Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Coffee Muffin Hodgepodge

1. As August draws to a close, share what's been your favorite weekend of the entire summer?
I think my favorite weekend from the summer was near the beginning when we went to Michigan.  It was brief, and even though Loverbrains had to work during the day, we had fabulous evenings on the beach as a family.  For a brief time all the other stuff going on was placed on hold.

2. Labor Day is marked in the US of A on Monday, September 1st.  What paying job have you held that you've loved the most? Liked the least?
I LOVED teaching.  Probably third grade best...but even Special Ed was wonderful, albeit stressful.  Since you said "paying" I can't say Mom or Domestic Engineer...but I am also loving this job.  It will PAY in spades someday.  And it pays now in little precious moments.

3. Does the new school year start before or after Labor Day where you live? When do you think it should begin? There is much discussion now about older students having later start times to their school day...your thoughts?
In Indiana almost all districts are going to what is either called a perpetual or balanced schedule...which is basically what I'd call Year Round.  It just means longer breaks for holidays and an additional Fall break...and Summer break only being about 2 months total, if that.  For my friends who work full time it's a real financial hit to the pocket...but to day cares it's a boon.  I did this schedule when teaching Special Ed and it does improve retention...because there's less time for lost information.  But, it's sort of a bummer from a parent standpoint because you feel like summertime is lost.

As for later start times for older students...this has long been debated.  Actually, I think the research is pretty clear.  We know they'd do better starting later.  It's been tried and found successful.  I think it's sports schedules that keep it from becoming a reality.  Sports the largest idol of our American Society.

4. What's something you've worked at recently that could be deemed a 'labor of love'?
As my Mom starts radiation and chemo I've really enjoyed gathering special things to send to her.  I've also enjoyed taking dinner to my neighbor who's struggling with ALS. 

5.Which of the following work idioms can you most relate to right now...'A woman's work is never done.', 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' 'Many hands make light work.'
A woman's work is never done.  When trying to get into the new school year's routines it feels like I always have something to time to be still...or guilt if I do sit still for too long.

6. Crab or lobster or thanks, but no thanks? Favorite way to have your choice prepared?
I love lobster...with plenty of butter for dunking!

7. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, 'Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.' Which of the three do you consider to be the most important? Share one of your own 'rules of work'.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity"...I think this is almost a Biblical principle to me.  If I consider God Sovereign over all of my circumstances than I know He is in control and has great purposes and plans...all opportunity for the spreading of the Gospel...amid any difficulties or trials I might encounter here on earth.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Evidently, I am too old to drink coffee past dinnertime.  I did the other night and stayed away the entire night long.  Argh.  Then, to catch up, I slept in this morning....ugh....and now I'm behind.

Monday, August 25, 2014


This is what I did on Monday...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Joy Defined

In my attempt to have TRUE JOY amid all my circumstances...I did a bit of study on Joy.  I also went around my home taking pictures of things that please my eye and heart within my home and life today.  So without further ado...Joy Defined...
Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.  ~Rick Warren
Joy is an abiding sense of happiness! Though there might be moments or seasons of sadness, even these are tempered with a confident expectation that the sun will soon return piercing the darkness caused by the passing clouds. Joyful people are typically happy. They smile and laugh a lot. Joy is the result of hope, faith, and love! Joyful people often smile and seem to breeze through difficult situations. They see problems as opportunities. The glass might be almost empty, but the joyful person will be thankful for the little they have, enjoy it thoroughly, and not fear it running out!
~ Sherman Nobles
“J” is for having Jesus first in your life. “O” is for placing Others second; and “Y” is for placing Yourself last. There is a lot of truth in this simple acronym. If we put Jesus first in our lives, joy is a natural byproduct which empowers us to really love others and love ourselves.
The joy and peace of believers arise chiefly from their hopes. What is laid out upon them is but little, compared with what is laid up for them; therefore the more hope they have, the more joy and peace they have . . . Christians should desire and labor after an abundance of hope. ~Matthew Henry
First, it is not an act of will-power, but a spontaneous, emotional response of the heart. Second, it is not superficial and flimsy, but deep and firm.  Third, Christian joy is not natural but spiritual.  Can God command us to rejoice if joy is not an act of will-power but a spontaneous emotional response of the heart and is not a product of natural resources but a fruit of the Holy Spirit? The answer that lies on the face of Scripture at many places is: Yes, he can, and he does.  ~John Piper... Excerpt from sermon "The Fruit of Hope: Joy"
1. In a world wracked with pain, violence, and heartache, a person who radiates joy is a rare commodity. Yet joy is to be the distinctive of every Christian, making him or her winsome to those seeking spiritual answers in an unbelieving world. The Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, "Spiritual joy is a sweet and delightful passion, arising from the apprehension and feeling of [God's goodness and favor], whereby the soul is supported under present troubles, and fenced against future fear" (A Body of Divinity [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1965], p. 267). Who does not desire such joy? Is your life characterized by a joy that makes unbelievers wonder what you have that they don't?

