Monday, January 30, 2012

Today's Tidbit of Helpful Information: Prayer

Again, more thought-provoking than helpful today...although I don't know anything more helpful than prayer!

 Don't Wait to Pray

We do not need to bow our heads,
    or fold our hands and kneel,
When we desire to speak to God
    His presence we can feel.
While hands are busy making beds,
    or planning daily meals,
Or busy washing little things
    and mending toes and heels;
Or busy cleaning pots and pans,
    or dusting up the floor,
Our hands can be right on the job
    but hearts to God can soar.
When making beds we should thank God
    for white sheets which we spead.
For millions never know the feel
    of a nice, clean, comfy bed.
And when we're busy making meals
    it's nice to breathe a prayer,
And thank God for the rich supply
    of good food everywhere.
Though washing dishes is a chore
    and we don't like to do it.
Thank God there was food on the plate
    and we had strength to chew it.
When tempted to complain and fret
    it's time to stop a minute,
And thank God for our "home sweet home"
    and everybody in it.
It really "happies" up the heart
    and merrily it sings
When we take time to talk to God
    'bout little homey things.
We should not wait until the night
    to thank God for His care;
In every minute, every hour
    there's reason for a prayer.

**Author unknown to me

I am in commando declutter mode around here. I have been clipping and saving little bits of helpful information throughout my married life....and that's it. Just saving them. Sometimes they are in my nightstand drawer, a folder, the junk drawer, the cookbook, etc. I know a great idea is to store them in a household binder but I am not even remotely interested in adding ANYTHING else to this house right now. So in an effort to rid my house of these little bits and bobs of paper, I'm going to post them here, like a cork own Pinterest, if you will.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Courageous DVD Giveaway!!!

"Honor begins at home" This movie is a much needed call to fatherhood, we need our men to rise up and be men of courage, to lead their families, to be be intentional.

"Courageous" is the newest project from Sherwood Pictures Ministry, the amazing force that brought us "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof".  Their first project was called "Flywheel" and although I really, really liked "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof", I like "Flywheel" the best, no matter how low-budget it was.....that is, until "Courageous".

Mr. Steady and I went to see this with our good friends at the theater.  It was so moving and profound that Mr. Steady then took The Thinker and The Reader to see it at the dollar cinema.  That's huge for Mr. Steady because he's not really a movie guy...well, he says he doesn't mind movies, he just doesn't like paying for them.

After seeing the trailer I knew I would need tissues but I wasn't prepared for the humor this movie has sprinkled within.  It is a very serious matter and one that needs to be shared with every man in America and with every woman raising a son, but the humor was so unexpected and quite frankly, made the movie. 

I am so excited to announce that Focus on the Family has provided me a DVD of the movie to giveaway!  Focus on the Family is dedicated to helping families thrive and they have a plethora of resources available on this topic and more.  Other fantastic resources for family shepherding are available from Voddie Baucham and Kevin Swanson.

To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment below with one of two responses:
a. If you have seen the movie, tell us your favorite part (without spoiling it for others). 
b. If you haven't seen the movie yet, tell us how you think we, as wives, can best support and encourage our husbands and sons to be courageous.

To receive a second entry, post a comment on Facebook or write a blog post about this contest, linking your friends and viewers back to this blog post and then leave a second comment that you did so.

Contest with end January 31 at midnight and the winner will be announced on February 1.  You must leave a way for me to contact you in your comment if your name isn't linked to your blog or email address.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of the Courageous DVD from Focus on the Family.  All opinions expressed are solely mine and I am not being compensated in any way for this giveaway.

One Moment

As you may already be aware, my theme for this year is "Intentionally".  I have to admit, some days are way easier than others.  But every once in a while I will be reminded "be intentional" and my demeanor alters, my voice softens, my answer may even change.

The things we say and do can forever impact the people around us, especially little impressionable minds.  At 33 I am so forgetful it is scary but my Facebook friends are often astonished at the level of details I remember things from our childhood.  One friend in particular I have fond memories of is always amazed that I can remember the Halloween costume she wore when we we in third grade or the bands we listened to in her room in junior high.

I sometimes wonder if my memories are watercolored because of the emotions they conjure up.  Was that leader of the "Snob Mob' really as mean and ruthless as I remember her?  Were the adults in my life really as caught up in their careers as I felt they were?  As I look at my life now a lot of the choices I make are because of what Paul David Tripp describes as "interpretation of experience."  He stresses that our attitudes and behaviors are byproducts of our interpretation of experience.

"Human beings made in the image of God do not live life based on the FACTS of their experience, but rather on the interpretation of experience."

It's why two children growing up in the same household can have completely, mind boggling memories of their childhood.  It's why one of them can remember that Grandpa was the nicest person on the planet and the other can think he was a selfish, mean man.

