast rule.
Hunger has not been a problem. Also, the sugar cravings I usually have disappeared after I started reading my Bible daily and praying the Armor of God.
None of this to say I feel victorious. This is a big battle for me. The only way I can win it is not in my own power. I really, truly have to pray each day and ask God to fight this battle for me. And guess what? He does!!♥
Thursday, December 6, 2007
That said, I wanted to say more about the Spirit-guided life.
This Fall, I participated in a women's Bible study, where our small group of ladies studied Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival . It was a terrific book that really spoke to me. In the last chapter, Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, "Your relationship with Christ will never be any greater than your relationship with His Word."
I have been getting daily devotionals in my inbox from The Purpose Driven Life and a daily Bible verse from Christ Notes, but for too long I've allowed that along with my Bible study to be my time in God's word.
So for the past three weeks, I've spent most days reading my Bible. Most days I read one or more chapters before I do anything else. Sometimes I look words up in The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible/New International Version. Then I get on my knees and pray over my day. Often that prayer has to do with what I've just read. Always, I pray to release my control over my life and ask God to work in me, through me.
Lately. I've been reading both Philippians and Romans 12 over and over again. I'm trying to meditate on it and really apply it to my life.
I've seen a difference in how much more powered by the Holy Spirit I feel after I've spent time in God's word that way. It seems to be a real key for me. As long as I do it everyday, it's easy. I want to open the Bible first thing. But if I miss a day, the next day is hard for me to open His word. Keeping the pull of the flesh at bay begins with seeking God first. We all know it, I'm just saying it's been working for me.
Monday, December 3, 2007
For the past few days, God has been showing me and reminding me of the Scripture, Philippians 2:14 "Do everything without complaining or arguing, ". In fact my daughter Rachel and I have been having a conversation about it. How we like to "complain". And I put it into quotes because we don't look at it as complaining. We're explaining how someone, or something happened to mess with our plans, feelings, or opinions. We're women, and we need to talk it out to understand what's going on with us. Right?
Lately, I'll apologize for complaining mid-rant, and invariably the person I'm speaking to says that it's okay. We all need to vent, and they understand.
But as God kept teaching me about complaining, I saw that it is the opposite of something else he has commanded us. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". I thought about the Israelites complaining in the desert about how tired they were of God's provision of manna.
And wow, isn't that just like me? My pride, my selfish desires, even my righteous indignation gives way to complaining, instead of remembering all of God's provision. Nothing comes to me without first going through God's hands.
Maybe the very thing I complain about was sent to grow me. "He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you." Deuteronomy 6:18
I must admit I feel pretty humbled. Lately I think I've been failing the test. This walking in the Spirit is eye-opening.
There may still be something to talking it out, but first I need to talk it out with Jesus, instead of the person from whom I'm going to get the desired response. Because this is God's will for me in Christ Jesus.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Next day...$2.98! A .17 jump!
What does it say about me that buying gasoline feels like playing the stock market?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
She and her dad, Billy Ray, were interviewed, and he said something about wanting to be her best friend. The post was positive about Miley's character with the hopes that she's able to retain it. The interesting part was a deep concern about her father wanting to be her friend. That lead to many posts agreeing, some vehemently, that parenting and friendship never mix.
I understand the sentiment. We've all seen parents trying to be "friends" that let their kids run down the path of destruction.
Maybe the problem is what one calls a friend.
My daughter is awesome. I'm so proud that she thinks of me as her mom and her friend. We have shopping "dates" where we eat pretzel bites and drink smoothies when we need a break. We talk about friends, music, movies, boys, and cars (more about that later). She trusts me, and I love that she feels like I'm on her side. But I'm still the mom. I still have to say, "Go to bed. Do your school work. Be nice to your brother."
As much as some are scared by parents who want to be friends with their children, I am scared by those who think parenting and friendship are mutually exclusive. I think there's room for both. What do you think?
Monday, November 26, 2007
Trying to walk by the Spirit all day makes me stop, a lot, and ask,"So what should I do now?". It feels like the answer is always, "Unload the dishwasher". Which leads to many questions. Who loaded it to begin with? How can four people make so many dirty dishes? And didn't I just do this?
I've realized that I dislike intensely unloading the dishwasher. So this week of Dan serving his family was especially appreciated by me. Any time in the future he wants to serve this way will be appreciated by the kids, because I've decided they need to learn to use the same cup more than once a sip. Translation: Dishwasher duty. ☻
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Boggle/Upwords/Hangman/Word Hunter Collection
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
What do you think?
Monday, November 19, 2007
I thought I was over it. That I wasn't really hurt. Then finally confessed some bitter feelings to a friend the other day. About someone else. To be honest, she isn't the only one I've "confessed to". I woke from a dream that really expressed how I was feeling, but ended in the other person being humiliated and me laughing about it. Wow. I felt terrible and let my friend know how sorry I was that I had involved her in my anger.
Something I thought I had forgotten came flooding back to me. In high school, a friend and I had a falling out that ended up involving quite a few people. It culminated in a diminished Prom for several. I was very angry and woke from a dream one morning. This friend had been physically hurt in the dream, and though it wasn't at my hands, I knew I was directing the dream.
