Monday, September 29, 2008


Tom is my brother. I actually have three brothers, all younger than me and no sisters. Growing up they teased me as the bossy older sister always trying to keep them in line. Tom is the middle one and shhhh don't tell anyone but today he is my favorite. He is very tall, six foot three (I think), warm, kind, gentle, sensitive and has a great sense of humor. He has been the best uncle EVER to my kids.

One of my most cherished memories is watching his six foot three frame dance with my oldest daughter when she was a toddler to her favorite Barney song. He could do all the moves and the two of them would put on quite a show singing and dancing.

So, you can only imagine how excited I was when his first child was born last November. I couldn't wait to see him with his own little girl. In January, I had to make a quick trip to California and seeing this new addition was a priority. When I arrived at their house my brother and his beautiful wife were pretending to be busy at the kitchen sink as they watched me walk up the driveway. But what they were waiting for was my reaction to this...

As I opened the front door, she was sitting there, waiting, all by herself. It made me cry. I am so proud of him, the father and husband he is, and all that God is doing in his life.

I miss you Tom!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A very special vase

Yesterday I received this beautiful bouquet of flowers from a woman who attends our Women's Bible Study on Tuesday mornings. She blesses me every so often with this type of gift and I am so very grateful for her kindness. I know that she has cut the flowers from her own garden and then I imagine all of the work and care that she has done and yet I am the one who is enjoying the beauty of her work.
When she handed me the flowers, she apologized for the "vase/container" she had put them in. I quickly replied with, "it doesn't matter what they come in, It's not the vase I am looking at, but the flowers."
As I looked at these vibrant colors all afternoon adorning my table, I couldn't help but relate this to our previous weeks lesson in the book of Daniel. Does the vase make the flowers more beautiful? It depends on what you want to look at. It depends on what your goal is for these flowers. It depends on what truly matters most to you in relationship to having these flowers.
Flowers bring me such joy and the hands that picked these and placed them in this plastic container are even more wonderful. I will leave them just as they are.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It was a good thing

The Chicken Tortilla Soup turned out great! I know it is a good thing when my son asks if he can have a second bowl after his football practice instead of his usual request of cereal or when my daughter wants another bowl instead of dessert???

My Favorite Soup

Even though our days are still pretty warm and our evenings are just perfect, I have been waiting patiently to make some soup. Another reason I love the Fall Season. Here is what I will be making tonight.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 Tbsp Butter
1 Yellow onion chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small can green chilies
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded chicken
2 Tbs. Taco seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

For Serving:
sour cream
shredded jack and or mild cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips

Saute onions and garlic in butter in a large pot over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add chilies, tomatoes, beans, corn, chicken stock, chicken, and taco seasoning. Stir through on high heat until soup boils. Reduce to low. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer one hour.Serve with sour cream, a handful of cheese, and place broken pieces of tortilla strips on top.

Makes eight servings

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's the official First Day of Fall

and I have a yucky head cold! I am number five in my family, so I guess I should be thankful it waited to hit me after I had bought two dozen boxes of kleenex and re-stocked our medicine cabinet, tea supply and chicken soup stock.

But in the meantime I love fall, the colors, the food and the weather...

You Belong in Fall
Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

What Season Are You?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Early Morning Thoughts

I am interrupting my morning quiet time to share something that has just stuck with me in the first paragraph of lesson three in our bible study on the Book of Daniel.

"Integrity doesn't develop apart from consistent resolve."

I also agree with this, "The Book of Daniel is storehouse to so many treasures that we could study it a dozen times without unearthing them all."

And lastly I love this, "My prayer is for the pursuit of God and His Word to become, in Steven Curtis Chapman's words, your magnificent obsession."

Now, back to my quiet time before the kiddos wake up.

Oh, and I almost forgot about this one, "Image building is the attempt to make impressions that are bigger than we are." Oh, I could chew on Daniel chapter three for months...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


A sweet friend gave me two bags of baking apples recently. I am anxious to bake some pies, apple crisp, and even try this. This is truly my favorite season.