I'm getting a little off topic here, I just wanted to demonstrate "interpretation of experience".

We each come into contact with children at different levels in our day-to-day living.  Some of us have lots of them living under our roofs, some of you are fostering multiple little hearts, some of you are privileged to have grandchildren, some of you may only see children at the grocery store or library.  Whether you see a child 16 hours a day or 2 days a year, stop and take a minute to think about how you are treating them, reacting to them and responding to them.

I can think of many moments in my life both positive and negative.  I remember when I was in maybe 3rd grade, my piano teacher said, "You are bold!" and I remember asking my mom what this meant.  I am not so sure she meant it as a compliment but I have learned that sometimes boldness, when used in a proper setting, can be quite beneficial.  I have the snapshot of that exact moment frozen in my memory film.  I'm still learning to filter that boldness but at that instant she could have voiced her opinion in a negative way.  I thought so highly of her I can't imagine how it would have impacted me.

When I was in junior high, I had an English teacher who really believed in me and my writing.  I remember him standing in my mom's office (which was inside the junior high principal's office - think I got away with anything in school?), putting his arm over my shoulder and telling my mom, "This girl writes with a wisdom beyond her years."  That may or may not have been true but it bolstered me up and I still carry that in my heart a lot of years later.

I will be honest, I have a lot of negative memories that splatter my memory bank ad nauseum but I hold the positive memories in my pocket like stardust and they keep me going.  Now imagine with me, if you will, if someone had spoke God's promises into my life and I recalled those and sprinkled those like stardust?  That is what I want for my boys.

In the book-turned movie  The Help, Abilene tells Mae Mobley over and over and over, "You is kind, you is smart, you is important," because she knows no one else will and there is so much negativity in that child's life that she needs a cheerleader.  Abilene also knows she won't be there forever and she has to instill this truth in this baby girl at the youngest age possible.

I recently witnessed a moment that made me choke back tears (which, if you know me, doesn't take much).  A sister at church was disciplining a child and she could have just wagged her finger at him and told him to stop but she pulled him to her, she wrapped her arms around him, she put her forehead on his forehead and she lovingly corrected him.  This child does not get much love and attention from his mother at home and this sister could have just broken his spirit in two with her chastisement but I think he will lovingly remember her countenance and correction.

Where am I going with all of this?  Wess Stafford, president  of Compassion shares with us how a moment he shared with his daughter may have impacted even her career path:

Dr. Stafford has written a book about the impact one moment has on a child entitled Just a Minute: In the Heart of a Child One Moment...Can Last Forever and I encourage you to read it and learn new ways to speak truth into a child's life (with both a capital T and lowercase).  

I wouldn't be a very good Compassion blogger if I didn't also mention taking a moment to sponsor a child and if you are already a sponsor, take a moment and write your sponsored child a letter.  Compassion has some really neat new stationary for your online letters.

And you can take this one step further, think about the people in your life whose positive "moments" have stayed with you through the years.  Take a minute to look them up and send them a note thanking them for the impact they made in your life.  Through a series of events my husband met someone I went to school with.  This boy was kind of a loner and very, very quiet in school.  When my husband mentioned meeting him I said "Wow, I can't believe he remembered me, I don't think he ever said more than 5 words to me,"  I about crumbled in two when my husband replied, "Huh, that's weird because he said he remembers you well and that you were always so very nice to him."  I don't remember being nice to him, I don't remember ever having a conversation with him.  And that right there is why we always need to be intentional about our moments.  Because positive moments piled one on top of the other make a huge difference in a child's life.  And negative moments piled on on top of the other make a huge chasm in a child's life.

Be intentional this week about speaking truth and Truth into someone's life.  Tell a child, "You is kind, you is smart, you is important,"...even if they are not yet.  Because one day they will remember that someone believed in them.  And they will be smart, kind, and important because that is the truth that you poured in to them.

Today's Tidbit of Helpful Information: Dirty Dishes Poem

This is more thoughtful than helpful.

Picture from allposters
"Thank God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell.
While other folks go hungry,
We're eating very well.

With home and health and happiness,
We shouldn't want to fuss.
For by this stack of evidence,
God's very good to us."

**Shared on a Yahoo group

I am in commando declutter mode around here. I have been clipping and saving little bits of helpful information throughout my married life....and that's it. Just saving them. Sometimes they are in my nightstand drawer, a folder, the junk drawer, the cookbook, etc. I know a great idea is to store them in a household binder but I am not even remotely interested in adding ANYTHING else to this house right now. So in an effort to rid my house of these little bits and bobs of paper, I'm going to post them here, like a cork own Pinterest, if you will.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today's Tidbit of Helpful Information: Gifting a Pie Plate

Picture from allposters
Here is a cute poem to include when you give a new bride (or anyone) a new pie plate:

Apple turnover,
Strawberry tart.
That's the way
To any man's heart.

