In Which I Fall Off A Bandwagon…or two.

Depressing, no?  But wait!  There’s hope!  I don’t have to wait for next New Year’s to roll around (346 days from now) to start with a fresh slate.  My God’s mercies are “new every morning; great is His faithfulness! (Lamentations 3:23)!!!  What’s great about that verse is that, not only does it give me hope for tomorrow morning, but it comes from the oh-so-sad-sounding book of Lamentations.  I can lament over all the bandwagons I fall off of, and then I can rejoice in the mercies of my Great God.  Not only that, but I will seek His face in the morning, seek His direction, because His directions are new every morning, too.  :)   I need to listen to His directions, thank Him for His mercy, and plow into “happening to life,” as an old friend likes to put it.

So.  Go happen to life.

Wise Words Wednesday — A Marriage Retreat

A friend of mine recently asked me if my husband and I would have a chance to get away for a night alone before this baby comes.  Honestly?  It hadn’t occured to me!  But we are going to visit family at the beginning of October, and I’m sure they’d be more than happy to help us out with that.

I’m super excited, because two other ladies have recently suggested ways of connecting with your husband, both of which we can incorporate into our little getaway:

Lori, from The Generous Wife, recently posted a series of questions to ask your spouse, conversation-starters, if you will, ways of opening up to each other and reconnecting.

Christine, from iDreamofClean, wrote a guest post for The Finer Things in Life, suggesting a marriage plan and giving ideas for how to create one.

Thank you ladies, for your sweet and helpful suggestions; I can’t wait to try them out on our romantic getaway next month!

Now, it’s your turn.  What is the wisest advice you’ve ever received about preserving and improving and developing your marriage for the glory of God?  Feel free to link up, leave a comment, or both!

Wise Words Wednesday — A Question

Underwater soft focus photograph of bubbles oc...

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Is truth always true?

I ask because I recently posted a link to a fabulous article about boys who aren’t becoming men. [Note: The original Newsweek article which I read has been removed, but this is a slight variation by the same author.] My brother-in-law immediately disliked the article, not because of its content necessarily, but because of its author.  And he posted a quote from the same author.  And I didn’t like it.  So does that negate the truth of the first article?

Another case-in-point.  Back in my college days, I remember reading Plato and Aristotle, and loving the idea of the “sublime.”  It resonated with me.  I have had experiences of sublimity, usually in relation to God’s word, or some sort of epiphany, or an experience in God’s creation that demonstrated His power and might.  Some of those philosophers’ ideas were so, well, TRUE.  But they didn’t come from God, or the Bible, or even a Christian.

What about things that Mohammed said that actually line up with things that Jesus said?  And Buddha?  Or (gasp!) some of our presidents, or…. Hitler?  Does the identity of the speaker change the truth of the words?

Are wise words always wise?

Wise Words Wednesday – My Blog and Monetization

What a mess!Things I chose to do this week instead of blog…

 

My wise words this week came from two fellow bloggers, Amy and Steve.  Both of them have their own niche, their own mission, their own goals.  And they don’t let anybody tell them how to run things.  They don’t conform to the blogger norms, the accepted ways of driving traffic and creating readership; they don’t follow the rules.

Steve’s post about creating traffic really struck a nerve with me.  He writes posts that are too long, he doesn’t allow comments, and he most definitely is not creating community.  I realized I have been trying to do all those things, not because I wanted them, but because that’s what I thought I had to do to be a successful blogger.  I want to impact people, and that doesn’t require a post every day or a long list of comments; it simply requires me to sit down, pray, and write something that can impact people.  (And let me just tell you, inspiring you to write a menu plan wasn’t the sort of impact I had in mind, though stories about Big Mommy’s cooking are still fun. :) )

Amy‘s post about comparing yourself to others just pounded the point home.  I don’t have to share pithy tips or heartwarming pictures like my friend Alicia (though I absolutely LOVE reading hers!); her seemingly instant success has nothing to do with my blog, whatsoever.  I’m happy for her, and for Amy, and for Steve, and all those other bloggers who are following their goals and dreams and (hopefully) making a little money into the bargain, and I want to follow their example by not copying their example.

