Thursday, March 31, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for my Husband......Day 31

Day 31:
"That he might have a holy fear of God.
Psalm 34:11, 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10"

31 days are done.
A month of prayer for your husband.
Won't you join me in praying for him again this next month?

And if you're interested in having your own copy.....I'm having some technical difficulties getting that here.
I'm not a whiz at all this computer stuff, so if anyone has any tips on how to post a word document, please let me know!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband......Day 30

Day 30:
"That the Lord would put a song in his heart.
Psalm 33:3, 111:10, and Job 35:10"

Two weeks from today, my precious husband and I will be celebrating 15 years of married life together.
Like every couple on the planet, we've had our share of difficult seasons.
It hasn't been perfectly blissful.
But Elohim has patiently guided us through the storms and brought us into "rest" every time.
His grace has brought us through.
We have both grown up through our experiences,
and I would daresay are much more compassionate and understanding with each other
because of all we've been through together. 

In honor of 15 years, every day for the next 15 days I want to mention something that I admire about the delightful man
God has given to me.
Not only for him, not to be bragging, 
but so that my children have a written record of the things they probably
don't even realize about their Daddy!!

Day 1:

I am so grateful that this man just does our income taxes without any reminding from me.
No haggling, no nagging, no fussing!
He just sits down and gets them done in one night.
Every year for the last 15 years!!
Just one of the many things he does for us!!
Because he can.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for my Husband...Day 29

Day 29:
"That he might learn to manage his time well.
Ephesians 5:15,16"

This thing of regular prayer with a focus on one particular area.
It takes perseverance, determination, focus.
We're almost to the end of our 31 days.
Have you begun thinking differently about your husband?
Do you look at him with a little more compassion?
More patience?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for my Husband......Day 25

Day 25:
"That he might grow in humility and grow in being a shepherd.
1 Peter 5:2-6"

Thursday, March 24, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband......Day 24

Day 24:
"That the fruit of the Spirit might be exhibited more and more in his life.
Galatians 5:22,23 and John 15:8"

Are you still remembering to take a moment each day to pray for your husband?
Only 7 days left in our 31 day journey.
Practice staying faithful.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to pray when you're left speechless......

Have you ever felt speechless?
Those who know me, know that is a state I don't usually find myself in.
But after looking at the pictures, and trying to wrap my brain around the sweeping devastation in Japan,
I have been rendered that way.
I told my husband, "I just don't even know how to pray for these people."
What do you SAY??

"Lord, please help somebody get to those people who are trapped or crushed beneath those buildings!"

That just seems futile to me when you see those villages literally swept off the map.
Is there really anybody left there?

"Lord, help them know where to even START the clean-up process."

"Lord, protect those that have survived from radiation contamination."

Isn't it too late for that?
I get an uneasy feeling that the government there is really holding back something to stave off complete panic.

"Lord, provide basic care for these people like healthy food, water, and shelter."

I certainly believe that God can and does do miracles, but that is what it's going to take for the provision of these needs.  WHERE will it come from?  

I can't imagine having lost my husband and children and grieving that loss with no home to go to and struggling to stay alive.

Thank goodness we have a helper....

"...for we do not know how to pray as we should,
but the Spirit Himself
intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."
Romans 8:26

I need Someone to say what's in my heart that I can't even express!!

I read "Tears for Japan,"  and that has brought encouragement that there are others like me who are grappling with how to pray effectively.

the Lord had a kindred spirit with whom I've never met, send these words my way.......yesterday:

"We have been living in Japan for 7 years and just recently made the very difficult decision to evacuate and are now on our way to Grandma's house.

One thing I would like to say is to please, please pray that this is exactly the thing God needed to do to crack the hearts of the Japanese people so that they would be open to Him. They have so many gods in their culture, and just lump Him in with the rest. The few (compared to the masses) that do truly accept Christ as their Savior are shunned by the rest of their family - cast out and turned on.

Japan is a country full of closed people who do not normally reach out beyond their own circle of friends, and what we are seeing there now is a country who has been broken and who are reaching out, accepting help, and showing a love toward their fellow man that is a real act of God.

Japan is a great country and the Japanese are great people and it is a tremendous tragedy what has gone on in their country, but it is our family's prayer that this will help to open their hearts and minds to the Lord. Going through this really does put into perspective what are the most important things in this life on Earth - reaching others with the message of salvation.