Deep-dish cherry,
Apple pie...
That's how to keep him
Till you die.

And success is gauged
By this simple test;
With pastry or man,
A light hand's best.

**I believe this is from Taste of Home or Country magazine.

My dad might not always like me sharing this story but when he and my mom were going through a particularly rough patch I asked him what made him stay and he replied, with a twinkle in his eye, "She makes a really good pie."  Not long after that I spotted a sign that said "Pie fixes everything."  A similar sign with the same sentiment now hangs in my dad's kitchen. :o)

I am in commando declutter mode around here. I have been clipping and saving little bits of helpful information throughout my married life....and that's it. Just saving them. Sometimes they are in my nightstand drawer, a folder, the junk drawer, the cookbook, etc. I know a great idea is to store them in a household binder but I am not even remotely interested in adding ANYTHING else to this house right now. So in an effort to rid my house of these little bits and bobs of paper, I'm going to post them here, like a cork own Pinterest, if you will.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


 We had a fun family night recently around a delicious theme - DONUTS!  In the Holiday 2011 issue of Life Beautiful magazine, there was a stunning feature on donuts.  I had never made donuts before so I thought we would try it.  

As a side note, I would highly recommend this magazine.  I have cancelled all of my other magazine subscriptions except this one.  It is a Christian magazine with scripture liberally sprinkled throughout, regular monthly contributors such as Gary Smalley, Dr. Dobson, and Janet Parshall.  The pictures and projects are reminiscent of Martha Stewart in quality with a focus on faith and family.  I have used lots of ideas and recipes and often cut the scriptures out for inspiration around the home.
Soon after, I spied this book at the library - a title we had never read before and knew it would be a perfect compliment to our donuts!
 We made the chocolate cake and vanilla cake donuts.  This was an easy batter to whip together, topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate jimmies.  We all thought these were a little dry but 1) it was my first attempt at donuts and 2) it was chocolate batter so it was difficult to tell doneness and I'm wondering if I overcooked them?

 I found these adorable "donuts" on Pinterest and decided to throw them in for extra fun.  It's simply Cheerios covered with cinnamon & sugar, powdered sugar, or chocolate frosting and sprinkles.  They suggested painting the cereal with honey but I just sprayed them with cooking oil and tossed them in a baggie with the topping (except, of course, the frosting and sprinkles).  One of the boys decided they preferred these "donuts" over the real ones!
 The dog wanted apple juice with his donuts so we had apple juice with ours as well.  There's a first (and last) time for everything....donuts deserve milk.  The boys loved the story - who doesn't love Laura Numeroff's "If You Give A...." series?
This was, hands down, the favorite, a simple glazed vanilla buttermilk cake donut with a touch of nutmeg. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Philly Beef Sandwiches

 This is a favorite family dinner and it's so easy and quick when you use leftover roast.  This recipe is from The Occasional Cook by Cyndy Salzmann, which is my all-time favorite make-ahead cookbook.  If you have never attempted freezer cooking, I highly recommend starting with this recipe.  When we have a roast, I reserve half of it and shred it, adding a small amount of broth back in to keep it moist.  Then I add onion, butter, and Worcestershire sauce.  Put in a gallon size zip top bag, smoosh all the air out and flatten.  Freeze flat. 

If you want to be really prepared, you can place sub buns in a gallon size zip top bag and shredded cheese in small zip top bag, all bags into a 2-gallon zip top bag, label and freeze.  I don't do this - I typically just wait to serve this until I find sub buns or French bread on sale or marked down.

 When you're ready to serve, thaw meat, heat over med-high heat until heated through.  Then pile on to sub buns (or halved French bread), butter the top bun, top with shredded or sliced mozzarella (or provolone) and broil until cheese is bubbly.

The whole family loves this quick and easy meal - so very tasty!  If we have extra broth left we like to dip the cooked sandwiches in it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Today's Tidbit of Helpful Information: Prayer Busters

Prayer Busters
Taken from "Too Busy Not to Pray" by Bill Hybels

1. Prayerlessness (James 4:2) "You do not have because you do not ask God."
  • Have I prayed earnestly, fervently, purposefully, expectantly?
  • Am I expecting God to fill my needs?
2. Unconfessed Sin (Isaiah 59:2) "Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."
  • Am I tolerating sin in my life?  Do I need to make a "sin list"?
3. Unresolved Relational Conflict (Matthew 5:23-24) "If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift."
  • Is there an unmended relationship in my life?  Have I sincerely tried to restore the relationship?
4. Selfishness (James 4:3) "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."
  • Are my prayers short-sighted and self-centered or do they follow Jesus' model of the Lord's prayer?
5. Uncaring Attitudes (Proverbs 21:13; Isaiah 58:3-9)
  • Do my prayers reflect God's character of concern and compassion?
6. Inadequate Faith (James 1:5-8) "...but when he asks, he must believe and not doubt..."
  • Do I believe that God is able?  That he is the mountain-mover.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Go Ye Into All The World

