Thursday, June 27, 2013

Good Word

I have been reading a little book during my devotion time the last couple of weeks called "Who Am I? Identity in Christ" by Jerry Bridges and I came across something so good I just had to share it.

"Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the REACH of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the NEED of God's grace."

A simple little statement that reminds me I am not flying solo in this life...that in itself is good news...and reminds me that not only do I need God's grace but it is AVAILABLE to me!!! (and you too if you are a follower of Christ)

Quote from Chapter 8, I Am Not Yet Perfect, page 92

Monday, June 24, 2013

Busy June Days

June has been busy for us, we started out the month celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary, the years just keep rolling by, I am always amazed at how quickly time passes. Thankful to be celebrating another year, I realize how precious each day is. We celebrated quietly with dinner at our favorite ocean side restaurant. "Andrea" was in town that weekend but the rains held off long enough for us to dine at one of their outside tables

This was the view from our table, still stormy out there but we were under cover

After our anniversary we celebrated Sweet Lady's birthday. We took her out for lunch then we had cookout and a birthday celebration at our house with my son and his family for dinner. She has done so well since she has been down here...has become more like the person I remember from years ago.  We decided to have her eyes checked out and found she had needed glasses and not just for close up but for distance as well. I wish I had my camera with me when they put the glasses on for the first time. She had a such a startled expression on her face, like she was seeing things she hadn't seen before....I asked her if she could see any better and in classic Sweet Lady style she replied "yes, you look a whole lot better Maryann" All the way home she was reading signs along the road...what a shame it took us this long to figure out her vision was a problem. She has settled into her home quite well and has made friends with many of the residents, a concern we had. The other day after we had come home from the dentist she made a point of having me stop and wait while she went to tell the ladies she dines with that she wouldn't be at dinner because her mouth was numb...that may seem like a minor thing but, to me it meant that she had connected with others...it was huge.

We have another birthday coming up of a certain little redhead...remember this photo...well she is going to be two

June was also the month for my routine followup with my oncologist, all is well but, he wants me to begin taking Tamoxifen...drug holiday of a year is over. Going back on one of these "anti-estrogen"drugs has been a topic of discussion for several months now with my PCP and husband...benefits versus side effects. Benefits...they are supposed to decrease the risk of recurrence, but there are side effects too.(and I had bad effects from the last one he put me on hence the drug holiday) I had decided that  I was not going back on anything...I was just going to be more mindful of diet and exercise and trust the Lord with the rest....husband was fine with that. Unfortunately that was not how the story ended...oncologist did not want me refusing the drug without at least trying it. We had a discussion, compared statistics, then came to a compromise, I would try it but if I had side effects that I was not able to tolerate I would not have to continue with it...I felt it was a fair compromise so I agreed. That was two weeks ago, the Tamoxifen is still sitting on a shelf in the kitchen unopened...praying for peace.

My actions are being directed by my fear...fear of side effects...how crazy is that? If ever there was a day for Proverbs 3: 5-6 today would be that day

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight"

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day Lilly Show

We ran onto a  Day Lilly Show at our last visit to the Botanical Gardens the other day, it was really a nice little surprise. The flowers were beautiful, with many types represented, there were small ones and large ones, singles and doubles, many I had never seen before. They had already been judged...and to be honest I couldn't tell you why one flower would get a blue ribbon and another get a red one...I thought they were all beautiful but I think what fascinated me the most were the flower arrangements. I had never considered putting  Day Lillie's into any type of flower arrangement...after all they are called Day Lillie's for a reason, the blooms generally only last a day, closing up at dusk. When I went through the different rooms I thought about how these gardeners must have been up at dawn collecting just the perfect specimen's. Then they had to get them into an arrangement for judging all before show time....it had to be a pretty frantic morning for them. Perhaps I was thinking about what I would probably be going through if I ever did this...think I will just enjoy their efforts..hope you do too.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

From Trash To Treasure

My oldest son has a knack of finding curbside treasures, things that people throw away. This wheelbarrow is one of those treasures, my son had found.  The tire was flat (he had already found a new one) the handles were cracked and it was pretty rusted. He had asked if he could keep it at our house till he could get it home. Weeks later it was still at our house so husband decided to fix it up for him for Father's Day, with the help of my son's children.

 Kids enjoyed sanding and taking it apart...the two little ones wanted to make sure they had their own wrenches and screwdrivers even though they had not a clue what to do with them. The only thing we had to purchase were the handles and some spray paint

These golf clubs were a Father's Day gift from son and DIL...another trash to treasure. Son provided the elbow grease needed to clean and wax.....Love how they both think the same way.

Husband, son and grandson

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Storing Up Truth

Question I asked a friend of mine yesterday

"What truth did you store up for yourself today?"  We had agreed at our last visit to hold each other accountable for focusing more on God's truth rather than our circumstances or what we were "seeing" or "feeling"

Her reply was that God is trustworthy

" He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he" Deuteronomy 32:4

What made her response so timely was I had just listened to a sermon that encouraged believers to stop focusing on the why of a situation and instead focus on who God is... he is holy, he is sovereign, he is just, he is merciful and he is worthy of our trust

This is a daily battle for me, not being swept away by the circumstances of life...reminded to make my focus more vertical instead of horizontal...how hard this is when life keeps happening around you...but it is going to as long as we live in this world...right? It will always be something

What about you, what truth did you store up for yourself today?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Banana Nut Bread

What to do with bananas that are getting too ripe...Banana Nut Bread. A friend gave me this recipe several years ago and it's been a favorite of ours ever since.

Banana Nut Bread

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar  (I use about 1/4 cup less most times)
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans (can also use walnuts or no nuts at all)

Combine bananas, eggs and sugar together with electric mixer, in a separate bowl combine dry ingredients together, then add dry ingredients along with buttermilk, oil and vanilla to the banana, egg and sugar mixture, mix with electric mixer until blended, then fold in nuts. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

When bananas begin to get too ripe at our house I stick them in the freezer for future use. I have made this bread with both bananas that I have frozen (thaw them before you use in bread) and with ones that have not been frozen, the bread turns out well either way.

And for those that might have a milk or egg allergy, I have made this bread using an egg replacer and plain coconut milk (add 1/4 tsp lemon juice to batter make up for tang you lose from not using buttermilk) Turned out beautifully

Saturday, June 1, 2013