Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hard Truths

"Is not some of the pain and sorrow in this life used in God's providential hand to make us homesick for heaven, to detach us from this world, to prepare us for heaven, to draw our attention to himself, and away from the world of merely physical things"  D.A. Carson  "How Long, O Lord"

This little quote has been stirring around in my head for a couple of days now, I think it is a true statement, although I also think these can be hard words when someone is in the midst of pain, when their heart is aching

I would much prefer to travel the easy road, one without ditches and potholes and please smooth out all the little bumps. That has not been my life, do you know many who can claim it has been theirs? I have seen the value in traveling the bumpy road, faith has been strengthened, lots of refining done, with more to come I am sure. Besides that harder road can be a bit more scenic, I have been able to take notice of things I would have missed.

I  believe that God uses all things for his purposes and maybe sometimes it's just to draw our attention to him.

We are coming up on the anniversary of the death of my brother in law, he died on Easter Sunday three years ago, a young man, no warning. I think that is why my thoughts are where they are today. Thinking about this event and the effect it has had on different family members

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom  Psalm 90:12

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Let That Light Shine

"Light penetrates darkness, darkness does not penetrate light" I don't know if you get discouraged with how dark things seem to be these days...I do. This was an encouraging word I heard the other day that gave me a different perspective...let your light shine.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meal of The Month

Need a gift idea for a birthday, or any other occasion? How about a new mom or bride to be? You might consider the gift of a meal a month. My husband and I wanted to give our children a Christmas gift last year that would keep on giving, so we came up with the Meal a Month idea.

We put together a book that featured three meals that my son's family could choose from each month. Each meal was complete with sides and dessert, if they did not like the choices offered that month they could  choose a meal featured in any of the previous months. They would chose the day they would like the meal delivered, with the only requirement being that they had was to give me a weeks notice so I could plan and do my shopping.

My youngest son lives out of state, so we had to adapt his book. He has three baked items to choose from each month, and the same rules apply, if he does not like the choices offered he can choose from a prior month and he needs to give me a weeks notice. Another rule that applies to him...the plastic cake containers must come home at some point so they can be reused, all his items are mailed to him

I made the book that featured the meals on line, using Walgreens photo processing, added photos of the grand kids in the kitchen and eating just for fun. You can do these books as reasonably as ten dollars. You could also use index cards for this, with one index card for each month featuring three meal choices. Tie all the index cards together with a pretty bow and you are set to go. As an added feature you can also add the recipe when delivering the meal. The most challenging part of this gift is coming up with 36 different menu choices (I ended up doing some repeats)

I don't know anyone who doesn't enjoy a meal brought to them, especially if their lives are busy, mobility limited, health frail or finances tight. Our families have really enjoyed this, maybe you'd like to try it too

                                      Linking with Pamela at a Sheltering Tree

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Smile For You

I had a little conversation yesterday with a twenty something friend of mine that showed how words mean different things to different people.

ME: I have really been having a lot of trouble with my contacts this week, not sure what's going on.

Twenty Something Friend: Really? I've never had any trouble with my contacts.

Me: I didn't know you wore contacts

Twenty Something Friend: Oh,  I thought you were talking about the contacts in your phone

Me: (this response made me laugh)  No I meant the contacts you wear

Twenty Something Friend:  Guess I just showed my age, huh?

ME: Yup..(showed mine as well)

Why wouldn't a young persons first thought be that contacts are something you have in your phone, instead of what you put in your eye. Every time I thought about this little exchange yesterday it made me smile, sometimes it doesn't take much....thankful for these little moments

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not Our Home

We drove up to see our youngest son this weekend to attend a couple of concerts he was in. It has been almost a year since we have had the opportunity to see him play and this was a two for one (one weekend two concerts) We also had a day to do some sight seeing in DC, such a treat because it was a gorgeous day outside. Enjoyed both concerts, the day of touring was fun and the weekend seemed to end as quickly as it began.

Driving home, I remarked to my husband that I felt like I was a little out of place in the area, it was a different culture, (for lack of a better word) it was young, professional, physically active, electronically connected and busy. I enjoyed visiting...always do, but DC is not like home.

Then I started thinking, isn't this how we are to feel here on earth, kind of out of place, strangers in a foreign land. This truth should influence the choices I make, my attitudes, what I hold as valuable and important, how tightly I hold onto things ... the list could on but you get the message. It is so easy for me to lose view of eternity, reminded again that I am just passing through....this earth is not my home.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Planning

This time of year my thoughts turn to spring.  Seed catalogs have been arriving the last couple of weeks and I have already planted some seeds that I saved from last year. I am semi-successful with growing vegetables so I am always looking for different types of veggies to try.

I can grow flowers but, for some reason have more trouble with vegetables. Our soil is poor, so we have raised beds, but trees have grown through the years and our raised beds are now more shaded than they used to be. Last year we decided to try something different, in addition to the raised beds we tried growing our vegetables in pots...success was mixed.

Some things we have had success with were lettuce and spinach but, only in the cool of the spring. I have lettuce in a cold frame right now that is growing. Tomato's did well in pots, the "determinate" type did best, those are a little more compact. The "indeterminate" type worked but they are taller and more sprawling, and needed sturdier support as they grew. All the tomatoes I grew needed some type of support with either cages, stakes or trellises along our fence line. I grew a couple of different "Roma type" tomatoes and some patio cherry tomatoes. I also grew peppers and, various herbs in pots.  Pots can be expensive but I found many at end of season sales, yard sales and Craig's list.

I am also going to try to do potatoes in a trash can again this year, first time we tried it we didn't get a potato one but I am not going to let that stop me from trying again...not sure what we did wrong.

Tomatoes we are trying this year are Amish Paste, Roma, Patio Princess, Yellow Pear and Gold Medal.   Any other suggestions?

 We have a long growing season, and the weather can be quite hot. What are some of the things you are planning to grow this year?  I would love to hear how you garden in less than ideal conditions.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Think On These Things

There is a lot of things right now that are competing for my attention, causing me to feel a bit discouraged and even concerned, things that I have no control over. My temptation is to fret and and let my imagination go wild, I can be my own worst enemy, so instead I try to remember truth

The kings heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will
Proverbs 21:1 (The Lord is in control)

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens; and his sovereignty rules over all  Psalm 103:19
(The Lord is in control)

Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things   Philippians 4:8

Saturday, March 2, 2013

By His Grace Alone

"My observation of Christendom is that most of us tend to base our relationship with God on our performance instead of on His grace. If we’ve performed well—whatever ‘well’ is in our opinion—then we expect God to bless us. If we haven’t done so well, our expectations are reduced accordingly. In this sense, we live by works, rather than by grace. We are saved by grace, but we are living by the ‘sweat’ of our own performance. Moreover, we are always challenging ourselves and one another to ‘try harder’. We seem to believe success in the Christian life is basically up to us; our commitment, our discipline, and our zeal, with some help from God along the way. The realization that my daily relationship with God is based on the infinite merit of Christ instead of on my own performance is very freeing and joyous experience. But it is not meant to be a one-time experience; the truth needs to be reaffirmed daily."

Quote taken from book The Christian Life by Jerry Bridges
This quote appeared on the 2/8/2013 blog of Tullian Tchividjian