"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

September 29, 2012

The happenings

Due to reading Eric Metaxes books on Bonhoeffer and Wilberforce, and the fact that those two men are my current absolute heroes, I am having a cozy night in and watching Valkyrie and maybe even Amazing Grace, (if I can stay awake which is doubtful) while I knit. (our newest Hats of Hope project means we need lots and lots of hats for children living at a childrens' home in NC)
And I'm recovering from a mega slumber party last night. The annual girls ministries sleepover with 70 girls and 15 mom/sponsors. It was a blast. Best one yet! As much as I love every minute, I'm smart enough after 9 years of these to hit the road around midnight and come back in the morning to help out with breakfast. I think my own bed is worth the drive. : ) My high school girls' class was in charge of fixing EVERYONE breakfast and they were up and at it at 5:30 AM doing a fabulous job along with some other awesome women. So proud of them. I slept in my own bed but didn't sleep well since I was just sure that I would sleep through my alarm and miss getting up at 5:00 AM and heading over there. I didn't though, hooray!

Have a great evening! Yawn!

September 28, 2012

Don't spread yourselves thin, Moms!

I'm reading Sally Clarkson's The Mom Walk, and this excerpt was encouraging.
Life with teens can be so very busy... but then so can life with "littles!"
This is a good reminder not to spread ourselves too thin.

"As a mom, what we really need is long range vision! While the decision to draw your circle of direct influence a little smaller than many around you choose to draw theirs might appear to minimize who you are, the truth lies elsewhere. Think about a drop of food coloring splashed into a cup of water. The more water, the more diluted the color. And so it is with each one of us. When we spread ourselves thin, leaving no time for snuggles and back rubs, Bible study and reading deeply, family vacations and Saturday afternoons at the park, our influence becomes diluted. So may I suggest something Mama? Feel free to say lots of 'yes'-es to your littles (or bigs!) and lots of 'no'-s to others. Limit yourself in this season of mothering and watch your influence grow where it is most important."  ~Sally Clarkson


September 26, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

Standing with the enemy:

Here are Bonhoeffer's thoughts on Matthew 5: 44-45 which are awesome!

"Through the medium of prayer we go to our enemies, stand by their side, and plead for them to God. Jesus did not promise that when we bless our enemies and do good to them they will not despitefully use and persecute us. They certainly will. But not even that can hurt or overcome us, so long as we pray for them.  For if we pray for them, we are taking their distress and poverty, upon ourselves, and pleading to God for them. We are doing vicariously for them  what they cannot do for themselves. Every insult they utter only serves to bind us more closely to God and them. Their persecution of us only serves to bring them nearer to reconciliation with God and to further the triumphs of love." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

May we all live in such as way as to 'further the triumphs of love,'

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." Mt. 5:44


September 25, 2012

Fall and food -my favorites!

Hooray for fall! Its actually been cool here the last few mornings. A glorious thing after all the heat and humidity. Blah!

I've tried some great recipes lately that I thought I'd share!

These peanut butter and jelly muffins are so good. My PB&J lover is in heaven! Super yummy and have bananas, oatmeal and of course, peanut butter with a dash of preserves.

This is a recipe for heaven in a casserole dish! It is the BEST and easiest breakfast casserole ever!
I made the 'girly version' which included artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese.
And I made it for dinner.
And it blew my family's minds!
And  I can't wait to make it again.

Hubby wants me to try Julie's maple bacon cupcakes while I'm at it next time. -Not sure that I'm that brave. Anyone try the bacon sundaes at BK? Me neither. ; ) 


September 21, 2012

Starry Night and Dark Knight


Have a great weekend!

Thanks, Joy!


September 20, 2012

Fabulous for breakfast or lunch

Need a new recipe to serve for lunch or breakfast? I did. And I found a great one!
These Make Ahead Muffin Melts are my new favorite thing! I don't think I can ever go back to regular egg salad again. They are soooo good! But then everything that the Pioneer Woman cooks is utter yumminess!


September 19, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

The Unkind Friend:

"When God looks completely shrouded, will you hang on in confidence in Him?" ~Oswald Chambers

I've read the following passage many times but when I read this in My Utmost for His Highest it gave me one of those 'Ah ha' moments and I understood it in a new light. I hope it does the same for you and encourages you like it did me.