Each year as the Fall season is ushered in with the sights of apples and pumpkins, it also brings soccer, football, back to school, and now volleyball. I have been busily attending meetings, managing the mounds of paperwork and forms, writing checks for this and that and trying to establish some sort of routine so that the homework is being checked, the reading is getting done and everyone gets to where they need to be.

I have received all the the practice/game schedules and have carefully entered the necessary information into our calendar setting up reminders so that nothing is missed and hoping we can sit on the sidelines as often as possible.

I have learned that just as quickly as this season came upon us, it too will quickly turn and change. If I am not careful, I will miss it. So, I choose not to fret too much about the stuff and the things that can wait.

I wish I would have understood this a decade or so ago. I would have saved myself so much frustration if I could have learned to be content in the season and place that I was in. I battled over my lack of being able to do it all. Oh, I did not readily admit that this was my goal, it was an inward battle over trying to maintain some outward appearance.

I wanted to have my house clean, my kids closets organized, toddlers and preschoolers who followed my neatly organized plans, laundry that stayed on top of itself and as I began homeschooling my oldest daughter a lesson plan that would fall neatly into our day. My life was anything but that. I left a high level management position in the corporate world with a promising future to be at home full time with my children. I had many moments of feeling like a complete failure. It is the hardest job I have ever had, and yet the most rewarding, and I get to sit in a position that was set apart just for me.

I am thankful for the wise words of older women in my life who would often remind me of what truly mattered. The words, “they grow up so fast or treasure these days when your kids are little” often fell on the ears of a weary mom who could not see past the chaos that prevailed. It took work to plant those words in my mind and heart. To live them out and believe that one day I will understand it all.

My seasons have changed. I am in a brand new one again. I have taken on a very small part-time job along with the ministry. Life is busy, very busy. But I know that just as the days in the park sitting on a blanket with preschoolers playing and a nursing baby crawling around me have begun to fade, these days will too and a new season will be upon us.

Yesterday as I sat on another hard bleacher watching, smiling, and cheering at my daughter's volleyball game, a tear trickled down my cheek. I reached over and squeezed my three old and thought about Paul's words in Philippians 4:12,
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
What season are you in?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bible Study

Our Women's Bible Study groups start this week. We are doing this.

Our Tuesday morning group watched Session One this morning and all I can say is WOW! I have been thinking about what she shared all day... we have committed to "learn" over the next twelve weeks and I have no doubt we will.

Monday, September 01, 2008

By Faith

My friend Cyndi at One Day More posted this today. I had to copy it, print it out, and now post it!

Father thank you for the provision You have made for victory over Satan.

Now by faith I put on the girdle of Truth. May my life today be motivated by Truth. Help me to maintain integrity.

By faith I put on the breastplate of righteousness. May my heart love that which is righteous and refuse what is sinful. Thank You for the imputed righteousness of Christ.

By faith I put on the shoes of peace. Help me to stand in Christ’s victory today. Help me to be a peacemaker and not a troublemaker.

By faith I take the shield of faith. May I trust You and Your Word today and not add fuel to any of Satan’s darts. Thank You that I can go into this day without fear.

By faith I put on the helmet of salvation. May I remember today that Jesus is coming again. Help me to live in the future tense. Protect my mind from discouragement and despair.

By faith I take the sword of the Spirit. Help me to remember Your Word and use it today.Father, by faith I put on the armor. May this be a day of victory.

”Dr. Warren Wiersbe “Strategy of Satan”

Cyndi and her husband are about one week away from picking up their son in Ethiopia. You must go and read this post. I was reading through the book of James this morning and this verse tugged at my heart. One of those tugs that screams pay attention, read each word carefully, listen not just with your mind, but allow it to sink in deeply....I am trying.

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:26-27