Conclusion?  I’m here to write.  To write well.  To be a peg for God to hang His glory on.  And I’m here to give voice those older and wiser than me who have so much to share.  And to give voice to you, who can pass on their words as well.

So please, share away.  I want to learn something today.

C.O.R.D.

Coined by Jill Bond (who wrote Dinner’s in the Freezer!), “C.O.R.D.” stands for “Clean Out the Refrigerator Day.”  Sometimes Jill Bond would make C.O.R.D. soup with what was in her ‘fridge, but quite often she just set everything out in a buffet.  I loved picking up this book off of my mom’s shelf and perusing all the recipes and ideas!

Anyway, this week, my refrigerator looks like a bomb went off in there, so we’re going to eat and eat and eat whatever I find that’s still good (including the butternut squash ravioli and chicken enchiladas from last week) until it’s gone.  And then I’m going to the freezer and organizing there.  Whew.

That said, the plan for tonight is chicken enchiladas, tomorrow is ravioli, and Wednesday is chef salad.  Thursday my husband and I are celebrating together (an “inside” celebration), so maybe dinner out?  And the weekend?  Lots and lots of veggies, because it’s time to finish up with the garden and go to the farmer’s market!  I’m also planning to eat up the Magic Cookie Bars I made with my sister and brother-in-law who were here visiting.  I miss them.   *sniff*

Oh, and snacks are coming from Kaia Foods….  YUM!!  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win some snacks for yourself!

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at www.orgjunkie.com

Yummy Snacks – And a Giveaway!!

Baby KaiaShe loves them. Really. :)

Winner posted! (scroll down)

Guess what I’ve been munching on today? Kale chips. Yeah, I know, I was lost at first too. Don’t think potato chips; think snack mix. It’s a blend of dried kale, sprouted sunflower seeds, sprouted sesame seeds, and sundried tomatoes. Barbecue flavor. And all I can say is, YUM.

This week I got a box full of natural snacks from Kaia Foods, and let me just tell you, my family is in heaven. Even my husband, who is a white-bread-eating, vegetable-shunning, steak-and-potatoes kind of guy, had to admit that he liked the Lime Ginger fruit leather I gave him to try.  Liked, mind you, not tolerated, put-up-with, or managed-to-get it down.  :)   I’m sold.  And my little girl has been begging for more kale chips all day!

Sprouted Sunflower SeedsI’m addicted!

The sprouted sunflower seeds are so yummy, and especially good for me, since I’m a snackaholic.  We tried the Curry and Cocoa Molé flavors, and both are good.  I think the Cocoa Molé may be my new go-to when I need a chocolate fix!  And the Cherry Pie granola?  Packed with nutrients and flavor.  The best part about this is that it’s all organic, sweetened with agave nectar, and totally, irresistably good for you.

The next best thing?  Kaia Foods is giving away one product of YOUR choice from their website!  Congratulations to Emma Peel, who won this giveaway and will be receiving her pick: Lime Ginger Fruit Leather!

This post is linked to TheDiaperDiaries.net, www.freegrechen.com, www.sandysrealm.com, www.grandmajam.com, www.contestguide.com, and www.5minutesformom.com

Wise Words Wednesday

As I read through the Bible in 90 days, I am continually bewildered at how people either refuse to take good advice or readily run with bad advice. So, this week, we’re going to look at the top ten most UN-wise actions I’ve read about this week. I figure God’s Word contains the wisest words, even if we come at them in a backwards way. :)

1. “But after the death of Jehoida the officials came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them. They abandoned the house of the Lord…” (2 Chronicles 24:1-2)
Flattery pulls us away from the presence of God. As long as I worship Him and Him only, I will avoid worshipping myself.

2. After God delivered him from his enemies, Amaziah decided to worship other gods. “Then the anger of the Lord burned against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet [...] It came about as he was talking with him that the king said to him, ‘Stop! Why should you be struck down?’ Then the prophet stopped and said, ‘I know that God has planned to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.’” (2 Chronicles 25:15-16)
Usually Always when God sends chastisement, it’s to prevent our destruction. Listen.

