Wise Words Wednesday

Bible in 90 Days

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

An Adventure in Tofu…Wait, WHAT???

Do you know what happens when you mix great-grandmothers with a crunchy diet? It’s not good. One of my great-grandmothers (not Big Mommy!), staying with family, happened upon a carton of soy milk in the refrigerator. Her thoughts? “What in the world? ‘SOW’s milk?’ I didn’t even know you could milk them things.” (For those of you city folk, a sow is a female PIG. Gross.)

Anyway, this week I have some tofu to get rid of. I thought of making pad thai, but since my husband dislikes it, I’ll wait and fix that for myself when he’s out of town. Instead, I found some recipes that “hide” the tofu. :) Without further ado:

Monday: Roasted Red Pepper Soup with grilled cheese, chocolate chip pound cake for Ladies’ Night
Tuesday: Tofu Creamed Spinach (spinach from the garden!) with leftover meat from this weekend
Wednesday: Chicken Enchiladas with homemade refried beans from the freezer rice and Tofu Sour Cream (oh boy!)
Thursday: Homemade butternut squash ravioli from the freezer, gingered carrots
Friday: Bean and rice stew from the freezer

Saturday and Sunday: Family coming to visit + friend’s birthday party = lots of good food and good times, but no planning! :) Can’t WAIT to see my sister. :) I may try this Heavenly Pie Recipe while she and her husband are here.

Menu Plan Monday @ orgjunkie.com

Blog Hop 2010

Sleepover time!  I’m getting ready to share my deepest darkest secret or maybe my most embarrassing moment, and it makes me feel like I’m twelve again.  I have to decide which story will make you like me and want to be my friend.

You want to be my friend, I promise.  :)   I’m the friend who volunteers to bring you dinner after your baby is born and then totally forgets, until the next day.  Oh, but wait!  I will make you homemade banana breadand fresh salad and my mom’s famous potato soup (I’ll even give you the recipe!) to make up for it.

Little Girl blogging

My little blogger

You really do want to be my friend.  I have the cutest baby on the planet, and if you’re my friend, I’ll let you kiss her cheeks.  And maybe babysit her too, as long as you don’t follow my example, letting her fall out of her stroller and bite her lip.

You want to be my friend because my husband is a Marine and protects our country, and I’m so proud of him.  (My deepest darkest secrets are all shared with him, so I guess you’re missing out on those.)

You also want to be my friend because I have the coolest Big Mommy who tells the best stories, or, as she called them, “trugars.”  Like the one about the skunk in her closet….

You mostly want to be my friend because I love people, and I love sharing what I’m learning and hearing about what you’re learning, and just learning together.  This blog is all about women helping each other to grow into maturity, and especially about older women passing down their wisdom to us.

Come back and visit regularly.  You want to be my friend because I love company:)

Blog Hop '10

Okra and Tomatoes — Big Mommy style

I’m a little behind; Tuesday was Okra & Tomatoes day, according to my menu plan.  But even with the wait, this dish was definitely a finer thing!  My little girl ate four helpingsAlicia requested this recipe for her own menu this week, so with my apologies to her for the delay and my hopes that you all enjoy Big Mommy’s cooking, here it is!
First, chop up a quart of okra in small rounds:

Chopping okra

My amazing knife. Thanks, hubby!

Then, send Little Girl (with hubby) out to the garden to get tomatoes.

Little Girl with tomato

Isn't she adorable?

Chop up the tomatoes (about a pint’s worth), add them to the pot, and realize you needed to get a bigger pot.

Pot overflowing with tomatoes.

Not enough room!

Get a bigger pot, then add one chopped onion, 1/4 stick of butter (Big Mommy’s official recipe calls for “Oleo” — is that margarine???), 2 tablespoons sugar (you can use a little less and it’ll be fine), salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over medium heat until okra is tender.  Ouila!

Yummy okra and tomatoes all finished.

Yummy!

And there you have it, folks.  More to come from the recipe file of Big Mommy’s greats, so stay tuned!

 

Finer Things Friday

 

To Nap or Not To Nap, THAT is the Adventure!

When Little Girl stopped plopping herself down contentedly at naptime, started screaming at the top of her lungs at bedtime, and continually asked for a drink or to use the bathroom (at 16 months!!!), we knew something had to change.  Discipline wasn’t working.  Taking her to the potty 5 times in a row wasn’t working.  Putting her to bed later wasn’t working.

