Thursday, January 31, 2008

Random Thoughts & Happenings at the Ponderosa!

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Normally, I would be at mid-week service at our church ,
at this time on a Thursday night.
But, my Honey's pager went off this afternoon.
He works for the local Police Department.
Here's an excerpt from a local News Briefing

"ST. AUGUSTINE, FL -- A neighborhood in St. Augustine has been evacuated and part of U.S. 1 is closed due to a SWAT situation.A man has barricaded himself inside a home in the North City Gates area, just north of downtown St. Augustine.The incident began before 4 p.m. when authorities went to the home to serve a warrant on a violation of probation charge.Sheriff David Shoar says the suspect threatened officers, closed the door to his home and armed himself with a handgun.Shoar says the suspect had a prior conviction of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.Authorities don't believe anyone else is inside the home.Investigators have made contact with the suspect by phone"


So, I am praying for my husband,
and all the men and women working to get this guy out safely.
I am praying for the guy to.

In the mean time, I'd rather not keep thinking about it.
So I thought I would try to gather some random thoughts and happenings,
and pull up a chair and a keyboard and visit with you all!
My Honey has a hard time sleeping at night,
because he has worked midnight shift for so long.
It doesn't help that sleeping with me lately,
is like sleeping with a human heater.
But, we have made a pact NOT to mention the "M" word,
that is rumored to strike women about my age.


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We are also working together to change our eating habits.
It's so much easier to do while working together.
Towards that goal, several mornings this week,
he has used that early morning time,
to make me breakfast in bed.
He is such a keeper!


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On another note, this past weekend I was sweeping the floors,
and mentally calculating (read worrying)
on various issues and challenges.

As I listened to myself, I made a determination to STOP.
Instead I decided to give thanks to God.
right then and right there,
outloud in my Laundry Room.

"Lord, thank You that life is sooo much more than paychecks,
paydays, raises, mortages, new tires.
It is so much more than vet bills, really cute blouses and shoes at Bealls.
I am so glad that You love me, and my husband, our sons.
Thank You Lord that Your hand of blessing is with us always,
leading and guiding, teaching and protecting.
Thank You Lord, that you made life about You,
about Love, Faith, Hope, Sweetness, Strength, Courage, Redemption.
Forgive me, Lord for making life about anything t
hat is just going to melt away one day.
One sweet day, when all things will be made new.
Teach me, Lord to be more focused on You, and what's eternal.
I Love YOU, Lord, and I really didn't need those shoes anyway!
I have got so much more important treasures around me."


"Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy,
and where thieves break through and steal.
But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy,
and where thieves do not break through and steal;"
Matthew 6:19-20
Love you guys!

Contest Winners!



Is it just me? Or does it seem like time is flying?
That is not a long time ago.
But, so MUCH has happened in such a short span,
that it seems like forever ago!
Anywhoooo, yesterday was the deadline.
Last night I wrote down everyone's names.
Cut the names, and folded the strips of paper up.
My youngest son picked 2 out, and
Viloa!
We have 2 winners!
Drum roll please! Daaattatataatta...
And the winners are:
She wanted this one:
And, the 2nd winner is:

Julie at Joyful Days!

I just need to get the addresses, and get to the post office!
I am so excited!
This is great fun!

I will be having another drawing in February!
So be on the look out!


Here are some of my thoughts from the 11th as to why the giveaway.
"But, while I came to blogging to give,
it has truly given back to me.
I have been encouraged, laughed my head off,
sometimes choked-up, and learned;
all these things and more.
You ladies who visit, and write your own blogs,
and share your inspiring and humorous thoughts are such a blessing
and what you do, does makes a great difference!"


Still true today!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Living Outside the Box!



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"The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible)
was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve)
the works the devil [has done]."
1 John 3:8b

When I was a child I LOVED to be barefoot.
I can remember a phase my Mama went through,
trying to keep me in shoes while I played outside.
Yeah, good luck with that!
I was in love with being free outdoors.
I tended to really push the envelope in all areas...


When I came to Christ,
(you know that sounds so sanitary, it wasn't!),
my favorite part was GRACE!
It gave me such giddy hope to understand,
that the reason I never felt worthy when I prayed,
or when I thought of God, is guess what?!
It's not possible for me to be worthy!
I really would never be able to follow enough rules!
What a wonderful thing to finally clear up!