That's the first time I remember consciously realizing how unforgiveness can really hurt ourselves. I forgave her, apologized for my transgressions, tried to make restitution, and lost a friend anyway.
So, I keep taking my feelings to the Lord. I know I'm taking things personally that have nothing to do with me. Sometimes I have feelings that my mind can't talk me out of. But God can and will, and I'll keep asking Him to do so.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Something else that has simplified my life is having one or two recipes that I'm "known" for, like my mother who is known for her pecan pie, and my brother who is known for his fudge. It came about quite accidentally that a friend of mine was involved in several of the same events as I was. When it came time for me to bring a dish, she would always request my Oriental Cabbage Salad. After a while it dawned on me that I could take this dish everywhere. It was always popular and easy for me. I don't have to think long and hard about what I'll bring, and I remember the ingredients so it's pretty easy for me at the grocery store, too.
Friday, November 16, 2007
I took liberties to pray them out of order, but this is what I have done.
- To be strong in the Lord, I ask Him to fill me with the Holy Spirit, because I do not have the power to do this on my own.
- Since I have the helmet of salvation I know that I have access to the mind of Christ. I also ask to take every thought captive.
- The belt of Truth is Jesus. I ask that I hear the truth from Him about my habits, eating choices, etc.
- The breastplate of righteousness reminds me that I am totally accepted by God. No matter how I do today, He will not love less.
- I pray for my feet to be quick to tell others about Jesus, but also to be quick to talk about what he's doing in my life, and to be a peacemaker.
- The shield of faith is my protection against the fiery arrows of satan. I pray that I will remember to have faith that all things are possible with Christ when satan tells me I will fail again.
- I ask for the Holy Spririt to bring scripture to my memory throughout the day to keep me standing strong against the lies that will be thrown at me.
- And finally, I ask God to help me remember to pray at all times.
Was this concrete enough?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
So, part of this spirit walk with God includes the trial with my weight . I'm trying to put concrete examples to how this is working for me.
Today has been a good day. I prayed upon rising. I read Daniel 1, after hearing it suggested on the radio program that woke me. Part of the prayer was putting on the armor of God. I reminded myself that the flesh is an enemy. I asked God to show me what and when to eat. Then I tried not to make any eating plans.
I read about Daniel purposing in his heart to not eat the choice food and wine of the king. He challenged the guard to let him and his buddies eat only vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of the ten days, they looked healthier than all the other young men. So they were allowed to eat this way for three years. The young men grew greatly in knowledge and understanding during that time.
Of the many lessons that could be gleaned from this story, I was struck by the fly-in-your face opposition to what is considered sound nutritional science. I don't know why that surprises me. God is the creator of our bodies, our digestive system, and the food items we put into it. It's not a new concept, but I felt I'd gotten more encouragement to walk by the Spirit and not by flesh.
Then the daily Bible verse I receive in my email was, "The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. " Galatians 6:8 (New International Version)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
It's such an ethereal concept that I'm hoping to flesh (excuse the pun) out for some future posts. Some areas of my life are really plugged into the Holy Spirit and his leading. But some have been miserable failures.
I was having a great conversation about this (especially in regards to weight) earlier this evening with two beautiful, wonderful women. We all agreed that living our lives isn't about following a chart, be it chores, eating, whatever, but instead following God's leading. How do we apply that practically in our lives?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I've waited all week for the last day of the ten things I'm grateful for challenge. I knew what I wanted to list, but I wanted to make certain that I was honestly grateful. I've put it off for as long as I can, so here goes.
The trial with my weight. This reminds me that I keep needing to choose to live according to the Holy Spirit and not my flesh.
The trial with staying organized and on top of things. This keeps me humble.
The trial of leaving friends and of them leaving me. Without the void, I wouldn't have had room in my heart for women I'm so privileged to call friends.
The trial of losing loved ones. I am looking more and more forward to Heaven, where there will be such an awesome reunion.
The trial of not having near as much control over pain in my kids' lives as I would like. What joy to see how God loves them so much more than I do. He's allowed growth opportunities in their lives that I never would have. Yea, God.
The trial of a family member that's removed us all from her life. I have unshattered faith that one day we'll have a great reconciliation. It's the hope of unseen things.
The trial of seeing my brother so unjustly hurt. Where sin abounds, grace abounds that much more.
The trial of being abandoned. Nothing else has hurt so much or brought me so close to the throne of God and His ever-lasting mercy and grace.
The trial of my will. It is always in the way. It reminds me how much patience God has with me.
The trial of thinking I have to live up to certain standards. It keeps me chasing grace.
What about you? Leave a comment with a trial you're learning to count as joy.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Contact lenses I had to wait until I was 16 to get them. Now I need to look into bifocal contacts. They really do make them!
The Van It's old, and people actually make fun of it. But it's paid for, and prayed over a lot.
VCR So, I really want a DVR, but this is still so nice. Now Dan can watch "Heroes" tonight.