See Luke 11:5-8

"Jesus gave the illustration of the man who looked as if he did not care for his friend, and He said that that is how the Heavenly Father will appear to you at times. You will think He is an unkind friend, but remember He is not; the time will come when everything will be explained."
" 'Everyone that asks receiveth.' It may not look that way at the moment but stand in faith believing that what Jesus said is true, though in the meantime, you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you ask." ~ Oswald Chambers

So, if it looks like there is a 'cloud on the friendship of the heart' between you and God, remember His character, His promises and His love that drove Him to the cross for you and hang on... Looks can be deceiving!


September 18, 2012

All the celebrating

I think I'm officially worn out from all the celebrating! 
Its a good tired though and probably a little sugar-high induced since I've had a total of 3 birthday cakes! lol 
I'm feeling very spoiled this year! 

Here's the party thrown by my BFF for her hubby and I. 

He and I have birthdays which are two days apart and we've been friends all of our lives, so it was really special to celebrate together! 
(ignore those dishes, on which we ate amazing lasagna, I stole this picture from Facebook and can't crop it!)

Then on Saturday, hubby and I went off to the beach for the night to celebrate our anniversary with lots of eating, swimming, beach walking, shopping and more eating. 

On Sunday, when I thought the fun was over, Zac and his girlfriend and Joy surprised me with a Reeses peanut butter cake! (a recipe they found on Pinterest) Oh my mercy! It was amazing.

And tonight, on my real birthday, Joy made the Ronde Barber cake I mentioned here. And it was YUMMM! 

And I feel so loved and so blessed by all the special people in my life

and if any one needs me, 

I'll be on the treadmill! ; )


September 15, 2012

Birthday yumminess and an amazing weekend

My birthday is on Monday and my sweet daughter has offered to make me 'anything' I want, 'no matter how complicated it is.' -How sweet is that!

Here are three recipes, that are in the running, that I've always wanted to try, but haven't. I'm stumped. They all sound like perfect birthday cake yumminess!

The first one is Ronde Barber's Peanut Crunch Cake from a John Madden cookbook:
(go Bucs! Is he still on the Bucs? Don't tell my hubby that I don't know that) ; )

1 yellow cake mix
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350. Mix cake, peanut butter and brown sugar until crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup for topping. Add 1 cup water, eggs, oil, and mix on low for 2 min. Stir in chocolate chips and 1/4 of the peanut butter chips and pour into 13 x 9 pan. Take extra crumbs, peanuts and chips and pour over batter. Bake for 40 min.

Or this one that The Duggars make for birthdays! (Love them!)  And you know they must have a lot of birthdays to celebrate:

24 ice cream sandwiches
8 oz cool whip
2 king size Butterfingers, chopped
1 bottle of Hersheys chocolate syrup
1 bottle of Smuckers carmel topping

Arrange 6  layers in a 9 x 13 pan
First layer: 12 ice cream sandwiches 
2nd layer: half of the cool whip
3rd layer: half of the Butterfingers and half of the chocolate syrup and half of the carmel
4th layer: rest of the ice cream sandwiches
5th layer: rest of the cool whip
6th layer: rest of the Butterfingers and syrups 
Then freeze. 
Doesn't that sound like a crazy amount of layered goodness?

Or this one  called 'Better than Brad Pitt Cake'  from Julie at Joy's Hope.
-That name wouldn't convince me (LOL) but she's always posting something yummy...

Soooo what's it going to be???? Joy is hoping Ronde Barber wins and at the moment I'm leaning toward the Duggars. ; )

But first, a little time away with my hubby to celebrate our 21st anniversary, (whoo-hoo!) courtesy of 3 amazing friends, who've loved us and blessed our lives for way longer than 21 years!
In awe and  so blessed to have each of them in our lives!


September 14, 2012

Who I said 'I do' to:

Twenty one years ago, I married a man who loved Jesus more than anyone or anything else...
A man who made sure there was some spiritual aspect to all of our dates.
A man who prayed that whether we married each other or someone else, we would always be "rich in faith."
A man who didn't kiss me until he put a promise ring on my finger and promised to marry me, "if it was God's will."
A man who had us kneel in prayer, in the corner of the airport, after our honeymoon and ask God to use our new life together for His glory.
A man who daily "loves his wife like Christ loves the church."