Someone else was pointman, someone else was my bailbondsman,
and my attorney, someone else had gone before me!
And made things good for me.
That kind of grace was what I needed to know and understand.
There really was NO HOPE that anything I WOULD EVER do,
would be good enough!
Phew! What a relief!
Now, OUT OF GRATITUDE I offer the good things to Him,
as He leads and empowers me!
This is a relatonship that can work for me!
It was never about what I could do to get to Him.
It was always about what He has done to get to me!

Last year, a few women and I went through the Bible letting God teach us,
"Knowing God As Our Covering".


Christmas evening I was hanging out in the cozy afterglow,
with my husband and sons.
I thought about the coming year and Bible Study, and pondered.
I felt strongly impressed that it was time to shift gears,
and to study the Life of Jesus in the Gospels.
You know, What Would Jesus Do?
But without the sappy pop-culture take on it.
The unvarnished truth, without religiosity painted over it.
Well, last night was our first class.
We meet here, every other Monday night.
We gab, drink coffee, pray and then dive in.
We have a blast!


I am always silly giddy when everyone goes home,
and I stay up too late because I am SO JAZZED!
My BFF has encouraged me to post these, at least in summary,
because who knows?
Someone might like to join in their own home, at their own pace!
So here goes.

We did a general look at some of the highpoints,
in the first chapter of each of the four Gospels.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
And we saw some intersting things.
Each of the Gospels starts off
introducing the various unorthodox ways Jesus approached us.
Like in Matthew 1,
it is recorded the Gentile women in His lineage, along with the Hebrew.
Including the women who had a colorful past,
I mean, Rahab, Tamara? Really?
Are you sure, Jesus?
YUP!
And according to the Hebrew custom,
there really was no reason to record the women,
the lineage was ALL about who the father was...
But, He wanted to make sure all of us women would feel welcome,
and included.
And to understand that the past, in Him, IS the past.
Not the Now, not the Future!
Love that!
Mark 1
And then there was his very strange, off-beat cousin,
who was chosen to be the one,
who would be the "voice crying in the wilderness",
going before Him,
preparing hearts for His arrival.
Luke 1
We meet John The Baptist's parents. Religious. Righteous. Good people.
People who had given up on the dream of having a child. A couple who saw themselves
(and were seen) as an old couple, who was barren.
Boy, wasn't everybody surprised when God chose THEM
to be the parents of the prophesied forerunner to Christ?
When their dusty dream was resurrected!

Then there's John 1.
"In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him;
and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life;
and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness;
and the darkness comprehended it not."


He came like this:


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People were looking for this:

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In summary, right off the bat,

we see that He purposefully came through,

not an unimpeachable lineage.

But, the sort we could all relate to.

Flawed. Like us.

He showed us Our Heavenly Father's DNA

covers whatever tainted DNA we bring or brought to the table.

He came heralded by a strange, strange man,

born to an odd and surprising couple.

Not who the religious establishment would have thought to be the

"voice crying in the widlerness".

He was and is The Word. The Final Word.

He's The Original Think Outside The Box Guy!


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What's Your Box?

He wants to help you bust out!

And run barefoot through life!

4 Things!



Julie from Joyful Days has tagged me! It's the 4 Things Meme.
You should visit hers, she took a twist that I really liked, I almost did it.
Ok, ready to snore yet?
4 Jobs You've had in Your Life
1)My first job was at a donut shop, I STUNK at making change.
I got fired after a few months. That REALLY hurt my pride,ego, the whole thing.
I have since recovered! :)
2) I was a maid at a motel.
3) I worked in an administrative capacity for 19 years in law enforcement.
I was tremendously blessed in this job.
As I get older and wiser I can see a lot more clearly just how blessed I was.
Distance does that.
4) I worked for 1 year in retail during my career in law enforcement.
To pay for oral surgery and braces.
And believe it or not, that is all the jobs I have had! I have to say, in my 19 years in law enforcement, I was fortunate to learn and do so many different things, that it sure felt like a whole lot more jobs!
4 Movies that You Would Watch Over & Over
This is fairly easy!
1) Lord of the Rings (my husband never tires of these
& I am a huge Tolkien fan, so it's all good)
2) The Last Holiday. This is just a great feel good movie.
3) Big Trouble in Little China. I have watched this with my hubby so many times! It is a hoot!
4) Jack Frost with Michael Keaton! Love this story! It was a movie that I enjoyed and so did my youngest, so for years, we had a tradition of finishing school for the day and sitting and watching this sometime during the first cold weather every year.
4 TV Shows That You Watch or Use to Watch
1) Stargate SG1 - This was somthing we all loved to watch in our house!
We were sad to see it go!
2) 7th Heaven (my youngest & I would watch episodes we saved on Tivo on nights when my husband worked. It gave us lots of opportunity to talk about important stuff and we loved it!).
3) Psych - Laugh out Loud Funny! And NEVER rude!
4) Monk! Same goes!
(btw if it wasn't for Tivo, I don't know how we would ever watch TV!)
4 Places You Have Lived
1) You all, this is so un21st Century,
but I have ONLY ever lived in this town. Born here, never moved!
4 Vacations I have Had
1) Disney Contemporary Resort, concierge floor for several days and nights
2) Camping in Tennessee Smokey Mountains - near Gatlinburg. Lots of fun.
3) Cabin in same area. Lots of fun!
4) Blue Springs - can you guess? Yes, camping!
4 Websites You Visit Daily
1) My friends blogs
2) Biblegateway (usually)
3) Photobucket (usually)
4) Sitemeter
4 of Your Favorite Foods
(Depending on my mood)
1) Steak or Roast Beef
2) Really nice quality dark chocolate truffles
3) My Mama's greens - OMG(osh) they are heavenly!!
4) My sil's pumpkin cheesecake! Ummmm!
4 Places You Would Rather Be Right Now
1) The Keys with my Honey!
2) Vacation with Honey and son in Washington, DC. We keep trying to get there.
3) Extend that vacation to include a trip to New York City.
4) Any of the beautiful national parks we have, Yellowstone etc.
4 People You Are Tagging!

