Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Love to Cook

A phone call came yesterday asking me to make communion bread for our church, Hope church of Christ. It is quite a treat that we have homemade communion bread each week. I would like to share the recipe and encourage you to make it sometime. It is nice to have communion with the family while they are in town for Christmas! It is a great recipe that even young bakers can make.

Communion Bread
2 cups of wheat flour
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix and then add the liquid
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup water

Roll out and cook for 20 minutes on 350. Serve when you are ready. I cut mine in quarters because we use four trays!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thanksgiving ~Christmas

The celebrating time came and the details had come together. I want to give a shout out to Alison and Justin-- Alison is the planner of all planners. She loves to have people in their home, and to prepare for all of the children. There were a total of 24 adults and 18 children!! Everyone had a chair and LOTS of choices of food. Justin cleaned windows, set up tables, prepared the yard and helped in EVERY way Alison asked!! Notice the children's table!! The table had brown paper on it and there were crayons for the children to draw, there was popcorn, candy and marshmallows, and fruit on skewers on each of the tables. We all took leftovers home!!

We got to help Alison create these little "Mayflower" boats for each child with their name on the sail!

Chelsey and Lindsey from TAMU (interns) and Kami

One of the families made a trophy and organized a washers tournament complete with a tournament seeding, with a poster. The washers tournament brought lots of cheers! John Mark is trying his best!

Wes and Stacey Yoakum won!! Notice the trophy - it may have to be passed on year after year!!

There was a salad bar put together by the four interns with everything you can imagine.

The children had a trampoline in the front and a joy jump castle in the back yard and at some point in the evening there was the showing of the Polar Express. Corban, Kellen, and Kase - the Joy Jump Castle was enjoyed by all!!

Tara and Kase, Sarah, and Stephanie - even with all of the people we had plenty of room!


We decided we would not wrap presents but we would have door 1 and door 2 - we put sheets over 4 chairs. Daniel and I would put a gift behind the sheet and call someone to lift up the sheet and get their gift. It was a fun time! "Christmas Morning" - really the day after Thanksgiving began with donuts!!

Excuse the bulk of pictures of Corban -- but if I only had a video! Before opening presents we talked about our anticipation of the gifts and how that was the excitement we wanted to grow when we thought about Jesus coming. We decided to get into the excitement about Jesus with a song. "Give me a J - J, Give me an E- E, Give me an U-U......what does that spell?? Jesus!! Well, Corban became the most animated ever, moving to the tune! Great laughter came from all of us and as you can see Cailyn stood waiting for the part where she would say JESUS!! (that was her part, not the dancing as Corban proceeded to do) There was definitely JOY by ALL!! Do you see Door 1 and Door 2 in the background??

Down on the floor - lifting his leg!! So funny!! Can he express himself any louder!!

Peaking under the door to grab a present!! We may have to make this a tradition!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


We enjoyed more than two weeks in Lima and just returned home today, Wednesday, Nov 30. I would like to give you a glance at how most of our days were spent in Lima. Alison and Justin gave us their bed and they slept in Cailyn's room. Her room is very big and even with her trundle bed there is room for an extra mattress. So we slept in comfort and enjoyed our own space. On the first morning Corban and Cailyn headed to our bed and we read and talked!!

Cailyn has to be at school by 9:00am. She wears a uniform which makes for a simple dressing time. Breakfast time before Cailyn is off to school.

While she is at school, Corban enjoys us reading and playing with puzzles, stacking blocks and playing with all of the animals that he has. One of the new animals we learned about was the Ibis!!! He is just getting into dinosaurs and so we enjoyed pretending with all of sounds they make. The door to the back yard is a sliding glass door and Corban is ready for it to be unlocked as soon as breakfast is over. Out he goes to kick balls and find snails....we brought a magnifying glass and he loves to check out all of the snails and leaves in the backyard. The boy can really kick the ball and he is always ready for a ride on the tricycle or walk to the park (he calls his adventures)!!

