Friday, September 30, 2011

Friends

Writing for 5 minutes today with others about FRIENDS.  How do we embody all that a friend is in just five minutes?

GO.

You are my friend when waves are smooth and we play and splash in life's adventures or even the adventures that we make for each other.

You are my friend when the waves roll.  We talk, we vent, we laugh.  We ride the waves together.

You are my friend when toss and tempest separate our holding of hands.  Life's bellows roll over us.  Not usually at the same time.  Your prayers hold me up above the water when otherwise my head would go under.  And my prayers for you reach out and make sure you are secure with your Life Vest.

You are friend and you always shall be.  We laugh, we cry, we share heart aches and mishaps.  We swim together and it would not be the same with out you.

STOP.

 
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Visit other friends at  thegypsymama.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Confession and God's Goodness

I have a confession to make, but first, I want you to read the following scripture very carefully.

"What leads to strife and how do conflicts originate among you?  Do they not rise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily membersYou are jealous and covet (what others have) and your desires go unfulfilled; (so) you become murderers.  You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain (the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek),  so you fight and war.  You do not have, because you do not ask. Or you do ask God for them and fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives.  Your intention is (when you get what you desire) to spend it in sensual pleasure. You (are like) unfaithful wives (having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God!)  .....Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit (to be welcome) with a jealous love.  But He gives more grace (power to of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully.)  That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty , but gives grace (continually) to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it.) ~James 4:1-4, 4-6 Amplified

Does that living word cut into your heart and bring to light any thought and intentions that were hidden deep within its recesses?

A couple of week's ago I was lamenting with a friend that while I feel called to write and teach I do not feel like it is going anywhere.  The desire to encourage and comfort.women in their Christian faith is a fire burning in my belly.  However, I often struggle with envy.  There it is that green, ugly word- ENVY.  What else can I call it?  When I see other bloggers grow without measure, their ministry exploding- I want that for myself.  I want to have thousands of readers hanging on my words, be asked to do radio shows, and television cameos. But why?  Is it so that thousands of women are comforted and exhorted or so that I can feel more important?  I have to admit that it is both.  But therein, lies the struggle and warring within myself.  The battling between my heart and mind and my logic and desires. 

"Why do I have such a strong desire to share the abundant Life in Christ?"  I answer myself, "Because I want to see them living it too."  I have prayed for more open doors, more opportunities to write and teach.   Time passes and things remain idle.

A shadow in the background of my heart whispers to me, "Then why can you not rejoice when others are doing well and being used mightily by God?"   Ugh!  I know the creed of the Upside-down-blogger: I write for One and leave the fruit of my labors for Him to grow.  I know not to compare myself with others.  I known that we are each unique individuals with a unique work.  Then I visit blogs, read the books, hear of their news and I turn green.

The battle!  That is what it feels like, a tug-of-war within my soul. 

I confess this to a friend.  I pray and ask God to help me be glad about other's success.  I remain aware of my sinful heart, but trust that He will help.  Still. I expect a Divine scolding, a reprimand, and a pruning.  

The next day at our church service I am asked to lead the Women's Retreat.  I am floored;  humility cloaks me.  "You want ME?"  I feel so honored.  And in that moment I had a fresh sweet taste of God's goodness.  He was saying to my heart that He purifies my motives, He hears, He gives me my desires, and He has me right where He wants me. 

Can you feel the comfort in that?  The release of selfishness?  I am in awe that my Father granted my desire and opened this door.  That Goodness humbles me.  In this moment I am content.  I am gratified.

I am happy for YOU.   May YOU who are writing be blessed mightily.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Growing Pains

GROWING.

Growing sounds like a wonderful, splendid thing.  And it is.

But to grow big, grow up, grow wise, there always exists growing PAINS.

I am experiencing this now through my daughter.  Being always educated at home this is her first year in a school setting.  I thought that the Montessori approach would be a smooth transition for her.  It should be.
But overshadowing her education experience has been her new experience with MEAN girls.  I should have known; known that THEY are everywhere.  But it as been since I was in school that I have seen them around affecting me personally.

My daughter is going through a life growing experience learning how to handle unpleasant situations and people. She cries.  Her belly aches.  I do the same FOR her.  These growing pains are not pleasant and as with any pain I want it to be relieved.

The saving grace is that she is growing and I am too.

Linking today with other five minute heart-word weavers at




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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hide God's Word in Your Heart


Hide God's Word in your heart- store it up for the future.
"Let the word spoken by Christ the Messiah have its home in your hearts and minds and dwell in you in all its richness as you teach and admonish and train one another..."
-Colossians 3:16a, Amplified

As I grow older and my walk with the Lord deepens, I am more and more convinced that He wants His word to become a part of us.  His word is all that shall stand.  His word is our anchor in this ocean wave-tossing life.  His word is an expression of Himself in His Son Jesus (John 1:1,14)  Scripture is His annointed word to us.

In a recent post I encouraged you to eat daily of His word till it becomes part of your muscles and marrow.  And it does; His word becomes entwined in your heart and soul.  His Word abides in us (1John 2:14)  His Word becomes a part of us that is ready to instruct, exhort, and encourage when the opportunity requests it. (2Timothy 4:2)

I have also been thinking that one of the best ways to incorporate His word (notice the word "incorporate" literally means "to put into the body") is to go beyond reading it.  But to read it, pray over it, meditate on its meaning and the One who speaks it, and to MEMORIZE IT.  Jesus tells us, "Remember the word that I said unto you." (John 15:20a)

So I am bringing accountability to myself as I write, that I will begin the discipline of memorizing a verse a week. (I know some fabulous ladies who are memorizing entire books; a verse or two a week is enough to feed me for now.)