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Cup Runneth Over! & I Wanna Share!



It's funny how things work out for the best!
Last week and over the weekend,
I was really blessed with some sweet awards and tags.
I was unable to respond promptly, like I would prefer.
But, God knew best!
Now I get to go around spreading cheer on a cold, cold Monday!
Now THAT is cool!
Renee' at 2 Peas in a Pod (Love that name!) shared some love with me,
through these two awards she very deservingly received! Renee can be counted on for tasty & simple recipes (my fav kind), book reviews and much more! She is a peach, too!
I am going to follow her example and pass them on,
together, just like she did!
Sharon at Sit With Me Awhile, her blog is such an oasis of faith on the net!
She has a word of humor, faith and truth for every occasion!
Karen at Karen's Ramblings. Her blog is a gathering place for women seeking truth on the web. She is very much the proverbial City on the Hill!
Cecily, at My Chaos My Bliss! The world IS short on good clean fun! But, chicks who visit Cecily are NOT! I can ALWAYS count on Cecily to give me in great big whooping heaps, laughter! The kind being a wife, a mother brings! She is clever, witty & wry, and I love her dearly!
Heidi, at God's Grace in Practice, Her blog is an absolute buffet of recipes, and various interesting and though provoking topics!
By the way, the Rock the Crib Award originated from Nap Warden.
And Loveable Blog Award originated by Lena. Thanks to you both for great ideas!
Alright you all! Happy Monday!

You Encourage Me to Follow in His Footsteps!


My New Zealand friend, Karen,
has designed a beautiful award.
Here are her thoughts and motivations for this award.
"What is on my heart this morning is Encouragement. A word of hope or affirmation is a real blessing to building one another up - with the view of leading us closer to God.I have been really encouraged, inspired, challenged and stirred up by a lot of posts that I have read. They have drawn me closer to God, desiring to follow in His Footsteps more and more."
Isn't this a sweet and thoughtful award? Karen is like that.
She is a real exhorter and a great giver.
She pours herself out to encourage others through what she has or is dealing with,
in a manner that points to Christ.
I would like to pass this on,
(she gave it to several I would have included).
1) Back to you, Karen!
Because I can always count on a prophetic word from the Lord through your site.
And maybe a good laugh to boot! Thank you for being faithful to the Lord!
2) Julie at Joyful Days. She is such a serene and yes, joy-filled hostess! She has something of everything and always is a gracious and grace-filled hostess! I love her easy and thoughtful way. It is always a comfort to visit her site, and a joy to read her comments.
3) Leslie at Do You Weary Like I Do? I know you all have heard me say before, I go to her site everyday, even if I don't have time to blog usually. She has such love for her Jesus, it is challenging and contagious. I am not so obvious with mine, it is just my personality. So I need people like her to help me out this way! I can be sure that her post will point me to Christ, so she goes great with coffee! I heart you, Leslie! :)
4) Karen at Surviving Motherhood, she is a sweetie and completely devoted to the Lord and her family. How can you go wrong with that?
5) Tiffany at Southern Sass. Tiffany is the epitome of southern charm and grace
(all the best parts, Ya'll! ). She reflects the Godly desire to serve God through making a grace-filled home and loving environment for her family.
6) Mel at Mel's World. She is a breathtaking whirlwind of zeal and enthusiasm for living for Christ. Lots of fun and very uplifting!
7) And my latest find I have to say I found through Sharon at Sit With Me Awhile, (who I would certainly have awarded, but Karen got to her first! LOL!), Nicki is a young wife and mother and she is younger than I was when I got saved, and knows so much more at such an early age. Should the Lord tarry, I hope I get to see her go far and wide and deep for the Lord! You will love the title, Three Girly Girlz!
I really don't have a bloggy friend who doesn't encourage me to
"follow in His footsteps".
I am ever so ridiculously blessed to have so many wonderful bloggy friends!
The people I have mentioned here, are the ones that I can click on even when I maybe can't focus or press in, because of time or state of mind, and KNOW that I will be drawn near to Christ and it will be impossible to miss Him while I visit with them.
If there is a blog you haven't seen or heard of before,
please do yourself a favor & check it out & introduce yourself!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How's Your Vision? Are You Sure?


"Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
Proverbs 29:18


In circles of Christians, the first half of this scripture is quoted fairly often.
I do not ever recall hearing the second half quoted with it.
But, maybe that's my bad.


Anyway, obviously this vision has something to do with His Word
(i.e. he that keepth the law, happy is he)!


The Strongs Concordance says that the Hebrew for this use of vision
translates into:

prophecy, oracles (as from God) a dream, a revelation, a sight.
Would you say that this vision that we will perish without,
MUST come from revelation from God's Word?
Yeah, me too! ;)
I am so grateful for what He reveals to us
through His Word, by His Holy Spirit.
Last January I started a home Bible Study for women,
on the topic of "Knowing God as our Covering."
It has been such a blessing in so many ways.

But, the first thing that happened, as I started studying the topic in Genesis,
is I "stumbled across" something I never knew.
And it has impacted my faith every since.
I just "see it" and hear the echoes of the impact all the time.
2008
As we go into the year of 2008,
many of us are considering the desires, dreams and burdens of our hearts.
And we are looking forward,
then looking around us,
and seeing a w-i-d-e gap.
Many times, wider than we would like,
between where we are NOW,
and how we live,
and
where and how we WANT to be living.
Solution
I'd like to offer the thought,
that we need to

look into God more,
into His Word more,
to get our vision and our heart right.

As we press into Him this way,
He works out things inside of us.
The work He does within us,
brings us into a place,
where we can then be trusted with the desires of our heart.

We all know that
"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick:
but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12.

And we look (rightly so) to
Psalms 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the LORD:
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

But, HOW do we delight in Him?
I mean, in WHAT way is He looking for us to do that?

Six times in the Psalms, that delight is referred to as time in His Word.

Here is the first time,
Psalm 1:2-3
"But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

See, delight in His word, and success follows,
not because it is a magic formula,
but BECAUSE He CHANGES us;
our desires, motives, and our VISION!!

If you doubt the connection of our vision,
let me take you back to that revelation
I got in studying Genesis last January.

I pray it explodes like a shining light for you...

In Genesis 2 we're told Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed.
The absence of a sin nature made them at ease in their bareness,
because they were pure of heart.

They did not have the conflict of spirit over flesh.
But the best part is what "unashamed" means in the original Hebrew
as it was recorded here.
It means they weren't delayed, disappointed or dry!

Their sin nature is what changed their viewpoint
(and thus our viewpoint) of what they saw.

See, Vs 25 of Ch 2 says they were not ashamed,

and then as soon as they eat that fruit,
vs 7 of Ch 3 says,

And the eyes of them both were opened,
and they knew that they were naked;
and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”

The FIRST thing that happened when they developed a sin nature,
and lost that wonderful quality of being at ease in their bareness,
and being pure of heart, is they NOW saw with their natural eyes only.


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The study of the word “opened” shows this particular use of the word
is seldom, and specific to the opening of the senses, especially the eyes.

It's when we became lost creatures truly.

It now required FAITH; faith in what we could no longer see,
for us to be connected with God.
We all know we were severed spiritually from that vital connection with God then.

We had entered a state that made us dependant on our 5 natural senses,
whereas to move in the things that really matter,
we MUST rely on our spiritual ability to see things God’s way.

What way is that?

Hebrews 11:1
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.”
This verse just means so much more to me now, how about you?

What happened to Adam and Eve,
is their view was now physical, limited and distorted/skewed.

Their viewpoint brought shame, disappointment & delay, dryness.

To say in vs 25 Ch 2 that “they were not ashamed”,

and then to say their “eyes were opened” after eating the fruit.