We also have many missionary friends, Americans, who are in Japan ministering to the Japanese people. Please do pray for them, also, to have the strength and perseverance to carry on their mission in such adversity!"

What a blessing this message has been to me.
Won't you join me in praying for the salvation of the people of Japan, for their needs to be met, for physical and spiritual restoration, and for the missionaries there seeking to offer comfort, help, and encouragement to the Japanese people?

And if you have no words......let the Holy Spirit be your helper.

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband.....Day 20, 21, & 22

I'm sorry I'm falling a little bit behind on our "Days of Prayer."
I hope you've been praying for your husband every day, and finding what a blessing that is.
I think that my favorite prayer so far is this one:

Day 20:
"That his self image might be a reflection of the Lord's thoughts toward him.
Ephesians 1:17-19 and Psalm 139"

Day 21:
"That he might be a man responsible for family spiritual growth.
Proverbs 4:1-14"

Day 22:
"That he might not be deceived into unbelief, sin or bitterness.
Hebrews 12:15 and 2 Corinthians 10:5"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What does it mean when my world is shaking and groaning?

I've never experienced an earthquake.
Living in Ohio, or South Carolina, or New Hampshire, or even Michigan never afforded me that.
Not even here in Texas.
They say it's an unnerving experience.....frightening.
You become disoriented.
The things you hold dear break apart and crash down around you.

I'm mesmerized by the pictures coming out of Japan.
I cannot even begin to imagine what a nightmare that must be.
If you happened to survive the strongest recorded earthquake in history in that land, then you may have been washed away by the subsequent wall of water that crashed through its barriers up over villages and towns and left vehicles on top of 3-story buildings, and homes floating in the ocean miles off of shore.
If you survived both of those equally horrendous experiences, now you have a nuclear reactor melting down and puffing radiation into the air you breathe......a certain death sentence.
Who can help them?
Most people who can are fleeing the country for safety.
Many who want to help can't because of the radiation fears.
Many can only wish they could get away.

Though I have never felt the earth shake, my own little world has been shaken many, many times.
Things I have no control over that could be potentially life-threatening.
Terrible days of frustration and anger and endless chaos.
The overwhelming tsunami of the messiness of children and laundry and dishes and homeschooling and medical needs.
How do I keep from drowning?
What am I supposed to do when ideas, and dreams, and aspirations, and hopes come crashing down around me?

1.  I remember that Elohim, the creator of this world, my world, has given us hope.
When sin entered this world, my world, both I and the earth were infected, corrupted.
We see the earth groaning from the weight of this, shifting.

"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."
Romans 8:22

There are days when I am groaning over the weight of the things I'm handling at home.

"And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons,
the redemption of our bodies."
Romans 8:23

But He's given those who have trusted His as Savior hope of a glorious, transformed, redemptive future.

"For we are saved by hope;
but hope that is seen is not hope:
for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not,
then do we with patience wait for it....
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:24,25 and 28

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;
neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I show you a mystery;
We shall not all sleep, 
but we shall all be changed.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 
at the last trump:
For the trumpet shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, 
and we shall be changed. 
For this corruptible must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruption shall have put on incorruption,
and this mortal shall have put on immortality,
then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written,
Death is swallowed up in victory."
1 Corinthians 15:51-54

2. I ponder that Jehovah God is a dependable, secure place of refuge.

"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear,
though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, 
though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  Selah.
behold the works of the Lord,
what desolations he hath made in the earth.....

Be still,
and know that I am God.....
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Psalm 46 1-3, 8, 10, 11

3.  The sheer power of these forces of nature are just glimpses of the Omnipotent Supremacy
 of the God of Creation,
and that He is indeed capable of reworking this earth as seen in the prophecies of Scripture.

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:
for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away;
and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city,
new Jersusalem,
coming down from God out of heaven,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
and there shall be no more death, 
neither sorrow,
nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said,
Behold I make all things new."
Revelation 21 1,2, 4,5

"....and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven,
from the throne, saying,
It is done.
And there were voices,
and thunders, and lightnings;
and there was a great earthquake,
such as was not since men were upon the earth,
so might an earthquake, and so great......
And every island fled away,
and the mountains were not found.....
Revelation 16: 17, 18 and 20

When my world shakes, and roars,
when my world crashes down around me,
when I feel overwhelmed by the wave of life that keeps piling me under,
I can trust and look and have peace.......