Cailyn gets out of school around 12:30 except on Wednesday and that is because she has ballet. We went early to pick her up and looked at the ballet class practicing through the window. She will have a ballet performance the day after we leave. Pictures will have to do!! The little girls at her school have their hair always fixed with hair twisted and then in rubber bands. Alison enjoys fixing Cailyn's hair, but Cailyn is very good at fixing it herself. On the first Sunday night as we went to meet with the community of believers here we noticed she had fixed three ponytails and had some hair hanging down also...made us think of some others in our lives who are free spirited with their taste in fashion. She is also very good at dressing herself. She wears leggings under most of her outfits and so she has one of every color. When she matches it all up we are always surprised to see her outfits!! I remember Alison wanting to pick out her outfits at four years old.

Corban is quite the charmer. He loves to smile and move around with lots of activity. Some of his favorite question are "what was that sound?" or "what does that mean?" There are workers everywhere you look - shoeshiners, workers in the parks raking leaves, workers cutting trees, workers cleaning windows, workers helping you get a parking place when getting into the grocery store or coffee shops, workers sweeping in front of residents and watering the yards. Corban notices each one and is constantly saying, "he working". He is able to say everything he wants to in English and Spanish. He talks constantly.

When Corban wakes up there is time to play in the backyard - we talked about some of Jesus' followers being fisherman and we pretended to go fishing. We also had a grand game of kickball. Cailyn is very celebratory when she wins!!

Each evening as the children went to bed the four of us played Settlers of Catan, speed Scrabble, and talked about their lives in Lima, the ministry of teaching about Jesus and enjoying outings with girls and guys groups.

Lee Fletcher and Wes Yoakum getting ready for Catan.

The girls (alison, angela, cathie, tara, stacey, and kami) gathered for a time of meditation and praying. This is a new monthly activity lead by a friend,who is in Lima with her children and husband (he is the director of Feed the Hungry in Lima, Angela and Ryan Smedes.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lord Willing, Lima, Here We Come!

As I layed down last night to go to sleep I asked Daniel to read to me the entry for November 12th in Jesus Calling. Side note - I reached to get something out of the car yesterday as we were doing a last errand and a sharp pain came in my back! It has stayed with me as I have put ice on it and prayed for God to relieve me.

So I wanted to know what was written in the book for November 12th. It started out "This is a time of abundance in your life. Your cup runneth over with blessings. After plodding uphill for many weeks, you are now traipsing through lush meadows drenched in warm sunshine. I want you to enjoy to the full this time of ease and refreshment. I delight in providing it for you." Sounds like He wants me in Lima!! HaHa!!

I do see this trip from the Lord so I leave you with some pictures of preparation!! I know God will take care of this back muscle issue. I'm expecting and know He has a plan!!

As we put our 4 duffle bags in the back of the car Cele, (short for Celebration, she was born near Thanksgiving) our Australian Shepherd thought she was going too!!

Gluten free snacks for the flights.

And most important . . . books and scripture to keep my mind busy as I fly. Daniel laughed and said he shouldn't be surprised after all of these years why I would have so many books to take. I can't wait to dive into some that I have never started! Hope to memorize some new verses and let them take me to places the Spirit wants to encourage me in!!

Luke 11:9-10 So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be open.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


My first memory of a library is the one that I volunteered in when I was a girl scout. My mom would drop me off and I would work for an hour or two. I went to locate it on the google map but I can't seem to find it. My next memories of libraries were more about socializing than actually reading. Reading a book wasn't something I enjoyed for many years. So naturally why would I go to the library except to visit with friends. I certainly did not like to read during this season of life!!

As my senior year of college came to an end I realized my mom was right. It would be helpful to get certified to teach school -- just in case I didn't find a job with my criminology degree. Doesn't make sense now, but it did then. Enter the time in which I realized what I had missed growing up. The children's literature classes in college exposed me to the best of all of the children's books. I loved it!!

So as I marched on I couldn't get enough of great books. I enjoyed watching Reading Rainbow with the girls. I would write down all the books they suggested and try to check them out at the Bryan Library. I plan on having some Reading Rainbow time on youtube with Cailyn and Corban real soon!! During this time, 1987, College Station opened a small library and it was so nice to have it close to the house. As our girls grew up they also didn't like the library. I had so many books on the shelves out in the garage that they wanted to just go get one out of the garage. They did enjoy the summer activities at the library and even enjoyed the A&M church of Christ library!!