It was time for one nap.

So we have embarked on a new adventure of trying to figure out the best naptime and bedtime, an adventure replete with mistakes, but definitely a much happier Little Girl!  She is faling asleep much quicker, and without the fuss.

Starting to fall asleep

Going, going...

Including at lunch.  :)

Fast asleep at the table.

...GONE.

 

Try New Adventures Thursday @ "Alicia's Homemaking!"

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Big Mommy sharing words of wisdom with Little Girl“You’ve had love, honey, and that’s what makes it good.”

The first words of wisdom come, appropriately, from Big Mommy herself.  We heard these words over and over and over again.  Some of the stories, “Trugars”, from her childhood were not happy ones, but she wanted better for us, and so she gave us love.

“I have peace and joy and try to give all I can to others so that their life can remember some good I’ve passed along.  I love all my family I’m responsible for and hope some good was there.”

There definitely was good there.  A lot of good.  And I’m sure you all have stories to share from the wise women (or men!) in your life as well.  But before we dig into your words of wisdom, I wanted to address the title of this theme.  Last week, I referred to “Wise Words” Wednesday, and as you can see, this week it’s “Words of Wisdom” Wednesday.  I’ve also batted around Women of Wisdom Wednesday, Wise Women Wednesday, and others, and I just can’t quite decide.  I’d like to open up the floor for suggestions and votes, and if your original suggestion becomes the new working title, you’ll win a prize!  :)

As for submissions, please add your comment or link below with any wisdom you have gleaned from those around you, or perhaps experiences you have had when discipling younger women, or just something you learned this week in your walk with God.  I’m not too particular; I just want us to learn from one another and, especially, learn from those who have gone before.

One caveat, and this comes from Big Mommy: “There are some places in our lives that are for us only, not to be shared, so I left them out, as they are shameful or hateful to my memory.  I ask Jesus to go back to so many wrongs I did along the way and forgive me of the things I want forgiven.  I thank Him for setting me free as I committed things before I knew Him as my Forgiver and Savior.”  Please be discerning in the details that you share, and please remember that God’s forgiveness wipes away all the ugliness.

I can’t wait to hear the wisdom you have to share!

Ten Disasters Which Need Addressing

I have notebooks full of lists.  Some of them are partially crossed-off, some not even touched.  But, if I am to have a somewhat well-run household, avoid CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome–from the Flylady), and move forward with exciting new things, these items must, and I repeat, MUST find completion soon (read: this week).

Hold me accountable.

1. Make banana bread.  Yesterday we acquired a box full of bananas (see picture) from my husband’s battalion.  More baking for the neighbors!

2. Make Chex Mix.  I have had boxes of Chex & Cheerios on top of my refrigerator, waiting to be converted into snack mix forEVER.  I think we’ve gone through at least two or three bags of pretzels in that time, and though I currently am out of pretzels, we can have Chex mix without them.

3. Finish preparations for the new semester of piano teaching.  This includes mailing out letters to parents, posting flyers, updating records, and ordering music.

4. Wash the sheets on my bed.  Not drastic, I know, but I just thought of it.

5. Try to reduce my e-mail inbox to something less than 200 e-mails.  *yikes*

6. Write two guest posts for other blogs.

7. Call my mother-in-law for family addresses that have changed, then send out (no joke) Christmas cards that have been lying around my house since….before Christmas.

8. Formulate and send an e-mail to my husband’s commanding officer and other leadership pertaining to family events within his company.

9. Read Big Mommy’s notebook from start to finish and/or transcribe parts.

10. Sort through clothes and papers that are currently cluttering up my guest room (including the aforementioned Christmas cards).

Are you inspired?  I am.  :)

Top Ten Tuesday

Recipes for the Week

First of all, I definitely have to include the recipe for okra and tomatoes this week, due to popular request.  :)   But that means a trip to the farmer’s market for okra, because I am “plum out,” as Big Mommy would say.

From Big Mommy: “Living on the farm was helpful having fresh vegetables in season.  Milking a cow gave milk, cream, butter, and cottage cheese.  Learning to gather good variety from the cattle, hogs, and chickens was all our way of life.  How to feed stock and fowl provided meat, eggs, and added pleasures.

Many wild berries and fruit also were available as grapes for juice and jelly.  Elderberries for jelly.  Huckleberry and wild blueberries in season gave new pie treats or cobblers.