Thank you, John, for who you are and who you've always been!
 I don't know how I got so blessed to have you, but I'm sooooo thankful that God somehow caused you to fall in love with me on that bike ride to Burger King during spring break! ; )


September 13, 2012

So inspired

I can't say enough about how this book impacted me and how Bonhoeffer's life has inspired me.
Bonhoeffer:  Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
A Righteous Gentile vs. The Third Reich
Ever since I read it, (and boy, that took awhile)
 I've been checking out everything else our library has on Bonhoeffer! Such an incredible man of God. (He's really high up on my list of people I can't wait to meet in heaven!) : )
I've tried writing posts about the book but I've given up...I can't do it justice without making it the longest blog post in history....

Here's someone else's description of the book:
As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a pastor and author. In this New York Times best-selling biography, Eric Metaxas takes both strands of Bonhoeffer’s life—the theologian and the spy—and draws them together to tell a searing story of incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil. Metaxas presents the fullest accounting of Bonhoeffer’s heart-wrenching decision to leave the safe haven of America to return to Hitler’s Germany, and sheds new light on Bonhoeffer’s involvement in the famous Valkyrie plot and in “Operation 7,” the effort to smuggle Jews into neutral Switzerland.

I couldn't help being awestruck at how easy it was for Hitler to annul the liberties of the German people in their constitution by causing a fire, and basically calling it a terrorist attack. During the panic, one signature took away everyone's freedom of speech, and freedom to assemble, and freedom of the press etc... and made him a supreme dictator. Scary!

Long before the common people in Germany knew about the atrocities being committed by the Nazis, Bonhoeffer was made privy to that information and he had to decide what God wanted him, personally, to do about it.

He said:
 "Silence in the face of evil 
is itself evil.
God will not hold us guiltless. 
Not to speak is to speak.
 Not to act is to act." 

~What is it God is calling us, personally, to do in this age in which we live? 
Lots of food for thought in this book. 


September 12, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

                                   To Solomon from David
                                  and from me to my boys:

"Be strong and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God; to walk in His ways, to keep His statues, His commandments, His judgments and His testimonies as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn."

Amen! Doesn't that sum up everything? I love it!

And I can picture myself looking at Pinterest and finding some cute way to print this verse out and frame it for their room... But I'm afraid they may be grown before I get around to it. : ) 


September 10, 2012

In which I accidentally bless my hubby's socks off

Since football season has started, you will occasionally hear my hubby singing
"It's the most wonderful time of the year" around the house without any thought of Christmas.  ; )

A couple months ago, I bought a Groupon for a restaurant near our church. It was $10 for $20 worth of food. And I love a deal! So we decided to use it Saturday night. And guess what?
I was a little shocked when we walked in because it was SOO loud. And I was thinking 'Wow! Not coming here again.' And 3 minutes later, I hear my hubby saying "I love this place!"
And then,
"Let's buy another Groupon and come here again!"  LOL 

Maybe it was the 8 TVs within view playing different Florida games or getting to see the Gators beat the Aggies or eating the best hamburgers we've ever tasted, which were as big as our faces, while USF beat Nevada.

The waitress almost dropped my water when a man who was screaming for the Bulls scared her (and I both). He was the loudest person in the restaurant and I happened to be with the second loudest one. LOL
Then some guys came in who made a big fuss about that fact that the game they wanted to see wasn't on any of the screens. Hubby was trying to pull himself away from the Rays game when I told him we couldn't leave until we found out what game it was that they wanted to see that wasn't on the 10 nearest TVs!
And He didn't mind one bit staying longer. ; )  It turned out to be USC vs. Syracuse. 

So glad that my guy, who just happened to give his entire Saturday to work for free at an orphanage, got blessed tonight ...even if it was by accident!
That man loves Jesus and some football!


September 7, 2012

Off to see Owl City

The big day has finally arrived!
Joy and Dad are going to the Owl City concert!!!! Whoo-hoo!
So excited for her!
Dad would rather go see Switchfoot, 
but he loves his girl! : ) 

My favorite song is this cover of the hymn "In Christ Alone." Love!!!!
Click here

Joy is teaching a dance class this year and they are using this song! Double love!!!!

Have a great weekend!