The girls will remember the Bryan Public Library but if they go back to find it; they will find it has a new name!!

I'm glad to say both of the girls enjoy reading and have found the wonders of all of the free items that are in the public library!! Alison has even found a small one in Peru for the kids. When Cailyn and Corban were here last year, we went every Tuesday morning for reading circle time. What fun!!

So it makes sense when I went in today to get a library book -- lots of memories flooded my mind. I put a smile on my face. I love to read!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Time Flies

The time from Aug. 1 - almost Nov. 1 has just flown. We have had a trail of people come through Abilene. We so enjoy friends from seasons of the past.

Haley Edmiston came home from Thailand to take care of some health issues and she got to stay in her old bedroom. It just seem like old times - except there was not a trail of baby powder from the bedroom to bathroom! Haley lived with us the first year we were in Abilene.

Patti and Charles Turk came to visit their daughter, Lindsey, who is a senior here at ACU. They are from Mississippi. Patti and I met when we were about five years old. She and Charles are Aggies, but they moved from College Station just as we were arriving in 1980. We have stayed in touch off and on all through the years. It was so much fun to visit. Our husbands connect too and that is always a plus. Historical side note: I met Patti in twirling class in Houston, Texas around 1961. My mom put me in twirling class at five because I had been born two months premature and the doctor told her it would be good for my coordination. From twirling came my days in juggling. Funny how some seasons melt into others.

I have finished two books in the past few months. Radical by David Platt and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Both of them made an impact on me. They are both books that I would recommend. I need to put them up on Pinterest (come follow me). Yes, that is another thing that has come into my life. I do not spend much time on this site (yet), but it is fun to have a place to put all of the ideas that would be fun to try. Recipes and books will probably be my favorite categories. Well, and then the grandkids!!

A new job opportunity has come in these months also. I am a part-time worker at Team Financial Strategies. This company is owned by Jody Team. Jody and Rachel Team were a young married couple we met many years ago in College Station. There are two locations of TFS -- one in Abilene where Jody is based and one in Grandbury. I'm learning all kinds of things mainly on the computer. The Teams have two adorable girls about the ages of Cailyn and Corban. We babysat the girls this week.

And that brings me to the next season. We will be spending Thanksgiving (before and after) with Alison-Justin-Cailyn-Corban!! WHOOP!! We have lots of stuff packed and plan on another night of packing as well. They left quite a bit here when they left in January and we have bought quite a bit. Remember the book store I worked at last year - Abilene Educational Supply? Well, when things go on sale at 90% off it is just hard not to purchase educational fun!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where is My Camera??

My Camera is hanging on the hook in the computer room where we keep it but it somehow didn't get pulled out on a very exciting week -- the pictures would have been so good.

I will just have to drop some names and you will know how good it was!! We started out by getting a surprise visit from Phil and Patti Grassie from NM, and from DC, their wonderful son, Jason Grassie, our son-in-love!! We enjoyed laughter, talk of God and how our lives were going!! The only thing missing was our Hannah!! (next time)

As the evening came Mark Clancy from Lima arrived to spend several days with us. We were then introduced over Skype to his sweet one in Lima, Kami Hill!! Nothing like up to date media that gives us such fun experiences!!

When we woke up on Sunday morning, another arrival had come -- Matt Worthington, from DC...again these guys left their wives in DC, so no Jessie with him!! (next time) Matt was in Abilene for the ACU Summit! He spoke at Summit about Teach for America and how the church can help the public school.

We enjoyed long talks, laughter, and Blue Bell!! But NO PICTURES!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Tiny Book in the Bible -- Obadiah

As I continue my study and reading of the minor prophets - Obadiah comes up. Abandon Pride is the title of the chapter. My ears perk up because this is a sin I have been aware of in my life.

"Pride is the urge to stand alone, to stand above all else. It inevitably crowds other people into an increasingly small space; it blinds one to the value of God. Pride is the natural enemy of faith." Dan Schmidt, Unexpected Wisdom.