"…we are like the 3 Wise Men who journeyed to Jesus. Now, like those Wise Men, we return to the world from which we came, to the everyday life where we will witness to what we have seen.
     …"indeed it compels us to start out afresh on a new stage of the journey on which we become proclaimers and heralds.…The Wise Men were in a sense the first missionaries. Their encounter with Christ did not keep them in Bethlehem, but made them set out anew on the paths of the world.
     "We need to ‘set out anew from Christ,’ with the zeal of Pentecost, with renewed enthusiasm. To set out from him above all in a daily commitment to holiness, with an attitude of prayer and of listening to his word. To set out from him in order to testify to his Love by living a Christian life marked by communion, charity, and witness before the world."
Pope John Paul II

Friday, January 6, 2012


"The twelve days of Christmas come to an end on January 6, and the season of the Epiphany begins. But Epiphany not only ends Christmas, it also fulfills it by celebrating the revelation of the Christ to the whole world. The coming of Incarnate God to all people, especially to those of us who are Gentiles, is the bridge from birth into life, the event that makes Easter possible for most of us. The light of the Epiphany illuminates the church’s year as it illuminates the human race from whom the kings came."
Phyllis Tickle 

"The word ‘epiphany’ means ‘to show forth.’ Epiphanies, both large and small, tend to be private events – yet events with great significance for the public. Trying to share the details with another of an epiphany is fraught with complications. The words are never quite right, and even the most sympathetic listener cannot fully bridge the gap between description and what is was like being there. Most of us keep our personal experiences of the Holy to ourselves. Who would believe it? And who would really understand? The irony is that epiphanies are made for sharing, even as they are impossible to communicate fully.…
     "Unlike the poor shepherds, the Magi had to travel a long road; they had to face adversity to reach their goal. It was anything but a romantic, sentimental pilgrimage that we often see in our manger scenes!…
     "The experience of the magi reminds us that all who make the tedious journey to the truth will finally encounter it and be changed in the process. They can never go back to a ‘business as usual’ way of life. When we meet Christ and see who he really is, we will never be the same – and only then can we hope to begin to share in his mission.…"

Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Gentleness Challenge

I've joined Courtney's Gentleness Challenge at Women Living Well.  Intentionally offering gentleness to my children and husband, purposing to "touch them gently, use their names gently, use (my) words gently, slow down and be loving, kind, and gracious."  Join us?


There are a number of bloggers who chose a character trait or "buzz" word to focus on throughout the year.  I have never done this before but as I read Monica's 2012 focus word and then decided to join Courtney's Gentleness Challenge, I felt the word "intentionally" come to mind.

I have a tendency to flutter about from projects and passions.  I have started countless books, Bible studies, and reading programs.  I have regret when I go to bed at night because I missed opportunities to speak Jesus' name or truth to someone.

I often have the best of intentions.  But rarely do I wake up with the mind to do much "intentionally".

Merriam-Webster defines intention as:

1: a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
3a : what one intends to do or bring about  
  b : the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered
4: a process or manner of healing of incised wounds
5: concept; especially : a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge

Yes, please...I would love to live a life of determination, resolve, significance, offered prayer, healing, and attention.

In searching the Scriptures for "intention", I found several verses I love and intend to focus on this year:

1 Corinthians 13:1 "IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal."

Ephesians 4:12 "His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church),"

Philippians 2:2 "Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention."

1 Peter 2:15 "For it is God's will and intention that by doing right [your good and honest lives] should silence (muzzle, gag) the ignorant charges and ill-informed criticisms of foolish persons."

1 Peter 4:1 "SO, SINCE Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God],

Revelation 17:17 "For God has put it into their hearts to carry out His own purpose by acting in harmony in surrendering their royal power and authority to the beast, until the prophetic words (intentions and promises) of God shall be fulfilled.

We serve an intentional God and this is one attribute of God I want to focus on in 2012.  Where is your focus this year?

Today's Tidbit of Helpful Information: There is No Easy Way

"There is no EASY way: the achievement of meaningful goals requires sustained, consistent efforts over an extended period of time." Gordo Byrn

I am in commando declutter mode around here. I have been clipping and saving little bits of helpful information throughout my married life....and that's it. Just saving them. Sometimes they are in my nightstand drawer, a folder, the junk drawer, the cookbook, etc. I know a great idea is to store them in a household binder but I am not even remotely interested in adding ANYTHING else to this house right now. So in an effort to rid my house of these little bits and bobs of paper, I'm going to post them here, like a cork own Pinterest, if you will.