And that they "knew" they were naked,

and they immediately started sewing fig leaves,

and hid from God’s presence, shows the presence of shame,

which means the presence of disappointment and DELAY, dryness.

Today we STILL suffer the distorted, limited view of our natural eyes.

God HAS restored to us the ability to see with our spiritual eyes –

which is to see the end from the beginning,

to see the order, the plan, the purpose –

to be at ease & NOT be disappointed –

NOT to be delayed, NOT to be dry!

But it requires the renewal of our mind (Romans 12)

and effort, to apply ourselves to the disciplines of faith.

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Adam & Eve now saw a view with their natural eye

– eye is compared to fountain in the Hebrew.

As I thought about this, I thought “Odd, fountains give out – eyes take in,"

but, as I considered the eye – when it sees with its natural sight

the natural, temporal conditions, and then reports those findings to our mind,

the mind and body then respond accordingly.

{i.e. the eye as a fountain, feeds the data it “sees” to the mind,

and the mind then tells the body what to do}.

That is what our carnal man does.

It's only NATURAL! :)


What God wants us to do, what we need to do,


is let our spirit man be so strong;


in the presence of the Lord in our life,

the Word at work in us, that we are not moved by what our natural eye sees

(which would bring delay, dryness, disappointment).

What Does this Look Like? How Does it Work?

Instead of being moved by our outward circumstances,

we merely take what that eye sees as a weather report,

so to speak, subject to change!

Then we let the Holy Spirit minister to us the Word for that particular situation,

and cause faith to flow in the spoken word from our mouth (Romans 10:9-10),

so that we are speaking life, speaking God’s truth,

speaking God’s healing, justice, mercy, provision, order,

whatever the case may be.

He IS all - sufficient.

What Jesus purchased for us includes the ability to have our mind renewed,

and our spirit having been transformed by the new birth,

gives us the ability to be able to learn to SEE like Him again

the end from the beginning,

the order, the purpose,

our view is enlarged to see the BIG PICTURE!

Ask God how your vision is.

We often suffer from a limited view point.

Hannah did, Abraham and Sarah did.

Only when they could see things God's way did they get their dream.

Check out these scriptures for yourself.

Dare to let God renew your mind!

You probably, (as big as you think your dream is), have limited Him!

So, how's your vision? Little fuzzy? Yeah, me too!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Archive Tag! Who's Next?

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Hi, Ya'll! Missed you!
I am sooooo sorry to have been away so long!
All I can say is I am surrounded by high-maintenance men ,
and it has left no time or mental capacity to blog!
It will take me a few days to get back on track completely.
I hope you all will bear with me!
In the meantime my dear bloggy friend,
Leslie at Do You Weary Like I Do? has tagged me, with the Archive Meme.
I am really gateful for this (Thanks, Leslie! :))
because it gives me a chance to bring out some old stuff,
and stuff that isn't old, but I just like it!

So, here is my list, in the order that Leslie says the game is played:
1) Family - The Guys, 2) Friends - The Power of Fellowship,
3) Something about me - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly,
4) Something I love, Butterflies and Romance!
5) Anything - Love is All You Need!
I hope you enjoy these!
And now I am supposed to tag 5 people.
Enjoy! !

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mmmmm, What's that Sweet Smell? Is that Victory?


"But thanks be to God,
Who in Christ always leads us in triumph
[as trophies of Christ's victory]
and through us
spreads and makes evident the fragrance
of the knowledge of God everywhere,"
2 Corinthians 2:14
How's it going out there for everybody today?
Everything good? No?
Everything a little,
Oh, I dunno, maybe not bad, maybe just a little zany?
A little off?
Not to fear!
We got the victory!
Who's got the victory?
We got the victory!
That's right!
Uh-huh! Uh-huh!
And we smell good too!
Ok, Ya'll! I haven't flipped really!
Today I have been just a little scattered,
amongst several different tasks.
Not really feeling like I am giving my best to most of them,
(But some, I think I hit out of the park!),
which is ironically what I wanted to post about today (distractions) -
but, that will have to keep until tomorrow! :)
Anywho, the scripture above, came in a devotional,
in my e-mail last night.
And at the time, I didn't have time to read it,
I was hangin' with the hubby!
But, the scripture must've just snuck in,
and grabbed a hold of my heart!
This morning it jumped to the forefront,
when I was reading a post on this new blog I have found,
and I have wanted to post it and share it with you all every since.
It has been the dickens of time to get here long enough to post it though!
I don't have any deep thoughts to add to it, I think it speaks for itself!
I like it so much, I am gonna end with it!
Hmmm, what's that you're wearing? It smells good!