In Obadiah 3-4..."The pride of your heart has deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rocks[a]
and make your home on the heights,
you who say to yourself,
‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’
Though you soar like the eagle
and make your nest among the stars,
from there I will bring you down,”
declares the LORD."
-- WOW! That is a scary thought..

"Come follow me"...what does that assume??? The author reminds me, there is one ahead of me -- above me, Jesus Christ! I am not the leader of my life. We know that but do we act on that? In pride, we somehow think we know best, we are in control, the boss. How is it that we can really think that??

I Peter 4:11 Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 4:1-2 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Matt 20:26-27 But it should not be that way among you. Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant. Whoever wants to become first among you must serve the rest of you like a slave.

A servant, so grateful for the service they can give, not wanting recognition but wants to please the master. If we are to walk with Jesus, servanthood can not be looked past. It is the way of life Jesus showed to use as an example. We know how to live because we watch HIM and we are letting Him transform us into His likeness!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The BANK!!

We have watched the construction for months and opening day has arrived!! All of campus is buzzing and many have cleared their calendar in the last days to help with clean up before the grand opening. Daniel's office volunteered to pick up trash as the feeding of the 5,000 happens, but the folks pretty much cleaned up after themselves so there wasn't much cleaning to do.

The Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center will have an all-night extravaganza of games, prizes and food. This will allow plenty of time for students, faculty and staff to familiarize themselves with the facility. Daniel was part of a group who enjoyed a tour this week before the opening. He is counting on the pool to supply some relief for his back as he continues to recover from his surgery. I hope to get over there and enjoy the facility also. Pam and Dr. Money were so excited for the day to come for the grand opening.

At chapel Dr. Money challenged all to look up as you enter in to the facility each time and ponder the verse they have as a theme verse.

He also told the students that he felt the name of the facility was just too long and so he asked them to name it. He said he had heard of a few names already and commented that "The Bank" would be a fine name. The only name he asked not to be used was "The Money Pit"!!

The facility is just wonderful. Two levels complete with a leisure pool for volleyball/basketball, water walkers, and lap lanes for swimmer. The original ACU pool is also available for lap swimming. You can see the fountain in one of the pictures as well as the ACU logo. There are many machines and even a classroom upstairs for a bicycle class. There is an 1/8th mile track marked off on the second floor and as you walk/run the track you look down upon the first level. We enjoyed great fellowship as so many entered and enjoyed touring the facility. Can't wait to use this!! I even found a few places to sit and visit in the future with all of those wonderful ACU students that encourage me so much.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

..the righteous will live by his faith...Habakkuk 2:4

Back in February I posted about the first chapter in a book entitled Unexpected Wisdom. I have continued through this jewel of a book and would like to share some of the other chapters.

Habakkuk - Don't Fear the Dark was the title of the chapter and it was a great writing of encouragement and new insight. I love the word "journey". The author reminded me the faith I brought into my conversion is the same faith I need all through the journey of my life. It is a process. He also mentions that we rarely grow in a 5-star hotel, it is with challenge(darkness) that we move along.

"though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials so that the genuineness of your faith —more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." I Peter 1:7

I want to learn that darkness does not last forever. A lie that satan wants to tell us all. I have always told the girls that God doesn't play hide and seek in the sense that it is a game to harm us, to irritate us but there are times that God just doesn't speak. He has His own timing and when Habakkuk doesn't hear from God it presents darkness. When he finally does hear from God it isn't what Habakkuk wants to hear.

This week, I caught myself asking for something to go smooth and easy. I think that is fine, but isn't it just like us to want it to be smooth and easy? I also want to grow into who God wants me to be. That means I need experiences that show that my faith will stand firm. I look at a situation and see only a small piece. God is seeing the whole picture and so I need to realize as darkness comes my perspective needs to change. What is God trying to accomplish when I get into a situation that I don't like, that I don't feel safe in? Dying to self is part of the darkness, realizing I must trust!

