Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shrewdly Smart Saturday...with Starbucks!

I've been holding onto this idea from a bit o'shine for years now!  My Emmer-bean is a gift giving kind of gal...and wants to give her teacher a pretty gift at her approaching Kindergarten open house.  I had two of these delightful Starbucks Frappuccino bottles.  No, they aren't endorsing this blog in anyway....bummer! 
I depended on my faithful Sharpie (also not paying me) and my teacher cursive for my labels.  I wanted one to be a toothbrush holder...so I wrote "pearly whites"...the other for her teacher says "teach love"...
I'll admit the gluing got a bit...er, sticky...at times.  Around the tag it is best to pre-measure and pre-cut those pieces...or you'll end up a gluey mess.  Trust me on this, okay? 
Too cute...on our way upstairs to put it in the master bath.  I ended up pouring rice in the bottom to hold the brushed up a bit higher and more stable.
Now isn't that a shrewd use of empty Starbucks bottles?  Smart too!!
I love Shrewdly Smart Saturdays...don't you?
Now, I need to figure out the flowers part.  Should I make some that live forever like a bit o'shine's or put fresh Black-eyed Susans from the garden in it to take to the teacher?  Any opinions??

Friday, July 29, 2011

Embrace the Camera: Refocus...

In downloading the 200 odd pictures from our vacation, I realized that I'm in only two of them.  TWO.  While I'd like to say that it's because I'm humble and don't like having my picture taken, the truth is that I'm just generally too busy taking pictures of everyone and everything else.

There's a part of me that's nervous to embrace the camera too tightly.  I know the potential of my vanity and pride.  I already worry that there are too many pictures of me on my blog right now.  I don't want people to be thinking that I think life is all about me.

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." 1 Tim. 1:17

I've been thinking about these things a lot...because my "few and faithful" are increasing in number almost daily.  I'm not sure why and it does makes me tickled and happy.  But, I don't want to change to please a crowd...I want to be focused on pleasing my audience of ONE.  As my header proclaims my goal needs to be..."Therefore also we have as our ambition...to be pleasing to the Lord." 2 Cor. 5:9

So, today is a refocus...whether behind the camera or in front of it...



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hodgepodge Frogs

1. July is National Ice Cream month...your favorite flavor? Soft served, hand dipped, or frozen yogurt...which do you prefer? And technically yogurt is not ice cream but its hot outside so I'll let that slide for today.
I love Butter Pecan...but don't eat it often because Loverbrains does not.  Pint sized, anyone??
2. When you travel do you tend to pack too much or too little?
Just right?  I guess if I tend one way it'd be towards too little.  I find that you really just don't need that much when it comes down to it.
3. What's your favorite cleaning product?
Vinegar...I use it on my floors with tea tree oil...and it can make sinks look NEW.  I also use it in my laundry rinse cycle.  And, NO...my house and family do not smell like pickles...at all.
4. Which is the greater tragedy-an innocent person imprisoned or a guilty person set free? Explain.
I think a guilty person set free.  It affects all of society negatively.  I'm not pro the incarceration of the innocent but it wouldn't hurt our justice system to err on the side of caution.  It's disgusting...justice my foot...humph!
5. What's the longest trip you've taken by car?
Probably NY to FL when I was a kid.  It takes two days.  As an adult...IN to NY...with two littles...it's LOOONNNG!
6. Tennis-golf-canoeing-biking...pick one.
Biking.
7. What sound drives you crazy?
Whining children.  I have two.  Now I'm whining...*gasp* it's catchy!
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Loverbrains caught a tiny tree frog for the kids to see....and I got these great pictures!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I want to be more like Jesus!

As each day passes by,

I feel my love run dry.

I get so weary, worn,

And tossed around in the storm.

Well I'm blind to all his needs,

And I'm tired of planting seeds.

I seem to have a wealth,

Of so many thoughts about myself.


I want to, I need to, be more like Jesus.

I want to, I need to, be more like him.


Our Father's will was done,

By giving us His Son,

Who paid the highest cost,

To point us to the cross.

And when I think of him,

Taking on the whole world's sin,

I take one look at me,

Compared to what I'm called to be.


I want to, I need to, be more like Jesus.

I want to, I need to, be more like him.

Remember, there's no greater love,

Then to lay down your life for a friend.


The end of all my prayers,

Is to care like my Lord cares.

