Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Leftover Hodgepodge


1.  What's something blogging has taught you about yourself?

For me, blogging is cathartic
1. providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions.
2. a medicine that causes the bowels to be purged.  
I guess it's a way to spill my guts.  HA!  It's good for me to write out my thoughts...especially as I'm normally inclined to say things I shouldn't.  Many times I write things I never post just to get the thoughts out and organized.  

2.  Leftovers...are you in the 'reheat and eat' camp or the 'put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them' camp? What's your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?
We had potpie filling (peas, carrots, turkey, gravy) over biscuits using leftovers before we headed home from my parents' house.  The leftovers stayed with my family so I don't have to deal with them.  I do enjoy frying mashed potato cakes...sort of an easy latke.  I'm tempted to make mashed potatoes so I can do that...ha.

3. 'Me time'...your thoughts?
I think it's all too often an excuse for selfishness.  It sounds like a nice thing...but it's often a showing of discontent.  It makes me think of "You will know whether you have the heart of a servant by how you act when you're treated like one."  If you clamor for "me time"...then you're thinking of yourself. "Only two choices on the shelf...pleasing others, or pleasing self."  Now, before anyone yells at me...  I know that it's important to spend time alone and rejuvenate.  There's nothing inherently wrong with having "me time" and often you'll be a better wife, mom, etc. for that time alone.  But...usually... when I hear women talk about 'me time' they aren't simply mentioning a good stewardship of their time alone so they can steward their time with others better...they are usually complaining.

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
I have a few friends who come to me for advice when life is hard...because they know I will point them to the Truth of God's Word...gently but firmly.  Often, this is hard and not without risk to the friendship...but they don't want someone to whisper what they want to hear...and our friendships have actually been stronger for it.  They are generally people that I go to when life is hard because I know they will point me to Truth too.

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.
Lilacs...I used to play in huge lilac trees as a little girl for hours and hours.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
My re-entry schedule from Thanksgiving has been nutso.  My last counseling training class was Monday (9a-9p) and then I didn't stop moving yesterday and yet, still didn't get things in order.  I think maybe I don't multi-task as well as I used to...and I get distracted easily.  *squirrel*  I need to get out my little fridge printable that says..."I will live by a standard of grace, not perfection."  Beating myself up is getting old.  It is not living according to the standard God sets for me...so I'm striving to please someone or thing, other than God, when I act that way.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanks Hodgepodge

1. Tradition...how tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma's, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.? Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?
We switch between my side of the family and my husband's side of the family each year.  Each side has it's own, very different, traditions.  Lately, it seems, I am the pie baker!  Transporting pies is a trick!  This year it's seven pies going six hours!  Generally, we celebrate Thankmas the day following Thanksgiving...because we won't see that side for Christmas.  Last year, because we moved in the Fall, our parents (both sides) blessed us with coming to us for the holidays.  That was nice.  This year, it's back to traveling!  I'm kinda looking forward to it...ROAD TRIP!

2. Help...is it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?
I am a do it yourself-er...much to my chagrin and dismay.  I think I'm getting better at asking for help but I'm still likely to take on too much, get overwhelmed and not reach out for help.  Part of this is due to the fact that I'm a perfectionist...or control freak, *ahem*.  I like it done my way.  I notice that as I'm now teaching my children daily household chores...I'm finally beginning to loosen my grip on many things.  

3. Abundance...what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?
PIES!

4. Name...the smallest thing you're thankful for? the biggest?
My niece and nephew are the smallest things I'm thankful for...and I am anxious to kiss their cheeks and play with them!  The biggest...oh, I am overwhelmed with God's goodness to us this year...but I think the biggest thing is Darren's successful back surgery...How God saw fit to restore my husband's health and mobility!  

5. Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?
A focus on true stewardship...in it's focus of God owns everything and I own nothing.  Everything I have, God has entrusted to me.  I can either increase or decrease what I have.  God wants me to increase it.  I can be called into account at anytime, and it could be today.  It is a perspective I need to keep all the year through.

6. State your own random thought here.

I'm super excited to now own a rice cooker.  I'm hoping to use it to stretch food at our church potlucks.  In a university town we go through food...fast.  I'm also going through a "rice phase" because one of my dear friends has corrupted me.  I had no idea there were so many different kinds of rice...and they are all wonderful...and so different!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Excuse

What comes to mind when you think of the word:  excuse.  Write about it in five minutes or less!
Ready...Set...Go!

Lately I've been struck by the fact that there is a big difference between an apology and asking someone for forgiveness.  Generally, an apology is an "I'm sorry"...but with no owning of bad behavior.  It is empty and full of excuses.  It also leaves the wronged person with very little to say or do...and with a clear understanding that the other person is far from sorry.  

There is a better way.  If we first acknowledge that we have sinned:  "I was wrong"  followed by 2.identifying that specific sin in it's biblical name:  "What I did was selfish, rude, dishonest..." and then 3.identify a biblical behavior to demonstrate our resolve to repent..."I should have been clearer"  or "The next time I will tell the truth no matter how afraid I am of the consequences"  and then finally "Will you forgive me?"  Measuring ourselves against God's standard for our behavior leaves no room for our excuses.

This truly leads to heart changes...it removes all those awful excuses we make for our bad behavior.  We see our sin FIRST, as WORST, and MOST!  So often we think we can make these excuses as we wait for the other party to be sorry or own their part of the conflict.  That's not what God has called us to...Stop making excuses...truly ask for forgiveness...let God take care of the rest.  