3. “But when he [Uzziah] became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corrupty [...] They opposed Uzziah the king and said to him, ‘It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord’ [...] But Uzziah, with a censer in his hand for burning incense, was enraged; and while he was enraged with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead…” (2 Chronicles 26:16-19)
Pride makes us think we can worship God the way we see fit, and the consequences of that sort of pride is a disease that separates us from His true followers.

4. “In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill; and he prayed to the Lord, and the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud; therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.” (2 Chronicles 32:24-25)
Our pride and lack of gratitude for God’s goodness can provoke the wrath of God, not only on ourselves, but on those around us!

5. “The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.” (2 Chronicles 33:10)
Manasseh and his people were carried off into exile.

Now, interesting fact about these five instances: The first three started off on the right foot; they were following after God but made poor choices and reaped the fruit of unrighteousness. The last two, however, humbled themselves and finished well. Hezekiah was healed, and Manasseh was brought back from captivity. Moral of the story? No matter your past, whether you’ve been obedient or rebellious, what matters is NOW.

6. After God brought the Israelites back to their land from captivity, they rebelled by taking foreign wives. This blows my mind. How could Israel have not learned their lesson already? Oh, wait. Am I the same person who was lazy yesterday and vowed to be diligent today? How could I have not learned my lesson already? Deliver me from my captivity, oh God!

7. Vashti, by refusing to come to the king, lost her place as queen. Now I know there are all kinds of conjectures behind this one, but bear with my thought: Perhaps we, as wives, lose a little of our “queenship” when we refuse to honor our husbands. Let’s just keep the crown (halo?), okay? :)

8. Haman’s wife and friends suggested he build a gallows for his enemy. Jesus said to pray. The gallows got Haman himself hung. I think I’ll pray.

9. Job’s wife told him to curse God and die. Job patiently answered that he should accept hardship as well as good times. Though it’s good to vent with your spouse, perhaps Job’s wife went a little too far.

10. And then there are Job’s friends. All I can say is, don’t be them. I want to learn to be the kind of friend that offers wise, godly, helpful advice. Deliver us from those who think they are wise, and yet, “professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22)!

So friend, think carefully before you offer me advice. :) Just kidding. I would love to hear what you have to share this week, what you have learned, what someone said, even a quote that resonated with the wisdom of God. Link up!

This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday at OhAmanda.com

Regarding Wayne

Remember the movie, “Regarding Henry,” with Harrison Ford?  The well-to-do, workaholic, self-centered lawyer who gets shot in the head and gains a new perspective on life and family?  The before-and-after nature of the movie caught me off guard recently, when it dawned on my that my husband is the after.

“Henry” wakes up not remembering his before-life in any way; he is honest and sweet, childlike and selfless.  My husband, Wayne, already takes the time to listen to his daughter, to absorb her personality, to chart her growth physically and emotionally.  He already takes the time to hug and kiss me, to put me above his job and his friends, to tell me that he loves me no matter who might overhear.  He has never worked in a dishonest way or stepped on anyone to advance himself.  He embodies loyalty and integrity and honor.  He’s my man, and I am blessed.

Thank You Lord, for forming his heart without a bullet wound!

The Beginning

“Trugars” are stories that are true.   My great-grandmother, fondly remembered as “Big Mommy,” coined the phrase as she spun her tales of yesteryear to my mother’s generation.  I heard her stories, er, trugars, too, and now I want to pass them on to my children.  In the meantime, I’m also creating my own trugars to tell someday.

The fifth generation of trugar-telling!

“My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”
~  Psalm 46:1

Some time ago, I read about an author writing his book online. I’m not exactly sure how he accomplished that, but I plan to embark on a similar scheme, albeit in my own fashion. You see, my great-grandmother completed the story of her life here on earth November 25, and the time has come for me to complete the book version of that story.