By land development and new process of producing changed many resources but other ways replaced those lost.”

Reading her words took me back to climbing the elderberry tree near Big Mommy’s farm; I haven’t eaten elderberries in years!  They made great pies though.  Mmmm….  And her mention of cobblers reminds me, I think I owe you her guava cobbler recipe as well.

But first things first.  On the menu this week will be spaghetti with homemade sauce, as my tomato plants are the only productive ones in the garden.  :)   The sauce is made already, so I just need to boil some noodles and make up a garden salad to go along with it.

Monday: Spaghetti with meatballs & salad
Tuesday: Leftover macaroni & cheese, pork chops, maybe Okra & Tomatoes? (also having ladies over for lunch and making my favorite chicken salad recipe…yum!)
Wednesday: Soup from the freezer, homemade bread with homemade blueberry jam (a friend from church brought a jar for me yesterday!!)
Thursday: Quiche with turkey bacon, cheese, onion, plus a fruit salad
Friday: Pizza night
Saturday: Eating with friends
Sunday: Having people over after church, deli sandwiches buffet-style

What’s on your menu?

The Enough

Big Daddy and Big MommyTrugars from Big Mommy

“Marriage wasn’t a dish of jelly, but my teaching days only took form in a new dimension, and when God gave me his Holy Spirit to guide and teach me I could withstand it and share right attitudes and love others.  I never had experienced that before, so I am so thankful for it all.  Now I am left to enjoy a life alone that I never had with those who should have been my comfort and examples, but God knows our needs and supplies mine.

“Living alone isn’t all a bed of roses but it is freedom for me to choose and accept my lot.  I use my time making and sharing and giving what God has given me in my hand to do, hoping it is blessing someone else as I am blessed.  I have worn out body areas from ‘much hard work,’ the doctor said, but God cares for that and at my age I can cook, eat, drive and do necessary things until such time as He says, ‘That’s enough.’”

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Learning from Her Wisdom

When does God say, “That’s enough”?  In most cases, our enough comes quite a bit sooner than His.  His enough might not come until a parent dies or a friend betrays or a child loses his way.  But His enough also surpasses our furthest  imaginings.  His enough goes far beyond a comfortable home and a happy marriage; His enough is abundance.  He came so that we could have life and have it to the full.  Full and abundant is His enough, but we are too dense to realize that God’s enough comes not through ease but through character-forming, attitude-altering, mind-blowingly tough experiences.

Sometimes I wonder how many lessons we miss along the way.  Do we see the face of God in the midst of our pain and loneliness, or do we simply see pain and loneliness itself?  If we could see the face of God and experience the change brought about by His nearness, what wisdom and sweetness would pour out of us to bless and change others?  How would our sphere of influence be impacted if we were living in breathless expectation of what God will do next?

A kiss from my Marine.And along the same lines, what blessings do we miss for ourselves when we miss the face of God in the hard times?  My husband serves our country as a Marine, and sometimes that means that I’m left in the dark, waiting and wondering.  When he leaves for work, I have no assurance of when I’ll next hear his voice or see his face.  There have been quite a few mornings when I have struggled to get out of bed; I work to motivate myself for the simplest tasks.  But where is the face of God?  Is He bending over my life, waiting for me to look up and recognize Him?  Are His arms open, ready to receive my loneliness and comfort my aching heart?  What lessons am I missing by focusing on myself and my needs that aren’t being met, instead of allowing Him to meet them exceedingly, abundantly, beyond anything I could ask or think?

Finer Things Friday

Try New Adventures — Soggy Laundry

Little girl helping with laundry.

Little Girl helping Mommy!

 

 

My grandmothers always, always, always hung their laundry out to dry.  I never did.  But with an air-conditioner that is too old and to small for my house, paying for all that energy just seemed like a waste.  So, I have begun to follow tradition.  Little Girl loves to push the laundry basket and “help” Mommy, and it’s a chance for us to enjoy the *gasp* stiflingly hot outdoors together.

 

 

 

Wet laundry hanging on the line.

The rain came and the dryness went. :(

That’s my new adventure.  It didn’t seem all that exciting until I looked out my window this morning and saw this.  Oh boy.  Somehow one adventure turns into another, and I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle soggy laundry.

Hopefully the sun will come out and save me the trouble!Try New Adventures Thursday @ "Alicia's Homemaking!"