Friday, August 3, 2012

Catching up...

So today I discovered a yummy new breakfast smoothie, mowed the lawn, and annihilated a wasp nest.  (The foaming wasp and hornet killer spray is awesome!) Yes, that part was probably my favorite event of the morning.

I sat down to relax for a moment, and realized that I have a blog.  And said blog has not been updated in forever! 


I should fix that!
(On the off chance there is anyone out there who still reads it...)

Here is a quick update on what life has thrown at me this summer. 

It started with saying good bye to a dear friend.  She went on a missions trip to the Philippines and will be gone for six months!  Needless to say, we spent a lot of time together before she left.

Throw in a quick trip to Kentucky...

Then planning a wedding shower with a friend for a couple in our church...
Between decorating and coming up with newlywed game questions, I am so ready to throw another one!

A time out for some fun at the fair...  Never forget the deep fried pickles!

Decorate for VBS...

Then a crazy week at SSI!

I hope your summer was filled with fun activities as well.  Here is to a wonderful (almost) end of the summer and a relaxing fall!

Monday, June 11, 2012

When The Going Gets Tough...

...The tough get going.  But by that time, is it too late?  Should "the tough" have been able to see the "tough going" on its way and been able to prepare for its arrival? 

The going is presenting some tough things in my life at present, and I'm regretting my lack of spiritual preparation. 

I am so quick to pray, read my Bible, and "walk circumspectly" when the going gets tough, but what of the times the going is easy? Why do I slack on the spiritual disciplines which should be a daily habit? I should have been able to see the tough times coming, should have been ready with my sword drawn, yet here I am staggering at this blow, scrambling just to find my shield. 

Though I am scared at the changes this "tough going" may bring, I must keep the faith.  
Through discouragement, slander, and accusation, I must know that all things work together for good.
Though I feel ill prepared for this situation, I must know He will equip me with the tools necessary to accomplish His purpose and that His purpose will be accomplished in me.
Though I want out of this situation, I know I must press through.  On the other side waits my Lord with "well done" on His lips.

May I remember.
Remember to watch
Remember to listen
Remember to keep His words even when the going is easy.
Because every now and then, the going gets tough.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stars Don't Move

I've had some long days this week.  Really long days.  Not just physically long, but emotionally draining.  I walked to my van after a particularly difficult day, slowly crossing the dark parking lot, dreading the long drive home and busy schedule the next day held.  Other than my weary body and worrisome thoughts it was a perfect night.  I savored the smell of the fresh night air, and enjoyed the feel of the cool breeze through my hoodie. It helped clear my mind. I took a deep breath and looked up as I neared the van.  I saw a perfectly clear inky black sky. And there they were.  As clear and predictable as ever, the bright pinpoints of stars in their familiar constellations.  Always the same, but the wonder of their beauty and simplicity never diminishing.  

I've heard people describe the creation of the stars as being "flung into space," like God scooped a handful of diamonds from his paint box and tossed them onto the canvas of the night sky to see where they would fall.  I picture God thoughtfully hanging each star in the heavens, drawing pictures with them, purposely hiding them for us to find, and in so doing, declaring to us His glory.

I stood there with my head tilted upwards for several minutes.  I felt out of place before, but somehow the stars brought everything back into perspective.  I didn't want to move.  I wanted to stare at them forever, to drink in a portion of their consistency and absorb some of the peace they have from knowing they are exactly where God wants them.  

Stars don't move. Why do I feel as if I always have to be?  What would happen if I stopped looking for the next best thing and fully embraced what He put in front of me to enjoy and serve Him in today?  He has placed me right here, right now, to complete a picture, to declare His glory.  Yet there I go, trying so hard to figure out where I should be that I miss it completely.

Stars don't move. That is part of their beauty.  If only I could learn such contentment.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

River 4 Months

OK, so he's really four and a half months old.
I think I've said this on every River post, but he is getting so big!  He's coming along well with his training, we just need to fine tune heeling...

Ahem, right, fine tune heeling.

...and start working on distractions,
particularly the door bell!

We've done some fun stuff lately.  Here's a peek!

He was hungry

So he helped me make dinner...
(that's what I mean about getting big!)

OK, the real fun thing was our trip to the Rochester Fire Station with our puppy group.

The goal is to expose the dogs to the sirens and sounds of the running fire engines, as well as the strange way firemen look  and smell in bunker gear and masks. 

 How cute is that?

We also took the dogs into the training tower.  A three story cement block building with no lighting and metal grated stairs.  Some of the pups did not like it much, but after the first flight, River went up like a pro!

Here is to one awesome dog!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Meditation

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; 
ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; 
neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

~John 13:14-16

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cowboy Boots

A beautiful day at church yesterday.
A wonderful time of worship,
A challenge by a visiting speaker from China who was imprisoned during the communist reign,
Then, there is my buddy Titus.
He is all of 3 years old, loves the color blue, Thomas the train, and always has a smile on his face.
Yesterday, he made me think.
No, not about Thomas the train.  It was cowboy boots.
He walked up to me after service and proudly displayed the brown distressed leather boots he was wearing for me to see.  I just so happened to be wearing mine that day, and we had fun comparing them, as they matched nearly identically.