"Fear not:
for I have redeemed thee,
I have called thee by thy name;
thou art mine.

When thou passest through the water,
I will be with thee;
and through the rivers,
they shall not overflow thee:
when thou walkest through the fire,
thou shalt not be burned;
neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

For I am the LORD thy God, 
the Holy One of Isreal,
thy Savior...."

Isaiah 43:1,2

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband.....Day 19

Have you abandoned your daily prayer for your husband?
We're more than half way through our 31 days.
Keep up the good work.
He appreciates it.

Day 19:
"That he would be kept from strange women & evil men & that his friends would be men and women who walk with God.  
Proverbs 13:20"

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe

A couple weeks back our church celebrated its 57th Anniversary.
And what would a good Baptist event be without "dinner-on-the-grounds?"
We were asked to bring some food for a potluck, and I immediately knew what I wanted to bring.
The only time I have ever really "craved" a food was when I was pregnant with my babies.
But I can say that I almost "craved" this dessert.
It sounds so amazingly delicious.
And it doesn't have an ounce of chocolate in it......GASP!!!
That's usually a no-no for me.
So I made this exact recipe for Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

And I loved it.  My mother-in-law loved it.
My husband......not so much.  "Too old-school," he said.
I think he was referring to the texture and weight of the cake.
None of my children would touch it......I think because of the cream cheese in the frosting.
The only thing I did not like about this recipe was it's use of shortening (too hydrogenated), and the corn syrup in the frosting (too much HFCS).

So I did a google search for other Banana Cake recipes and found "my new favorite!!"

And I printed this recipe off and used it exactly as written for 
My mother-in-law thought it was better, and so did my husband.
My children gobbled this up.
It's our new favorite.
I can't use it too often though because it is steeped in sugar, but I love it for those special occasions where I can share it with others which will leave no leftovers sitting around that cause us all too much temptation!!!

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband......Day 18

Day 18:
"That he might have burden to see lost people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Matthew 28: 19,20"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband.....Day 17

My morning started out a bit disheveled today.  I ended up sleeping in much later than I wanted to, so I've felt 4 steps behind everyone and everything.  I had to stop to make time to pray for my husband this morning.  Have you prayed for your husband yet today?

Day 17:
"That he might have new strength in the midst of his busy schedule.
Isaiah 40:31 and Ephesians 3:14-19"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband: Day 15 and 16

Day 15:
"That he would learn not to depend on his circumstances for happiness, but on God alone.
Habakkuk 3:17-19"

Day 16:
"That he would be a man who enters into spiritual warfare.
Ephesians 6:11,12 and 1Thessalonians 5:8"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Update on my Type 1 Diabetic

Last Monday was Ashlyn's first quarterly check-up of 2011 with the endocrinologist.
Because of the issue we had in February with completely missing HALF her dose of Lantus every DAY for several weeks, I knew her A1C was going to be up!
And I was not incorrect in this assumption!
She has been hanging out between 7.5% and 7.8% for the last year and a half, but that day the blood test came back at 8.3%!!
Not dangerous, or out-of-control, but definitely something that needs to be addressed and watched closely.
It helps that I know the cause of the sudden rise in her blood sugar average so we can continue to make the necessary corrections.
She had also lost about a half to one full pound in the last 3 months as well as grew taller by an inch or more.
It was time for a blood draw this time too to check her thyroid levels.
I received the results a few days later:
  No change.  Looks good.  Keep taking the 37.5 mg of Levothyroxine daily.

We did receive an adjustment in the amount of Lantus as usual.  She now takes 13 units in the morning and 15 units at bedtime.

Overall, it was a great visit, and one that I left feeling so grateful that she is really healthy and not experiencing serious complications!!
I try to be ever conscious of that and not to take for granted that things could be so much worse for her.