If you want to endeavor in this challenge with me, keep the prize before you- His Holy Spirit brings to your remembrance His word in you.  You will be a healing salve to the hurting soul and a balm to her who needs a word of encouragement in due season.  The effective words will be on the tip of your tongue when disciplining your children and the Spirit will bear witness in them that what you are saying is true.  When battles with the enemy cannot be avoided you will fight him with our weapon of defense and offense- His word. (Ephesians 6:17)

Are you ready? 

Linking today with WomenLivingWell and RaisingHomemakers.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Homemaking Tips- Organizing- "Sort through your Recipes"


Do you do as I do and print out recipes from your favorite cooking sites?  Or scrawl the recipes on whatever scratch paper that you have at hand?  Do you collect cooking magazines or rip out recipes from Ladies magazines with the intention of trying them out someday?
Where do all of these recipes end up?  and how do you find them when you want to?

After a year of adding these mismatched papers and torn magazine pages to twenty-plus years of other favorite recipes, the assortment was overflowing and tumbling out of my Hoosier cabinet like Niagra Falls that could not be damned up.  I needed to get them organized so that I could find the recipe that I am in search of when I need it.
This week's tip is to sort through your recipes.

For twenty years I have had my recipes organized in two boxes: one for deserts and the other for entres. However, it was long ago that the recipe cards began to overflow these two little boxes.  I have so many now that when I open the door of my Hoosier cabinet where they are housed, the cards tumble out!

I had had the intention of doing this project since last winter and in my quest I have found that there are many ways recipe cards can be creatively stored.  With the renewed rage in cooking these days you should be able to find these kind of recipe holders in a wide variety.  I have found several recipe holders that are similar to photo albums, the kind that you could slip a photo (or recipe) in its own individual sleeve.  The other day I purchased one that can stand on its own with the recipe card sealed in plastic so that it will not get my messy-cook fly-aways on it.  I like the stand because my messy fingers always leave marks on the cards.  (Messy cooks are good cooks right?)  I am saving this one for cookie recipes.  

When I have a recipe card I use a metal reicipe card holder that I have acquired, this helps from me having to pick up the card so often. By the way I have bought an assortment of attractive blank recipe cards and will rewrite all of the ones covered in grease spots or the ones that I had printed out from the computer onto paper.  They will be much easier to find in this form that just papers sitting on a shelf.  Also, if you are going to take the time to rewrite the recipe, make sure it is one that you want to keep.  I have been sorting through and finally tossed into the garbage many reicipes that my family does not like, or I accumulated with the intention of trying (like Greek moussaka that I never did make).  I will categorize the recipes such as Breakfast, Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Entres: Beef, Poultry, Seafood, Deserts, Cookies, Drinks, and Holiday Specials. In all honesty this has been an ongoing, albeit quite relaxed summer project for me- but the progress is apparent and I appreciate my efforts when it is time to meal plan.   

I love to receive recipe cards in the giver's handwriting. When I pull the cards from their recipe box and begin to cook I immediately feel close and connected with the person that graciously shared their cooking secrets.  Some day (not this week!) I would like to create a recipe journal or recipe scrapbook of family recipes. I would like to give one to each of my daughters (and future daughters-in-law). But until I have time to undertake that project I would just like to organize my cards so that they are not overflowing in the boxes.


Look forward to the soon-coming Fall days when the chill in the air will bring a desire to fill your kitchen with the waft of sweet smelling baked goods and comfort foods and your recipes will be ready and waiting for use.


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Friday, September 2, 2011

REST for Body, Mind, and Spirit

Today's prompt for 5 Minute Friday is REST.
Go.

AAAHHH.  Who feels that they get too much rest?  Is not rest something we Mothers long for more of?

I am reminded that God gives us a rest that takes us through all of life's busyness, routines, to-do lists, stress, and schedules.  It is called the Sabbath and He has told us to keep it holy.  How amazing of our Creator to command that we take one day in seven to cease from our labors and rest.  To be refreshed and rejuvenated by focusing all of our waking hours that day on Him and family and friends.  He understands our human weaknesses.

But there is another rest He speaks of and implores me to enter.  If you read Hebrews chapter 4 you will hear the beckoning of Him to cease from our human strivings- to bring to a complete halt our vain attempts to reach God's favor by our imagined human goodness.  He says, "Come as you are hidden in my Son and have complete rest."  This rest takes my soul and makes it happily swing in a hammock.

We need this physical and spiritual rest, because in this life we still face hardships.  Whethter it is the stress of unemployment, the sleepless night from nursing babes, the heartache of hearing your child get teased at recess, or improsonment because of your faith in the Christ who is so despised in your country, you WILL face tribulation.  But His rest sustains us.

Our souls long for the day when that rest will be made perfect.  He gives us that HOPE as well.  Tiresomeness from dealing with this fallen world, weariness from fighting the enemy from without and within, experiencing the slow decay of our bodies- there is a complete rest that awaits us dear believer.  Let you soul be filled with hopeful expectation today as you encounter this life's hardships.Photobucket


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