What made me think was what his older sister told me a minute later.
She said, "Titus told mom he was going to wear his cowboy boots to church today because Miss. Mary wears hers to church all the time!"

First it made me laugh!
Who would have thought a three year old boy noticed what shoes I wore to church!?
Then I thought, "If he notices the shoes I wear, what else is he noticing?" 

When I taught in Oklahoma it was easy to remember that I was being watched. It was easy to see that my fellow character coaches and I were, by God's grace, lights in the darkness, giving hope to the hopeless.  When the contrast between the environment we were in and the light of God in us was so different, it was easy to remember we were there to minister God's love to those around us.

But here at home,  I need these little reminders that I am still being watched.
Not just by the three year old who wants to wear cowboy  boots, or the girls who sport sparkly green frog earrings, but also strangers in the grocery store, the teller at the bank, the mail man, the neighbor next door, or the group of kids I pass on the sidewalk when I walk the dog.

They are all watching too.
What do they see?

The cowboy boots? Or the love of Christ in my actions?

But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 
~ I Timothy 4:12

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Right Words

Ever read a book, or anything for that mater, and came across a new word?  
One you didn't recognize or know how to pronounce quite right?  
In a word, 

 Usually I skip over them and gain the meaning of the word from the context of the sentence. While that usually works reasonably well, I think I've lost a lot of the specific meaning certain words give by playing a guessing game with their definitions.

I was writing something recently and had a hard time putting my thoughts down on paper as precisely as I wished to, so I pulled out the trusty (and slightly dusty) dictionary and started flipping pages.  I found that the meaning of the words I originally chose perfectly described what I was trying to say. They had so much more meaning than I ever would have guessed. 

Which made me think.

If I don't know exactly what it is I'm saying when I write,
do I really know what the author of whatever it is I'm reading is trying to communicate?
Kind of a strange thought.

Then I kept thinking.

Having a small vocabulary not only diminishes the ability to understand what we read or hear, but also can diminish our ability to effectively teach and communicate with those in our sphere of influence. (Which is a key part of our purpose here on earth. Matt. 28:19, Mark 13:10, Lk. 24:47)

The obvious answer to the issue is, expand your vocabulary!

Easier said than done.

 So, when I sit down to read do I keep a dictionary handy? Not necessarily, but I've become more aware of words that I do not know a precise definition to.  I am more apt to keep a list when I read and look up unknown words a bit later.  I then try to use them in conversation or in writing  (sometimes I have to look them up again.) to help cement their meaning in my mind.

Any other vocabulary building tips out there?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Monday Meditation

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

~Isaiah 43:19~

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Yep.  I'm convinced!  
It's here.
It might leave again before it comes to stay, but for now,
Spring is here!

 .....And here is the mud to prove it.

Of course she had to pick the muddiest part of the pasture to use for basking in the sun.
But she is a pretty little thing Isn't she? (Probably around 13 hands)
Her name is Ellie.
She is still in her trial period at Banbury, but hopefully she will earn a permanent spot in the barn in the near future!

Disclaimer: No, Ellie is not my horse. She is (almost) a therapy horse at a therapeutic riding center I volunteer at.  See link above.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Today was a good day.
A sunshiny day.
A bare foot day.
An over 70 degree day.  (Yes, I'm still in Michigan!)
A day I got to spend with some very special little people.
All those reasons gave us much cause to smile :)
And so we did.

Some feet have seem more of the outside so far this year than mine...

  I promise he's not falling on his head, just showing off a flip!  
See? Safe in one piece.
I hope you all had as beautiful a day as I did!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

River, 12 Weeks

This boy is growing like a weed! 
At 11 weeks he weighed 25 lbs. That's a 15 lb gain in 5 weeks!

He doesn't even have to jump on the gate to see over it any more.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Wow.  Has it really been since Valentine's day since I've posted anything?
I've got some fun times to tell you all about from my trip to Texas for the Independent Christian Film Makers Academy and Film Festival, but I thought I would wait until some one emailed me some pictures to enlighten you all on the fun we had and some of the things that I learned.

So, in the mean time, here is my favorite gluten free banana bread recipe!  Yes, gluten free.  But it taste pretty close to the real stuff. Promise.

First, Mix the dry ingredients:
1/2 C Arrowroot powder
1/2 C Tapioca flour 
1/2 C Bean flour
1/4 C Sorghum flour
1 heaping tsp. Xanthan gum
3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. Cinnamon

Mix separately:
1/3 C shortening and 2/3 C sugar
beat in 2 eggs
2-3 mashed bananas
1 tsp. Vanilla

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, you don't have to worry about over mixing, because there is no gluten :)  Stir in chocolate chips and chopped nuts of your choice if you wish. (as if you wouldn't....)

Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes


For a quick variation simply substitute the bananas for a small can of pumpkin, and add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon, some cloves, and ginger. Yum!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

To all my single friends, be blessed!