Tylenol Unfortunately, my legs ache every night, but this works like a charm so I can sleep.
Electricity We're so fortunate to hardly ever have our power go out, while nearby has lost power for days, several times this year!
Furnace/Air Conditioner We've had to call the service man on both this year. Might have to get a new A/C next summer. The times they weren't working makes us really appreciate them.
My new fridge! It filters the water, which now tastes so great, and makes ice. We danced in front of it for many days after we first got it.
Kitchen floor I waited for so many years for this. It really is great. No more holes. No more excuses not to mop, but that's another post.
Internet Of course there are problems with it, but just this week we were able to find out where to go next in Banjo Kazooie, find Hawk Nelson socks, see what a 14 year-old's blood pressure should be, see exactly where Dan hunted, and check the TV Guide.
I know some people long for the "good old days", but we often say around here that we're glad to be living during this time. Thank you, God, for sharing your creativity with us mere men.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
A clear blue sky. I especially love the look in late summer and early fall, in the southeast sky, in an afternoon. Not that I'm picky.
A field of sunflowers. Have you noticed their "faces" following the sun? It's so neat to see them all standing and facing the same way.
Autumn leaves. Finally our leaves have changed colors. What a great delight!
A rainbow. Too obvious, but I'm a sucker for one every time.
God clouds. These are rain clouds that the sun is shining through just the edges, or streaming sunlight through holes. There are glowing qualities to these that make me feel like a little bit of God's glory is shining for us.
Sunsets. I'm up when the sun is rising, but civilization is in the way. But sunsets are seen when we're out and about. Crayon makers have nothing on these colors.
Dark blue sky, clear Moon, and Venus. Most mornings I see this when I walk out the door to meet my walking buddy. I always take a few seconds to appreciate the simple beauty.
Lightning. It's beautiful to watch, but I must say I enjoy it most from a great distance.
An ocean of lightning bugs. One night Jeff (ds) and I were driving in the country and saw the most amazing sight. Millions of lightning bugs! Because we were going so fast, their lights seemed to blaze. I can't even describe it, but it was very moving.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
These are all things that were given to me and my family out of generosity. None of the items were "typical" presents as in birthday or Christmas. They are just items that, "Hey, I'm not using this any more, and I wondered if you could?" I believe they were given from the hand of God through the hands of His people. Thank you.
- Kitchen table and chairs
- Leather coat for me
- Ar moire used for much needed coat closet
- Very large freezer
- Dresser that's being used a china hutch
- Swimming pool
- Patio chairs
- Merry-go-round & (scare you to death) tall slide
- Clothes for Chase including snow suits, coats, shoes, cleats, pajamas...
- School Books
Friday, November 9, 2007
Here we are in Nebraska about three years ago.
1. All my kids love the Lord.
2. I see them making wise decisions.
3. They are all intelligent.
4. Each of them is creative.
5. They are so funny.
6. They are respectful.
7. And honest.
8. And loving.
9. Each one from age nine to twenty-two, put God first.
10 . And I have to admit, they are all great-looking!
Thank you, Lord.
Here we are with Brad's fiance, Stefanie, at
Brad's college graduation this May.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
1. He loves me unconditionally
2. He makes me laugh
3. He listens to me without trying to fix me
4. He loves God first
5. I catch him reading his Bible
6. He is a wonderful father
7. He prays before making decisions
8. He accepts me for who I am
9. And doesn't try to change me
10. He is trustworthy
Another day that I could go on and on. I don't really know if these are the top ten, just the first ten that popped into my mind. Again today, I am reminded that I am very blessed.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
So grateful for...
Sherry you saved my life in 10th grade by becoming my life-long friend
Ann you not only loved me, but my kids, too
Annette 12 years is too long for us to not be in touch
Jody you will never know how much your friendship helped me
Dawnelle a true friend that stood by me
Renee how hard it was to move away from you
Robi proof that a great friend can be made in a short time
Barb building into your life was a lifeline for me
Karen your fingerprints are all over my life
and of course, Katara. Happy, happy birthday my dear, sweet friend.
After some of my time on the computer, the electricity went out! I laughed and said okay, God. I get it. My kudos to the people who had to suffer the power outage because of me. Ha! I got into my bible study and enjoyed it very much.
We both chose the lesser. Then got second chances. And faced disappointments of not enough money or electrical power. One had the chance to learn gratitude and attitude. One showed the appreciation of discipline. It doesn't always work out this way, but that was a good day.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
And then I had part of a beautiful Sunday afternoon to myself. I could have gone with Dan & the kids, but there were too many things to be done, I protested. The day was warm and sunny and beautiful. I was behind in the bible study that I'm so enjoying. I had a friend waiting for me to email her some more specifics of a conversation we were having that she was benefiting from. I had a friend in need that had left a message for me to please call. I felt a sense of urgency to get some clutter cleared out and given away before holiday visitors. But I stayed on my computer and played a meaningless game.
God was calling me to so much better. I would have enjoyed it more. But the allure of the easy kept me preoccupied with the lesser.