My one and only goal,

His image in my soul.

Yes my weakness is revealed,

When by his stripes I'm healed.

He's faithful and he's true,

To complete the work he begins in you. 

I want to, I need to, be more like Jesus.

I want to, I need to, be more like him.

 

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm not really HOME...yet.

"Heaven is not here, it's There.  If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next.  God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for."  
~Elisabeth Elliot
Although I was vastly enjoying God's creation during this recent vacation....I was also churning and worrying about the threat of Horizontal Fracking on this beautiful place that I've loved for so long.  Several neighboring states have destroyed their watersheds and beauty...and I shudder and allow my mind to freak out about that possibility for my place. 
But, then I read EE's words above...and I'm also reminded of..."Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys [nor fracking pollutes] For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Luke 12:33-34

Funny, I just said to a friend of mine..."God always seems to bring me back to His attributes and character."  He NEVER changes...He's ALWAYS in control.  He's ALL-POWERFUL (He can keep it from happening or allow it)...He's ALL-KNOWING (He knows the politics of it all...and He knows my emotions about it all)...
And...although the beauty can be mesmerizing...It's NOT heaven.
Sunday I was reminded of that song...
This world is not my home I'm just passing through
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore

O Lord you know I have no friend like you
if Heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do?
the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Sunday's really juicy tidbit was..."There is only true peace when you know Jehovah Shalom" based on  Judges 6.  This is shown by our faith, true obedience and it's influence on those around us.  How will the world know I'm different if I panic and run in circles with the rest of them? 
There IS hope...and it's in JESUS CHRIST...alone!





Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm back!

I have bunches of pictures and funtimes to share...AND a fridge to restock, luggage to unpack and a little girl to register for Kindergarten. But here's a great family shot...and some important advice via video...
Our family at Lake Chautauqua on our way to Upstate NY!
video
It is important to have the Little Wigglers get out for a wiggle every now and then!  Hopefully, they don't fall on their faces...Don't worry...he was fine!  Nice soft face full of grass!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Harry Hodgeity Podgity!


1. How has your hometown changed since you were a kid? What has changed most about the neighborhood you grew up in?
Although I spent most of my childhood in Upstate NY...I don't really consider any town my hometown.  I tried to answer this...but kept deleting.  I wonder if other Pastor's kids...who move in high school...feel the same way?
2. What song makes you laugh?


3. Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Read the books? Seen any/all of the movies? Will you be standing in line somewhere close to midnight later this week? For those of you playing along today who live outside the US or UK is Harry Potter a phenomenon in your part of the world?
I really enjoy Harry Potter but live in the world of many unamused and over-reacting christians.  It's FICTION...just be sure your kid can understand what FICTION means...and discuss the ins and outs of that and all the other details of the books.  Incidentally, that's something you should with ALL books.  I have never watched the movies...I generally do NOT watch the movies based on favorite books.  They just frustrate me in their inability to do books justice.
4. If the truth hurts, will you tell a lie? Are we better off as a society in a world that allows no form of deception whatsoever?
I think...Ephesians 4 (GOD) has it right, "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ"...He's talking about the body of Christ working well together in unity ...I'm not saying it's always easy...but honesty IS always the best policy. A world without sin...um, heaven?!
5. What is your favorite 'sauteed in garlic and butter' food? Or garlic and olive oil if that makes you feel better.
Mushrooms are the first thing that came to mind.  Fresh ones, of course.
6. Attending any reunions this summer/year? High school? family? Other? Do these events stir up excitement or dread?
Nope-ity, nope...just an approaching vacation that we are ALL more than ready to enjoy.
7. Lilac, hydrangea, peony...pick one.
Unfair...pick ONE, she says.  Grrr...okay...Peony!  I have a long line of the lovely bushes along one side of my house.  I call them the poor man's rose.  A bit scraggeldy around the edges but BOY, do they smell sweet.
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
I was struck this week that A LOT of the things I find myself currently doing...are like AMUSEMENT PARKS.  I think they'll be fun...and exciting...but in reality I find myself hot, grouchy, and telling myself that I will NEVER do it again.  Until next year.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

WIW: Scruffy Update!!

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read"
-Groucho Marx
"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as much as the dog does."
    -Christopher Morley
"The more people I meet the more I like my dog"
    -Unknown
"Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear."
    -Dave Barry

Friday, July 8, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Grateful...