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband: Days 12, 13, and 14

Day 12:
"That he might stand firm against the schemes of the devil and resist Satan in all circumstances.
Ephesians 6: 10-18 and James 4:7"

Day 13:
"That he might grow in spiritual maturity by putting away childish things, partaking of the deeper truths of the gospel and overcoming temptation.
1 Corinthians 13:11, 14:20, Ephesians 4:13, and Hebrews 5:14"

Day 14:
"That he might make me holy, cleansing me by the washing with water through the word.
Ephesians 5:26"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe

Today's recipe is a bit of a victory for me!!
I share it only because I have FINALLY found how to make these cookies come out right!
It has only taken 14 years of trying, and eating many.many.many less than perfect cookies.
But less than perfect.
So several months ago I came upon a blog where a fellow mom shared her experiences with these cookies,
and her disappointments!
I was delighted to find that someone else finally had the courage to admit in public that this recipe is STUPID touchy.
I have had these cookies at many a church potluck that have turned out perfect and are to DIE FOR!!
And I admit that in the 14 years I've been using these recipes, I've had a couple of great results.
Just enough to want to keep trying for that elusive perfect combination!!
I KNEW it existed and I was GOING to get it right!!
So this fellow mommy divulged the "secret ingredient" that caused her cookies to turn out perfect every time.
Wanna know what it is??
Well, just hang on.....

If you EVER find a recipe on the internet, or from your Mama, or your Granny, or your best friend for
Chocolate No Bake Cookies that calls for 2% milk or regular milk or skim milk........wad it up.
Throw it straight in the trash!
I don't care what they tell you......your cookies will turn out like PLAY DOUGH!
Every time.
It did for me for 14 years!!
No matter how long I boiled the first 5 ingredients, no matter how much extra oatmeal I put dough!
UNTIL....I discovered the secret ingredient........drum roll please!!!
Are you ready!!!

Evaporated milk.
Yes, you read that right.
And doesn't it make sense??
Well, it WORKS!
I still have to watch every ingredient to the "T" and make sure it boils for at least 2 minutes, but they set up beautifully {nearly} every time.
Think fudge.
They are gluten free too.
And super easy to whip up.
They are a "go to" dessert recipe for me when I'm in a hurry......great for church potlucks!!

Chocolate No Bake Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar (I use a less processed, organic variety)
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup evaporated milk (DO NOT USE REGULAR MILK)
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium sized sauce pan over medium high heat, add margarine, sugar, cocoa powder, milk and salt.  Stir until margarine is melted and ingredients are incorporated.  Bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until completely melted.  Add vanilla and oatmeal, mix well.  Work quickly before it cools and drop by tablespoons onto wax paper. Let cool completely on wax paper.  Remove cookies when they are cool and have set up......if you can keep your little children from descending upon them like flies to rotten meat!!

Love them!!  Enjoy them!!

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband: Day 11

Day 11:
"That he might be a man of prayer, guarding his heart and mind, putting into practice what he has heard, seen, and learned.
Philippians 4:4-9"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband: Day 10

Day 10:
"That he might become a called man, not driven, with well thought through and prayed through goals in life.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27"

Do you know what your husband's goals are for the next 5 or 10 years?
Does he even have any?
How can you encourage and support him in reaching those goals,
or how can you inspire him to have a vision of some reachable goals to set?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reflecting on the "Holy Days"

I have to confess.
One of my favorite holidays is Easter.
For me, as a born-again believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, it is the most important day to remember!!
True, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sin is important and was necessary for my atonement.
But without Christ's resurrection, His power over even death manifested, how could we believe anything else He said?
His resurrection was completion of the work He came to do here on earth for me!!

Today marks the beginning of the 40 day period prior to the death of Christ known as "the Holy Days" or "Lent."
My church does not typically recognize this time nor do anything particular to practice it, but in my personal life, I do like to reflect on the days of Jesus leading up to His horrific death, and to prepare my heart for rejoicing that He exercised His power over sin and death, and now lives again in Heaven ever interceding on my behalf to our Father Elohim!

During this time I want to lead my children through scriptures that teach us of the days preceding His sacrifice and to meditate on what it means to give up our comforts to be empty and receptive of Jesus Christ and His work for us.

Maybe some day, I'll have the time to create my own devotionals and meaningful activities for families to walk through, but for now, I'll share some things that others have put together that are available today:

by Ann Voskamp

A lovely set of daily devotionals and activities appropriate for children that you can print out!