"But thanks be to God,
Who in Christ always leads us in triumph
[as trophies of Christ's victory]
and through us
spreads and makes evident the fragrance
of the knowledge of God everywhere,"
2 Corinthians 2:14



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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Spread the Love Award



Sharon, at Sit With Me Awhile, received this charming and sweet award.

Since Sharon goes around the Blog World spreading the love,

and encouraging women in the truth of God,

I think it is wonderful that she was given this award.

Congratulations to you, Sharon!

In true Sharon fashion, she has spread the love again! She shared this award with me, and a couple of others.

(which was exceedingly generous of you, Sharon! Thank you again!)

The very best part of these is getting to give the award to others, I love this part!

The award originated by Mica, at Garb-oodles Soup, a very lovely Victorian blog.

Without further ado, I would like to give this award to :

Julie at Joyful Days, because she is such a gracious bloggy hostess, a great bloggy friend!

Leslie at Do You Wear Like I Do?, because she has been a terrific friend and blessing to me in all things faith, family, and to do with the raising of sons!

Tiffany at Southern Sass, because she really shows the love in her comments,

and excitement over blogs that are important to her. Like me she is excited when one bloggy friend discovers another. I love that kind of excitement!

And Regina at Regina's Family Seasons. I just recently discovered her blog, and she is such a cool chick who seems to really cultivate that sense of community, and to endeavour to bring out the best in those around her. I admire those qualities greatly!

I hope that you will go check out Sharon's place,

she always digs up good treasures from the Heart of God,

as He is dealing with and speaking to her.

And do check out one or two of these others listed. You will not be disappointed,

they all have great stuff on a regular basis.

Thanks for spreading the love, all of you!

What Mama Said Would Would Happen if You Swallow Your Bubble Gum!


What were all those women thinking anyway?
Kidding, Ya'll!
Hey, Eat Your Cauliflower! It'll put romance in your life! Tee-Hee!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Year of Romance - January!

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Wow! It's finally here!

Since December, I have been, and I am hoping YOU have been,
thinking about what romance means to you.
And what form of romance do you and your mate gravitate towards?


If you haven't had time to think about it...don't stress about it.

You can start now...

the biggest thing I hope we will all do,
is not let the pressures of life
cause us to put it on cruise control.


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Think about it, the people I have met on-line,
care about their kids,
and maintaining a home that provides warmth, love, and stability.

People who work to make a home that is a refuge
and that people feel welcome in.

We also seem to understand that our finances won't take care of themselves,
and neither will our bodies, and neither will those dishes,
or the oil change that is due for the car.

We have to bring that same attitude to marriage.

Marriage is such a gift and a wonderful blessing,
and everyone of us knows that.

But, it's just so stinkin' easy to put off
the things we can do to enrich and maintain it,
because we think it's a luxury item to spend that extra $20-40,
or take that extra time away
from all that needs doing, and the children.
Or worse, we think, "oh, we'll do it next week, or next month..."

At least we do when we are under time pressures,
and or financial pressures.

What's on my heart is, for myself and anyone else who is interested in joining me,
working to change that mindset.

We have been as guilty of it as anybody.
Our problem is we are really good at doing the simple things,
and it's real easy to 'rest on those laurels',
if you know what I mean.


So, enough about that whys, I am going to to tell you a little of
what my romancing has been looking like since December 19th!

If you haven't read that post, just click here.

On my anniversary, as I was pondering,
I felt the Lord impress on my heart, in very light-hearted way,
that this would be The Year of Romance.

Now, to put it in perspective, the previous year had a theme also,
but that's for another time! :)


I felt impressed, that there were 12 months,
and that was room for at least 12 different occassions,
that my Honey and I would connect in a fresh way,
out of the normal routine.
And our marriage would be the sweeter for it,
and so would the fruit of our marriage,
because that is what a good marriage should do.


Well, people who really know me, know I am not romantic,
but I DO adore romance! It's a weird combination, but it's true!

To be honest, romance is so much something I NEVER thought about,
that I didn't know that about myself until that day, December 19th 2007.
I just didn't think about it!
What I discovered during these past 4 weeks, as I looked back over our marriage, is
My Honey was always the one who took the initiative at the romantic area.
Now, I am really good at acts of service and purchases,
gifts, words, and such, to show love...

but, to break out of the routine,
and make the purpose be just to focus on each other,
for a little while.
Not so good at that.