2. To have joy in the midst of trials requires a mind fixed on something trials cannot touch. Thomas Manton said, "If a man would lead a happy life, let him but seek a sure object for his trust, and he shall be safe: 'He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting the Lord' [Ps. 112:7]. He hath laid up his confidence in God, therefore his heart is kept in an equal poise" (cited in The Golden Treasury of Puritan Quotations, I.D.E. Thomas, ed. [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1977], p. 160). What determines the joy in your life--your circumstances, which shift like desert sand, or the Lord Jesus Christ, the rock of salvation (cf. Matt. 24-27)?  

~John MacArthur

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tune Tuesday: Marching Bands...

Buckeye Disney Style... Go Texas!!!!
One of the best drum lines I have ever ever seen!! WOW!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Musings...

Wonderful Hope...beautiful words written by my Daddy.

Cancer Family...Interesting...especially to me...because both of my parents do have cancer at the same time.  My eyes about bugged out when I saw the title.

Stunning Views...a place to exhale and contemplate the love of my God...Creator...Savior.

Comedians in Cars getting Coffee...I've watched them all...I love Seinfeld, comedians and coffee.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Funny Haha Hodgepodge

1. The best part of waking up is____________________________________.
"Folgers in your cup!" that songs stuck in my head!!  I do like Folgers but I'm a bit of a coffee snob these days, I guess.  Loverbrains and I picked up some Jamaican Blue Mountain and FogCutter from the new Farmer's Market in Indy.  Loverly.

2.  Given a choice, which animal interaction would you most like to experience (or for those non-adventurers...which would you dislike the least?)- Swim with the dolphins at one of several locations in the Florida Keys, a lion encounter ten minutes from Victoria Falls (Africa), or a day at a remote base camp high in the Big Sur wilderness via the Ventana Wildlife Society helping track California condors?
Swim with dolphins sounds interesting.  Condors, ew!!  Lions, yikes!!!
3. What is something you fear about 'old age'? What is something you look forward to?
Loss of control...not being able to do things myself and having to depend on others.  I'm hoping Loverbrains and I can do some traveling together...hopefully before true old age.  I look forward to growing old with him.
4. Hot sauce...are you a fan? If you answered yes, what's something you make/eat that must have hot sauce? On a scale of 1-10 how hot is too hot?
I love hot things but not particularly hot sauce...I don't like the tang factor.  I love cooking with Cajun Spice though and thanks to some good friends of ours I can make true New Orleans Jambalaya!  Really. Yummy.  I can adjust the hotness.
5. It's been said that children learn what they live. What do you think children learn at your house?
Hopefully, they learn about God's love for them...and with huge doses of grace from us.
6. What's your favorite movie with a number in it's title?
Oceans 11.  101 Dalmatians.

7. Saturday (August 16th) is National Tell a Joke Day...share one here.
 8.  Insert your own random thought here. Bonus Funny....

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Morning...

Wish I could say my Monday morning looked like this...but alas... looks more like... THIS...home with a sick boy!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sew Crafty Saturday: Garage Sale Butterflies

Pretty pretty...a girl can't have too many butterflies. Especially purple ones!!
Emma found these butterflies at a garage sale...and went with me to pick out the spray paint.
Oh, and we added glitter spray too!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Finding Focus Friday: JOY!

"If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your JOY will be full." 
~John Piper
I will have JOY... It's not an emotion. 