 8 devotionals to follow weekly or as a daily devotional during Holy Week

What does your family do together to remember the ultimate sacrifice for you, and the consequential victory that Jesus Christ won over the power that death has on the human body?

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband: Day 9

Day 9:
"May he always look at the plank in his own eye before seeing other's sawdust.
Matthew 7:3"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband: Day 8

Day 8:
"That the Lord might give him wisdom to lead his family physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Ephesians 1:17-19"

Have you shared with your husband that you are praying for him every day?

Monday, March 7, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband: Day 7

Day 7:
"That he would be a man of courage.
Deuteronomy 31:6 and 2 Chronicles19:11"

{Monday} Funday!!

This past week I finally got to take my children on a field trip that I've wanted to do for such a long time.
But because the museum isn't open on Monday (which I'm finding is more common these days!!), we had to go on Tuesday.
Every first Tuesday of the month, the Dallas Museum of Art has free admission and loads of great activities for children.
They even had free coffee tasting in the atrium for parents too.

"All first Tuesday events are specially designed for children and their adult companions, Preschool classes, playgroups, day cares, and home schoolers are welcome.   All activities take place between 11 am and 3 pm."

When I read that, I wasn't sure that my older ones would enjoy the activities, but I was thrilled that I was wrong.

Making sculptures and shapes with different mediums of wire

Making collages of red objects

Exploring some paintings

Outdoors in the sculpture garden

We will definitely be going back to "First Tuesdays" at the Dallas Art Museum!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband: Day 5

Day 5:
"That he might daily seek God with all his heart, walking in the Spirit moment by moment, growing in dependence on Him.  Psalm 119:1-2 and Proverbs 3:5-6"

Saturdays are for: Fun, fuzzy blankets

Several weeks ago, I was looking around in the Wal-Mart craft section.
I do that.
Snoop around the crafting section looking for unexpected deals!!
I had been eye-balling these delightful kits for cozy fleece blankets (throws) that require no sewing.
They come in a myriad of designs and colors for both boys and girls, and they are soooo cute.
The $12.47 price tag just was out of my price range when I considered the fact that all SIX of my children would be wanting one.
But, for some reason, my {self-appointed} personal assistant (the 6-yr. old girl in the picture below), decided to check the price on those machines hanging on the pole on the craft aisle.
I about dropped my teeth when she said, "Mom!  It's FIVE DOLLARS!"
Well, in THAT case, let's get one for all the girls!!!!  (The only $5 kits left were all the "girlie" ones!)
Love it when they mark the clearance items down and don't change the price stickers!!!
Every week for the last couple of weeks, the girls have had friends that are having birthdays, so we've gone back and picked more up for gifts too!!!
At last count, including the ones we've made for our girls, we've made 6 of these blankets, and we're making two more this weekend!!

They couldn't be simpler to make either!!!

Step 1:
Lay out both pieces of fabric, one on top of the other,
wrong sides together.

Step 2:

In each corner,
cut out a 5 inch square.

Step 3:

 Along each side,
cut strips that are 1 inch wide and 5 inches long.

Step 4:

Keeping both strips of fabric together (front and back),
tie a knot in each strip.

This is easy enough for a 6-yr. old to do,
and the entire project took 2 people approximately 45 minutes to complete.
It takes less time if you can recruit a sister or two to help tie the knots!!

We started the first of these cozy, colorful blankets when it was cold and icy outside.
They are perfect for snuggling under during "family movie night" or for rolling up and taking on a sleepover
to Grandma's!!
They are really nice in the car for traveling too!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe

This recipe I've had in my file box for YEARS, yet only tried it for the first time a couple weeks ago!!
My husband was SMITTEN with this dish and told me it had to start making regular appearances on our dinner table!!
Several of my children LOVE this, though I do have a couple that won't touch it.  But then, these are the ones who never touch a casserole of any kind under any circumstances!!
I LOVE it!!
It's delicious served with a side of steamed frozen corn or a crunchy salad!!  Top it off with a dessert of your choice and you've got the whole meal covered!!

Click on the title of this dish to be relocated to the recipe and more pictures for the EXACT recipe I use.
I do use a lower fat/sodium brand of chicken broth, as well as substituting whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose white flour.  I also use green onions instead of white too!!  Enjoy!!!