I love the picture of Habakkuk 2:1 "I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me..." How could a book that only has three chapters (Habakkuk) be so good? It gets better and better. The author says something that is important for us to all remember as we walk in darkness and stumble. These difficulties are not ignored but neither are they what shape our lives. "That influence is reserved for God"

Part of our worship is the process of walking through darkness and calling out, waiting and listening to God. We know He is real and we will not let the world convince us otherwise!

Monday, August 22, 2011


While choosing my flight recently to Washington DC, I decided to fly in early afternoon so I could get on the metro and to Hannah and Jason's condo without all of the afternoon traffic. I arrived early enough to get to the grocery store before either of them arrived.

Later, as I walked into their apartment with hands completely full, I took a deep breath and put my bags down. Such peace came over me! This is the place where Hannah and Jason spend each evening and eat their meals, visit, put their decorating touch on, and live day in and day out. I walked through each room and prayed a blessing over it. God made my arrival such a JOY. I sat and read a bit before Hannah arrived. It was quiet and restful after a day of travel.

Many of the evenings I spent in DC I would walk down to the Potomac canal that is right on the side their apartment complex (by Fort McNair). There are benches along the water and it is so pleasant. I enjoyed the alone time and quiet. I would call Daniel some nights while I experienced this special time. Mainly I observed people, thought about different subjects that came to my mind and talked with God about all that He was providing me with as I visited. There were helicopters that came over head and there were sail boats that I enjoyed as I would sit and watch.

Hannah was a great patient and Jason could not have been any better at care taking!! Each day Hannah improved and as a week went by she began to get around. We really enjoyed cooking together and planning the meals. Their small group at NCC provided several meals. I had prayed they would experience community in this way during this time. What a wonderful feeling to be taken care of and thought of during a time of surgery.

On Friday night, I suggested they get out of the house and grab a movie!! I couldn't resist taking their picture. Their balcony was home for me that night and the clouds were beautiful(complete with their tomato plant -- yielding 12-13 tomatoes). So peaceful!!

The last weekend I was there we were able to enjoy worship on Sunday morning, took in some sights at the National Arboretum, and helped good friends, Matt and Jessie, move into their apt. I was there before and after the surgery, for recovery and even a few days that Hannah showed me some places that are important to the two of them.

After two weeks, Hannah drove me over to Baltimore to catch my plane. We went early and took in lunch and my first pedicure!! We shopped and said our goodbyes. My heart is peaceful as I experienced our sweet kids' world. They are in God's hands and He is a tender Father. Thank you for peace.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 18, 1979 -- 32 years of Walking Together

Don't we look grand....I love that I still miss Daniel when I leave town and that he calls many several times a day when I'm gone. I wrote words 2 years ago when I was in Lima as Corban was being born. Yes, we were apart -- me in Lima and him in Abilene - 2 years ago. But this year we are together in Abilene and have a movie and making dinner together planned.

As our girls have gotten married, it has caused me to reflect on our marriage in a realistic way. They have only really watched our marriage with marriage in mind for some short years. It is not quite fair for them to measure their marriages that are so new, and that are two completely different people against what they see in ours. We have had years to work it all out and still are in many ways.

God has been gracious to us and we have made many mistakes as we have travels. There has been much forgiveness and I always tell Daniel he is more gracious to me than I am of him.(continuing to ask for this more in my life)

When we do counseling with others on marriage we have a list of three things we feel we did well and three things we messed up. We talk about what we can see now and couldn't see back then. All by the grace of God have all of our days together been accomplished.

So today, I love where God has us and look with open hands for what He has for the future!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

To DC and Back

With my nifty little spiral in hand, I began to list all of the things I was thankful for as I got settled into my airplane seat both going to DC and coming back home recently. Here is my list -- it made all the difference in the world where my mind went as I experienced what my brain tells me can be very stressful and full of anxiety.