So, that said, I immediately (being the task oriented person I am)
conjured up the "perfect date" for the first month!
First, let me share a scripture with you:
"Many plans are in a man's mind,
but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand."
Proverbs 19:21

I have to laugh looking back, because in typical Maria fashion,
even though he didn't seem all that thrilled with the choice,
I "KNEW" that's what he would really like to do,
because we had spoken of doing it many times!
In just a little while he would certainly realize that!

(Ya'll, we think we are not control freaks,
but I promise you, it hides in us!
It is disguised!)


At first, as the days went by,
and he really sort of dug in his heels over my choice,
in that indirect way, that a good man can.
I was completely stumped, and puzzled...

"Lord? Isn't this what you said do-focus on romance,
take time for each other?
This isn't like him, he always has been interested in this."


And I just felt to wait and be at peace. Here's what happened,
and its really several little things, and I am really SO tickeled,
because I KNOW the Lord is teaching me
about myself, about us, and just life!

These things are going to seem very mundane and simple,
but that's where we are at,

and it really has blessed us so far...
it's a process, a progression, not a destination.

1) First of all, we did not go on my "perfect & simple date"!

2) He did take me out to a simple dinner at Crispers,
(I could have chosen something more extravagent, didn't want to)
just the two of us, twice in the last month.
We talked, flirted, one time we went shopping afterwards,
and one time went for a drive.

3) What God showed me is: Honey, well, he likes to initiate in regards to this!
And in this area, I am very passive,
so this will make the next months interesting,
as we focus on this topic!

4) We have started doing the tread mill almost every day,
first him, then me.

We flirt, giggle, make jokes and generally act like teenagers...
who are dreadfully out of shape! :)

5) I will tell you this little anecdote,
just to show you how simple it can be,
to make them the focus, not Abby or Gabby!
Not the mortage or drum practice, not blogging, but them!

My husband LOVES cauliflower. My youngest thinks it's an alien plague!
Recently, I purchased some cauliflower,
and planned a meal that would have items my husband would expect,
and that would feed my youngest.

And as a surprise made the cauliflower, on the side.

He didn't know until he sat down to dinner.
Our youngest was off, skating with friends.
My Honey was so surprised and appreciatitve,

well, we had to go have a celebration after dinner!

I have made him cauliflower plenty of times, Ya'll!
But this time, there was mystery, surprise, and he was the clear focus.

Now we joke that cauliflower is more of an aphrodisiac than oysters!
Like I have said before, I am not aiming to set the world on fire,
just to keep the homefires burning, Ya'll!
Keep the fun, the mystery, the freshness of
getting to share life together!
And it is my equal hope that it will encourage and inspire you!


I am so hopeful that I will get to learn with you all!
I can't wait for the good things, Ya'll will have to inspire with
& that we can maybe laugh together about!

I mean, cauliflower, Ya'll!! Really?

If you are interested in posting your own journey into The Year of Romance,
feel free to sign Mr Linky, grab the button
(sorry - I don't know how to put text on the button),





Friday, January 18, 2008

Which Peanuts Character Are You?



Which Peanuts Character Are You?

You are Charlie Brown. You are always optimistic and persistent, and everyone appreciates your simple sweetness. Sometimes, however, your anxieties get the best of you, and life's mysteries can confuse you.



Ooopps! Is that you rolling on the floor laughing at my results?
Ha! That's whachya get! :)
I saw this over Pink Dot,
and thought it's the absolute perfect thing for Friday morning,
when we are all a little stumped by the remaining to-do list for this week,
and the looming to-do list of the weekend!
Give it a try it's fun!
This click will take you directly to the test, so you don't have to hunt for it!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meet the Robinsons! (Keep Moving Forward!)

I just have to tell you all about this movie,
in case you didn't see it yet.
I don't know if it was timing, or just me,
or maybe one of those grace-filled moments ,
where God reaches out and touches you ,
when are aren't expecting it.
You're just licking your wounds and moving forward.


Last week when I posted about the Goodness of God,
I mentioned a situation that was very painful,
and it was painful in an already raw spot.
It had to do with my son and the Praise & Worship Team he is on as a whole.
They were at a state of transition and those times
often come disguised as strife,
and can be mistaken for something less than what is truly going on.
I know I was fooled!
I was one HOT MAMA!
& I do not mean in the Victoria's Secret way, Ya'll!