"God will show me the path of life; In His presence is fullness of JOY; At His right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11
So today...I make double dinner...and I shuffle about to get it to a friend who can barely speak to me anymore...who drools as I pretend I don't see...who gives me NO reasons to complain and every reason to be share Christ with a renewed sense of urgency.
The focus can NOT be on me and my sadness. Giving me my own pain gives me a place to speak from...and a heart to help. So, I'm loving in the hard places. So, I will have JOY...I will "count it all JOY when I fall into various trials." James 1:2
I will bear fruit...because "the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness an self-control." Gal. 5:22-23
He speaks comfort to me..."These things about Himself He has spoken to me, that His JOY might remain in me, and that my JOY may be full." John 15:11

Thursday, August 7, 2014

For Crying Out Loud!

I abhor crying in public...or crying anywhere outside the sanctity of my home.  But, as God breaks down my pride, through the course of current trials, and makes me more His own, it seems that I am not in all...even of my tears.

In the past, the only time you'd see me in tears was if I was ANGRY!  And the tears just made me even more furious.  Weakness for all to see.  Even tears that started out sad tears, if shown in public, made me angry.  Weakness for all to see.

It's funny that I don't mind the tears of others...and have encouraged dear friends to cry.  And, I do not consider them weak.  I understood that in some ways they were brave...braver than me...for being so vulnerable.  Yet, the grace I offered them I never offered myself.

I don't cry when I'm supposed to, like when it's when I fell into the arms of my Mom and we were alone and I could have bawled if I'd wanted to...I didn't...I got a little misty eyed but no overwhelming emotion I couldn't control.

And yet today, I go to the grocery store after putting my kiddos on the bus for school day number one and seriously consider leaving, going home and getting back in bed.  Every item, song, thought...made me want to cry.  I was barely hanging on to my dignity.  And it wasn't about one was about everything.  I prayed I wouldn't run into anyone I knew 'cuz I thought if a friend hugged me I'd just turn into a puddle right then and there.  I scuttled listen to music and try to get a grip.

I worry that people will think I'm spiritually weak.  Although I fully believe in God's Sovereignty over my life and the life of those I love...sometimes I am overwhelmed.  It's not that I don't trust God...I just can't keep on the brave face all the time...and sometimes I feel sad.

This is really the prayer of my heart...this song..."God, You are my God and I will trust in You and not be shaken.  Lord of Peace, renew a steadfast spirit within me, to rest in You alone!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Key Into Hodgepodge

1. What would you say is the key to success?
I love this quote by CS Lewis, "It is not your business to succeed, but to do right.  When you have done so the rest lies with God."  So, I guess I'd say the key to success is following God.

2. Have you ever been to the Florida Keys? Any desire to visit that part of the US of A? 

I have not been to the keys...well, at least I don't think so. Not since I've been an adult and can remember my own memories.  I have enjoyed every visit to Florida...sure, I'd visit.  When do you want to go?

3. When and where did you last see a real live donkey? Monkey? Turkey?
I saw all three at the Cincinnati Zoo at the beginning of the summer.
  4. An old Portuguese proverb says, 'Beware of the door with too many keys.' What do you think this means? Share an example of how this has proven true or false in your own life.
Take the most effective path in life...the one with the least steps, because too many may confuse you, like a door that has too many keys.  OR  Beware of the door that has too many may not be meant to open. OR  Time to change the lock.
  5. Besides your home, vehicle, and special jewelry, what is something you keep under lock and key?
Passports, birth certificates, checks and banking.
  6. When did you last get keyed up about something?
Sorry, I had to look it up...
keyed up:
adjective nervous, strained, anxious, tense, under pressure, restless, wound up (informal), wired (slang), uptight (informal), on edge, jumpy, twitchy (informal), overwrought, strung up (informal), on tenterhooks, fidgety, antsy (informal), wrought up.  Example:  I wasn't able to sleep that night, I was so keyed up!
Well, gee...that sound pretty accurate for my morning.  Thanks.  Now I know what to call it.

7. Who thinks we need an easy one right about now?  Key lime pie...yes please or no thank you?
Yes please...for an easy question and the pie!
  8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tune Tuesday: Though You Slay Me...

I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who's broken
The one who's torn me apart
You struck down to bind me up
You say You do it all in love
That I might know You in Your suffering

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who's all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I'll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I'll know every tear was worth it all

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who's all I need

Though tonight I'm crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You're still all that I need
You're enough for me
You're enough for me

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who's all I need
Sing a song to the one who's all I need

by Shane and Shane with message from John Piper

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Musings....on Friendship...

“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ― Albert Camus
“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet. Even longer,' Pooh answered.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
“Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?” ― Jane Austen

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014