Ephesians 4:32 "Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."

Stop.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Historic Hodgepodge

Moving has taken me out of my comfort zone.  I am very friendly and extroverted...and although I have developed loads of acquaintances in this first year, I often feel uncomfortable.  In many ways, no one really knows me even yet.  It has changed how I extrovert.  I worry I am more surface-y myself as a result...and feel convicted to better invest in friendships.  Proverbs 18:24 really shows the contrast between two types of friends.  I can have loads of acquaintances but still come up empty.  However, even one friend of the second type is a great blessing.  A genuine and authentic friend is someone who sticks closer than a brother.  Since brotherhood is one of the strongest relationships we know...someone who sticks closer than that is a trustworthy friend, indeed.  So, when I feel uncomfortable in this new place, I am thankful for technology and how it allows me to stay connected to my closest sisters in Christ.  And I am thankful for the opportunity to lovingly invest in new friendships here and be a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  God is good and I am comforted.

2. Your least favorite spice?
Lemon Pepper.  I think I get this from my grandmother who can't stand it.  It's not truly lemon or pepper.  It seems artificial somehow.  It overpowers even in small amounts.  I especially don't like it on fish or chicken.

3. What's a small change you'd like to make?
I can think of plenty of big changes I need to make...but small changes?  Well, I guess a small change I'm making to my exercise/diet health plan is to not enter in my exercise.  Someone pointed out to me recently that it creates the wrong mindset or motive for exercise.  I need to exercise because it's good for me...and let the app just log my calories and nutrition.  So far it's worked...I lost two pounds last week.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes? If so, of the homes you've visited which one was your favorite? What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been? Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they're as follows-
Monticello (Jefferson's home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway's home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington's home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)


Have you been to any on the list? Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?
I've been to re-located historic homes.  I'm not sure that counts.  For example, I grew up near Farmers Museum in Cooperstown, NY and they have many old historic buildings there.  I guess the Fenimore Art Mansion across the way is a historic home...although it isn't set up as a home.  A few weekends ago we went to Turkey Run State Park and toured the Lieber Log Cabin on the property... it was relocated to that spot but is really old and amazing!  Huge trees were used to build it...bigger than we have now and woods that are virtually extinct.  I think the Biltmore is close to where my parents live now...hmmm...maybe I need to plan a trip.

5. What's something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?
I think less and less paper will be used...especially in banking and business.  I think that remote controls will no longer be needed with voice command and wearables...especially with so much streaming.  I think that voice command, face recognition, and fingerprint technology is set to make passwords obsolete too.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
It is cold and rainy here today.  Just above freezing.  Kinda wish it was snow.  It will be a perfect day to finish the laundry and get some reading done.  How is the weather where you are?  How are you enjoying it?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tune Tuesday: Revive My Heart

A few lines in this song kept coming to my mind this week.  I haven't sung it in years...so I hunted it down on youtube and wrote out the words.


My nature is a mire beneath my footsteps.
My heart is but the source of all my pride.
Oh God, of power and grace,
I fall before your face.
In mercy grant this wretched soul a heart that you'd revive.

Revive my heart
Revive my heart
I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness
Revive my heart
Revive my heart
That I rejoice in you, O Lord
Revive my heart

I'm overwhelmed how such a Holy Father,
Would stoop to lift one up so small, so weak.
With self denying gaze, I repent of all my ways,
Unworthy of your pity Lord,
Forgiveness now I seek.

Revive my heart
Revive my heart
I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness
Revive my heart
Revive my heart
That I rejoice in you, O Lord
Revive my heart


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sew Saturday: Turtles...

 Here's a sneak peek at a turtle quilt and lovey for a sweet baby boy that was just added to our church family.  Unlike most baby quilts this one is being done FAST and only with what's in my stash.  This sweet couple had a very, VERY fast adoption...and oh, he's such a sweet little peanut.  Sweet is the word of the day, by the way!
 My flash did something strange to the fabric...it's not an olive green...it's more of a true green.  I'm combining pinwheels (my favorite and fast) with this darling turtle flannel I've been hoarding for years.  It's all flannel (front and back) with no batting.  They drape really nicely!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Silence

What comes to mind when you think of the word: silence.  Write about it in 5 minutes or less.
Ready...Set...Go!

There are periods of time where I really struggle with silence.  Usually it's when I don't want to deal with all the loud things floating around in my heart and mind.  I have learned that when I am uncomfortable with the silence...(I must have the TV on, or music playing, or be reading deeply in something fluffy and entertaining)...During those times it is good for me to examine...why?

Another thing about silence is that it's never really silent.  I sleep with a fan on all year through...that hum is far from true silence...but I would say it is quiet and peaceful in the room.  Similarly, I have two antique clocks ticking and chiming at various intervals throughout the day.  This has become a part of the silence and peace of our home...However, I notice that it's far from silent because when we have guests they often comment on the clock noises.  

Over the years I'd say my extroverted-ness is waning.  I crave silence (peace, quiet, reprieve) in ways that I never did before.  As I work to be more God-pleasing than people-pleasing I find that it is absolutely necessary that I spend time in God's Word and Prayer...in the silence...to gather what I need in my happy extroverted life.  

STOP!