So, the next day, we took time to watch this movie,
which we had both been looking forward to seeing for a quite a while.
Meet the Robinsons! God bless Walt Disney!
We watched it again this morning,
just because I wanted to see if I would see the seem good points,
and I have to say, I found more today! Weird!
Anyway, I don't want to spoil the movie,
but the big theme is that you learn from your failures,
more than you do from your successes!
There is a line that you will become familiar with,
Keep Moving Forward.
And, it encompasses not only moving past failure,
and taking the next step forward,
but there is also a key element that comes in late,
relating to chosing to forgive, and let it go and (of course)
move forward!
Now, don't get me wrong, it IS just a fun movie,
you can totally just enjoy watching it (we did!)
But, if you ever wanted to watch a movie,
which illustrated these points, this is it!
"I do not consider, brethren,
that I have captured and made it my own [yet];
but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]:
forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal
to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize
to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward."
Philippians 3:13-14
To top it off, later that day, while my son went about his school work,
I stopped over to Sharon's at Sit With Me a While,
She had a whole inspirational post about the SAME THING!
Oh, yeah! btw, that thing with my son & the whole team?
Not only was forgiveness on all sides the next time they all saw each other (Sunday Morning),
but the little children kept asking them to play more music, play more music, they did not want to stop worshipping and praising!
This past Tuesday night at practice,
there were so many good things going on,
it was clear to see that God IS at Work!
It's a good thing we decided to Keep Moving Forward!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Year of Romance!

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This is my week to feel inadequate to the task of blogging it appears!
I ask that you all think kindly towards me,
because I'm battling that "What were you thinking?" mentality right now.
But, wait a minute, this is the blog,
where we try to not take ourselves too seriously, right?
OK, then. It's all in good fun! Phew!
If you did not read my anniversary post,
you can click here for the entirety or, just read pertinent parts below.


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"Anywhooo, towards that end, I am going to be doing a monthly post about
The Romance Challenge.
AND, I am hoping some of you will join me,
in gifting ourselves and our spouses
with more of us.
More of us tuned in to each other,
just a wee bit,
instead of the teen-angst,
instead of the teething, potty-training, and homework.
Because life DOES challenge us to give this time and energy up,
its about the first thing to go.
The intent is to inspire each other, even if you don't sign up.
Like everything else our Bloggy Community does,
It's just a little inspiring, a little laughter, a little cathartic! That's all!"


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And:
"Now, this does not mean we will be taking long weekend getaways,
that is not our budget/lifestyle right now...
But, we have always known how to have cheap,
(I'm sorry, should that have been economical?) easy fun.
Thank the Good Lord!
But, since we've always known how,
we also take it for granted.
I perceive we are at a transitional time.
(Aren't we always?)
And this is the right thing, the fun thing to do for us,
and for our kids.
They NEED to see us make this effort"



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The goal is not to set the world on fire here, Ya'll!
But, to keep those home fires burning!
So, drum roll please.........
I will be posting on or near the 19th of every month
(because that is our anniversary!).
My posts will be about how romance is working for us this year,
and in years past. There will be other bits and pieces, as it seems right at the time.
Over the course of the year,
I plan to build a link list on the side bar of places you may want to visit.
And another of books I have read or you have read and recommended.


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If you are interested in participating, here is the criteria:
1. Keep it "G", Ya'll!!
We don't want to know about the messy details! :)
We can figure it out!
As they say, leave a little to the imagination!
2. If you decide to pursue your romantic adventures via outings, the ones you post about are limited in this way: they must be simple, economical, and even as close to free as possible. With the following exception:
3. The exception to number 2 is that each participant
can post about 2 "special" outings,
which maybe of a more spectacular nature,
a getaway that would require budgeting, etc.
We don't need to know how you did it
(unless that seems important to you to share),
we can just be happy for you that you were able!
4. No one "has" to do number 3. (or anything else either!)
Let's face it, some years we just are more fiscally challenged than others -
but that does not have to stop the romance!
5. That we remember at all times,
we are just regular people trying to "make it" in life.
And have great, fulfilling marriages while we do it.
Because, "Two are better than one,
because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor;
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls
and has not another to lift him up!"
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
6. Have fun, don't stress, think of what would be pleasing to your spouse,
because they usually get all the pressure to please us in romance.
7. Think outside the box! Whatever Your particular Box is!
8. You can choose to do your post on or around the 19th,
or if you prefer you can use your anniversary date.

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All that is left is to consider if this is something that sounds like fun

for you and your guy!

If it does, and if you feel like sharing,
as a way to inspire (and entertain!) others,
then plan to post on or around the 19th, come here & sign Mr Linky,
leave a comment, and in your comment,
please vote for which graphic image (used in this post)
you prefer for our button.
On Saturday, when I do my first post,
I will announce the graphic which will be our button.
Toodles!

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!