Giving thanks for:
  • takeoff was on time
  • no large men in my space
  • went to bathroom on plane before take off and survived
  • very happy stewardess, sense of humor
  • a little boy's voice
  • a mom sat next to me
  • the smile God put on my face
  • my pill works
  • Kathy Troccoli music on my iPod
  • aware of elderly woman near me
  • water was available
  • great reading of One Thousand Gifts - my eucharisteo book
  • able to get my carry-on bag up into loading space
  • aware of people I can pray for
  • my books are so comforting, what I am used to, familiar
  • faithfulness in my life
  • being invited by Hannah and Jason
  • Hannah's insurance
  • availability for me to come
  • pilots who know how to fly
  • friends of Hannah and Jason who I look forward to meet while in DC
  • Daniel - his tender care for me, his love, all of his calls and emails checking on me (he had left for Denver on Sat. and I left on Mon. to ride to Dallas and fly out so we weren't together for a couple of days prior to my leaving)
  • Wallace Family - who let me spend the night and so willingly drove me to the airport on Tues. morning

    I then began to name some our the people who are part of my community, Hope church of Christ, and was so very thankful for their gifts and abilities. I give thanks for what is happening in their lives and how they are walking with God.

    As I came home last night I enjoyed the list again....
  • calm feeling
  • "love never fails" on a back pack of the young girl who sat on my row
  • plenty of room
  • a mom and a high school student sat on my row
  • again a great book to read
  • right temperature
  • ears are not hurting
  • no long time to sit on plane before taking off
  • got to talk with Alison before getting on plane
  • WONDERFUL day in Baltimore (I flew out of BWI)with Hannah - Panera Bread (gluten free) and my first pedicure, shopping at Arundel Mills Mall -- wow, think she plans to take Jason some weekend
  • text from Hannah as get on plan and just as I land
  • will see Daniel soon
  • my reading brought a picture of a homeless man -- good thoughts
  • arm rest is movable
  • no rain on the day I fly
  • Hannah was released to drive before I left, leaving her available to drive today
  • aisle seat
  • ticket was a great price

    "While I may not always feel joy, God asks me to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving." Ann Voskamp
  • Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    "Eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life", Ann Voskamp

    Because I read slow, I have to go over chapters I have read before so I can really remember what I have read. There is a book, One Thousand Gifts, I have been reading since Easter that I want to use to make a change in my view -- in my language. Changes in the way you view life and then translate that into words is very difficult. The subject of the book is giving thanks. Eucharisteo. I had to Google it to get more information and understanding.

    Events can happen so fast that my giving thanks goes out the window. I am challenged by the idea to give thanks in all things. There is a new song out that mentions maybe the hard times are how God is making a way for me to grow. So especially in the harder times I need to give thanks. I want to live with my hands open and receive whatever God gives -- and give thanks.

  • that my morning of play with Corban is over skype
  • that we have been given a time of caregiving to Daniel's parents
  • that my body is trying to get me to eat different
  • that friendships come slow in a new town
  • that i watch as friends struggle
  • that i struggle

    As Ann Voskamp ends a chapter she says, "our own emptiness, might actually become places to see. To see through to God." He wants the glory in all of our life. She ask questions like "how do I live ready? How do we live fully so we are fully ready to die?" Her answer, "Without this Jesus, no, no one can be ready."

    Today, I want to tell others about Him. I want to put myself with the ones who need a word from the Lord. I must get out there, put myself in places for God to use me. This author is also asking me in my giving thanks for everything to pay attention to what I do have. She mentions she is a farmer's wife, a mother of six, she realizes she has the stars that rise each night in her sky, she will embrace her children who the Lord has created, she knows that there is One who created the snow that she sees out her window. Living fully is fully taking in all that you have. We look past so many gifts of the day. Another one of her quotes is, "as long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible."

    How many people do you know that are looking for JOY?? Are you?? Euchariteo is the answer, giving thanks. This weekend we were at a wedding and the preacher told the couple (and all of us) it is hard to be critical when you are appreciative. Giving thanks can turn our lives around!! I had never really thought about the first sin being ingratitude. Adam and Eve being discontent with what God had given. Am I living this today? Has it crept in slowly?

    Voskamp brings up the question from Jesus -- "Where are the other nine?" Do you remember the story? Luke 17:17-19. "Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" "Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our YES! to His grace."