Want to take five minutes with me and just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. Here’s how we do it:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.  2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my right side bar}  3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard. 
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes for the prompt:
GRATEFUL:

GO.

Do you know that hymn?  Great is Thy Faithfulness....Oh God, my Father.  There is no shadow of turning in Thee.  Thou changest NOT...Thy compassions they fail not...As Thou has been, Thou FOREVER wilt be!

I'm GRATEFUL for a God that doesn't change.  Who's always full of compassion.  Especially, when I see how crabby I'm feeling about other people being crabby to me.  Ironic, I know.  But, I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Women are moody.  I don't do well in large (or small) groups of them.  Ugh.

I can't tell if I'm coming or going with people...BUT thankfully, my God...He is faithful...the same...unchanging.

I'm so Grateful.

It's funny, focusing on God's PERFECT attributes really helps me leave the uglies behind.  I see how it's supposed to be done...and hopefully I change course for the day with a better attitude.

A Grateful one.

STOP.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Heroines of the Faith...


As a young, Christian wife and mother, I long to be inspired and encouraged by those Godly women around me.  Some in real life...some via book or blog.

I recently purchased Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot.  I've long been inspired by her life story.  If I were ever put in even a remotely similar situation, I hope I would behave as she did...to the glory of God.  I guess, I'd consider her a heroine of the faithSomeone who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, displayed courage and the will for self sacrifice....for the greater good.  God's good and glory.

I notice that E.E. quotes Amy Carmichael quite often.  She is another of my heroines of the faith.  She wrote, "Missionary life is simply a chance to die."

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."  Galatians 2:20

Now, I started this post with the intention to share some good literature around the blogosphere.  But, as is often the case, I've had an epiphany along the way.  I've realized that what makes these WELL KNOWN women so inspiring is that they were ordinary in themselves...but due to their willingness and obedience God was able to use them for great things.  He was glorified through their lives. 

And it hit me...when I first heard of Amy Carmichael...it was through another of my heroines of the faith.  Someone most of you have never heard of...another ordinary (extraordinary) woman.  A simple, godly lady that took each day as a "chance to die."

When I was a little girl, Geraldine Iversen did the most special VBS Bible story time ever.  She had beautiful sketched story boards...and would tell the story of Amy Carmichael, who as a little girl was very disappointed that God hadn't answered her prayer request for blue eyes.  She was stuck with brown eyes.

As she told the story of Amy's call to India, Mrs. Iversen would mix a coffee/brown solution...and proceed to paint her face and arms....just like Amy Carmichael had done.  It was fascinating.  She never broke the story as she painted...and I don't recall anyone interrupting to ask what she was doing.

She CLEARLY taught me about trusting God's BIG plans for our lives.  Sometimes we might not understand the whys (even greater than why we have brown eyes) but God knows what He wants for our lives.  Amy couldn't have been used to rescue orphan temple slaves if her eyes had been turned blue...God gave her brown eyes on purpose.  He knew from the very beginning what lay in store for her life.

Someday, I hope that I can be counted by God as one of His heroines of the faith.  All three of these women...whether well known or unknown...would tell you that it wasn't through their own goodness that they were ever used.  They were simply willing and obedient.  They knew the power was in GOD and not them.


Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?

Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?

Amy Carmichael  Toward Jerusalem

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WFW: What kind of flower are you??

I've been missing Word FILLED Wednesday...at least for today, I thought I'd use my recent photo of my pink coneflowers and stop in for a visit. 

I started researching verses dealing with flowers... it was a good mini Bible study.  Every time flowers are mentioned it's a reminder of the brevity of life.  Life is SHORT...fleeting...minute by minute...second by ticking second...

"Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain."  
Job 14:2

For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall," 
1 Peter 1:24

I might be a fine, pert little flower...or even already drooping in areas...but am I pleasing God with my life?  Today?  Tomorrow??  I'm fading fast...am I glorifying Him in how I act?  Am I sending up a sweet smell??

The other verses I found about flowers deal with the brevity of life but from the slant that we don't need to worry.  God will meet my needs.  This is a point I need to make...He will NOT be needing my help.  Really, really!  His way is best every.single.time!!

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin."  
Matthew 6:28

Hope these Scriptures stick in your minds as you look at your own pretty flowers!!
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