Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tunnel Vision

I was having a discussion with a sweet friend the other day, catching up on everything that was going on in our lives. We see each other regularly but don't often get into the "weeds" I was talking to her about my weariness of ongoing medical issues, we keep waiting for this storm to end, but the rain bands keep coming ashore. From my perspective this was all about me, this storm was someting God was using in my life to change me, show me things, teach me. Obviously I wasn't getting it, right?

She wanted me to see the bigger picture. Her thoughts....others are watching, they are watching my response to the storm, they are watching to see where I put my trust, where I get my strength, how do I let this effect my day to day. They are watching. I also have some opportunities I would not have had, people who would not necessarily cross my path had I not had cancer. Opportunities to let the light of God shine. Perhaps, just perhaps this isn't about me anymore but the people that God has put in my path. Just a thought 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven  Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gratitude Not Just A Thanksgiving Thing

Gratitude is something the Lord has been cultivating in my heart over the last year. He has shown me that there are always things I can be thankful for regardless of the circumstances I find myself in.

I began to keep a gratitude journal a couple of months ago, it is a disciple that helps me stop and take account of how the Lord has blessed me. There is something about keeping a list that helps you realize how blessed you are and how much you have to be grateful for, I find it helps to cultivate a heart of gratitude.

I am not always faithful about keeping up with my little gratitude journal, so easy to get busy and forget. When I don't pursue gratitude, discontentment, complaining, murmuring, apathy and envy creep in. I am aware and that's a good thing, God always faithful to show me my heart.

Took a look at my gratitude journal today, probably should do that more often, reminded me of the many things in my life that I had to be thankful for. Reminded me that I am indeed blessed.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever  Psalm 107:1

Friday, November 18, 2011

Don't Miss It

My family and friends all know Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I enjoy everything about Thanksgiving, the planning, the preparations, the smells, the house that is full of noise and activity and of course the food.

Thanksgiving kind of snuck up on me this year, I think I just realized about a week ago that I needed to get with the program. It's not like I haven't been reading all the wonderful thankful posts for the last two weeks, but somehow I thought I had more time.

This is my favorite holiday of the year, but I have been so preoccupied with other things that I almost missed the simple pleasures of preparing for the holiday that I enjoy so much. The Lord showed me that I have been spending so much time in the worries of tomorrow that I was forgetting to live today. I still have a week, I didn't miss out, still lots of simple pleasures to enjoy in preparation for next week.

One other note, I love all your comments, they are so encouraging and appreciated. Many times a comment will be just what I need to hear. The Lord used a particular comment the other day to show me my heart, (and todays blog post resulted) thankful to that friend who was willing to share what was on her heart, God used it to change mine. I am thankful for all of you, those I know and those I don't (but I feel like I do) what a blessing you all are.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus  Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, November 14, 2011

Because I Forget

I need to be reminded of God's truth because I forget. I need to be reminded of God's truth because I listen to myself too much. I need to be reminded of God's truth because I am bombarded by so many other unbiblical messages all day long.  I need to reminded of God's truth because it is the only thing that gives me peace.

I need to be reminded that He is sovereign, he is in control, nothing takes Him by surprise and it is He who directs my path, He has a plan and a purpose. His ways are not my ways (thank goodness for that!)

I have been battling anxiety, mostly at night when all is quiet. Waiting is a difficult thing for me, the longer I have to wait the harder it seems to get. That's where the trust part comes in, that's why I need to be reminded of God's truth

I know O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps  Jeremiah 10:23

Saturday, November 12, 2011

His Handiwork is Everywhere

               This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it  Psalm 118:24

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day, a day that has special meaning to us because we live in a community where you either are a vet or you know one. We are familiar with the sacrifices they make to help keep us free.  Today is not about shopping or great Veterans Day sales, its about honoring the men and women who have served this country. To them I say thank you.

This would include my sweet husband, my DIL mother and my husbands "brother" (you know who you are) who all spent over twenty years in the United Sates Navy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Photo Books


I enjoy taking photographs, my favorite subjects being family and friends. I am seldom without my camera and with digital you can take hundreds of photos and only print what you like. When giving gifts I try to incorporate my photography in some way. I have always done scrapbooking and more recently have started to do online photo books to give as gifts. You can find lots of places that offer this service, Walmart, Walgreen's etc

The books are pretty easy to do. You download the pictures you want to use, pick the templates, colors and style of the book and you are set. Price ranges vary depending on the number of pages, size and whether you want a hard bound or soft book. The soft bound books usually run around 10 dollars, they make great gifts. Some of the ways I have used these books
  1. I did one for my nephews wedding, which I gave to my sister, I included lots of shots of family and friends in attendance.
  2. I made one for my FIL and SIL, both in the early stages of dementia. I included pictures of all the family members, and added names and birthdays to these books to help with memory.
  3. I made one for a co-woker that was leaving. We got photos of everyone that she worked with (individual and group shots) then once the book was put together the people we took photos of  hand wrote messages by their picture. I have also seen this done for small group leaders who were stepping down, or for a family moving out of the area.
  4. I made one for my parents 50th anniversary (though not digital) Friends and family were asked to provide photos and a memory. You can scan those photos and upload. Each family member or participant had a page dedicated to them. My dad carried this book with him for weeks after it was presented to them
  5. I did one for a vacation that my husband and I took. (if you traveled with family or friends you can make one for them and give as a gift)
  6. You can make one of children, or grandchildren with the year in review and present it to whoever you think might enjoy it the most
This does take a little time but it's easy and if your are thinking Christmas gifts now's the time to get starting putting these together

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Keep On Dancing

When the sun is shining all the time and you never get rain, the land dries up, and it eventually turns into a desert. I remember our summer this year, lots of sunshine, very little rain, consequently my garden did not produce much, the earth was hard and dry. When you have a lot of rain, you have growth. We lived in Scotland for a couple of years, it rained all the time but it was green and lush all year round.

This can be compared to our lives, when the sun is shining all the time (life is good) we don't always grow...OK I am speaking of myself here, but when it's raining (when life is hard) I tend  to press in more, seek God more, Allstair Begg used this analogy on his podcast the other day and it really stuck with me. Reminder that its the times when things aren't going as planned that result in the most growth.

So it's raining just a little here, I have not been given the "all clear" yet, tests and appointments are continuing, we are in a sense, in God's "waiting room" but it's not time wasted, that I can assure you

Life continues, responsibilities don't change. I  have times when fear tries to creep in, but mostly God is giving me peace and much grace. He continues to use this time to show me things about myself, there will be more about that later, for now just know all is well with my soul

        "life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain'"
                                                      author unknown

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; greeat is your faithfulness     Lamentations 3:22-23

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Temperatures are dropping at night, it won't be long before we get a frost, time to take the tender plants in and harvest the basil. I will dry some basil but most of it will be made into pesto.
Lots of pesto recipes out there, this is the recipe I use

2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients together in a food processor and process until it is smooth.
I then spoon out it out into portions using an ice cube tray and freeze, after it freezes pop out and store in a freezer bag. (not an original idea, got this tip from a Southern Living magazine years ago)

No ice cube trays because you were decluttering and got rid of them, (that would be me) you can use a Styrofoam egg container to freeze portions. (I wasn't going to buy an ice cube tray after I just donated mine) 
One of the nice things about making pesto is the lovely smell that fills the kitchen, an even better thing  about making pesto is eating it on pizza later this winter