    Starting out may be hard because we have never tried to give thanks for all things. Voskamp suggest writing them down, putting a name to each blessing, as Adam names each animal in the beginning. She starts out... (1) morning shadows across the old floors; (2) jam piled high on the toast; (3) cry of bluejay from high in the spruce; (16) leafy life scent of the florist shop; (17) the creak of her old knees; (18) wind flying cold wild in hair. Do you get the idea? It is a complete change in your thoughts unless you are naturally a thankful person and have recognized these blessing in your life all along.

    There is so much for me to learn on this subject. I could think of it all day long. The author challenges me, "if living eucharisteo is the key to unlocking the mystery of life, this I want. To learn how to be grateful and happy, whether hands full or hands empty. That is a secret worth spending a life on learning."
  • Monday, July 4, 2011

    No Pictures!!

    Blogging brings JOY but I have had trouble with my cursor freezing up when I try to download new pictures. Do I really need pictures to describe all of the thoughts that whirl around in my head? Too many to write, but I will go a few directions.

    My walking/running. I started back today and I always enjoy it! It is when I'm sitting in my house with so many other things beckoning me that I decide to put it off. But this morning, I decided to listen to the Beatles as I started out. All of the songs were about love and so my mind went to marriage. From this end, it is wonderful, but I know there were and really still are some tough places. I am so grateful that God has taught us as His people to push on, to forgive, to give grace, to not feel I need to have the last word, to know that He will be glorified through our marriages as He heals us from our selfishness. Praise Be to God!!

    My reading. I have too many books going on at one time, but I love to have new ideas and to ponder what others think. I do not think of myself as creative, but as I put new thoughts into my mind, God takes me where He wants me to go. I sit and try to be silent. The idea of desire and pursuing have caught my attention in the last two days. Even when I went to bed last night, I chose a devotional on the names of God to read. Not knowing where it would take me, the subject of praising God for how long He has pursued me came up. I love that picture. Know today, you have been pursued since before you were born. You are worthy of love and your identity is completely wrapped up in Christ.

    My eating. I'm not sure I really have found out what is at the crux of the feelings I have in my stomach, but I am feeling better. I'm learning how to make my own hummus, enjoying spinach as always, making lots of smoothies, finding new treasures in the grocery store. I go soon to visit with a nutritionist. Drawing in new information will be fun and will take me to a new place.

    My love for DAniEl. 2011 has brought lots of new feelings as we have dealt with so many health issues. We had never in our 31 years of marriage dealt with surgery in either of our lives. God gives us seasons to bring us to new places. I welcome this even though it is hard. I have enjoyed LOTS of years of plenty with Daniel and his protection and gentleness with me. It is now a time that I get to serve Daniel in this time of healing. Love grows with new experiences, if we let it. God is love and we are being called daily to become more in the image of our Father.

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Swamp Tea

    As I have ventured out on blogville I have found a LOT of gluten free sites. I have limited myself because it can be too much information all at one time. I have had the sensing from God to walk slow and enjoy, don't get overload with celiac information. One of the sites, Nicole Tatum at had a give away and guess what -- I WON!! It all came in the mail today!

    I usually look ingredients up as I come across them and so when Hannah mentioned she has made "Mrs. Lisa Cobb's Swamp Tea" I went to look everything up. Can I drink this or do I need to substitute some items to make it gluten free?? Well, as it turns out it is all fine and so I will make it this morning when my sweet friend, Lynn Spivey comes over. She is from College Station and she is here in Abilene visiting her mom. Can't wait for the visit and the Swamp Tea.

    Swamp Tea

    6 small tea bags or 2 family size tea bags
    4 cups boiling water
    1 1/2 cups sugar -- you can always try less
    6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
    6 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
    10 cups water
    Lemon slices or orange slices to garnish
    Seep tea bags in boiling water (removed from stove top and covered) for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and discard. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. In a large container (it must hold at least 1 gallon) combine the tea, juice and water. Stir well. Serve over ice filled tea glasses and garnish with lemon/orange slices. Or pour into ice filled serving pitcher containing lemon/orange slices. Makes 1 gallon (16 cups, about 12 ice tea glass)