Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Morning In May

On a Sunday morning in May, I awoke feeling feeble all over. My husband of 20 years had recently announced his intentions of filing for divorce. Getting dressed and out the door to church took every ounce of mental and physical energy I could muster. I couldn’t pray. I couldn’t think. Depression lingered in the shadows.

A visiting minister delivered the morning message. It was a good sermon, but, in all honesty, I had hoped for a more personal word from God. I needed something special.


As the congregation scattered, I retreated to the foyer, waiting for my daughter to join me. While leafing through some brochures, the visiting minister appeared, walking straight toward me. As I stood there, wondering what was in store, he took my hand and told me that God had sent him to our church to give me a personal word. It was a moment I'll never forget.

As goose bumps covered my body, he told me that God loved me, that I was special in God’s eyes, that God knew where I was, and that he would lead me in the coming days. I had never met this minister before, and he had no clue what I was facing. But my Heavenly Father knew. And he knew that I had come to church, seeking a personal word from him.

How comforting to know that, even when we can’t feel God or hear his voice, he is ever with us, touching us through the hands of chosen vessels. ♦
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“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: But he knoweth the way that I take.” Job 23: 8-10

Monday, February 22, 2010

Multitude Monday - Counting A Thousand Gifts

Today, I'm taking another step toward unwrapping a thousand gifts from the Giver of good things. All are invited to unwrap their treasures at "Multitude Monday."

#17. A twin sister who lives down the lane.

#18. A twin sister who shares sausage sandwiches.


#19. Friends who make me laugh.
#20. Blue skies.
#21. Fresh sheets.

#22. The scent of dazzling tulips in my room.

#23. Iced tea.
#24. Hot tea.

#25. Dr. Berke.

#26. News of my daughter's promotion.
#27. Opportunity calling.

#28. My "Frosted Sugar Cookie" candle.
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"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give 'good' things to them that ask him?"- Matthew 7:11 (NIV)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Show and Tell Friday - Dazzling Tulips


Thanks to unusually cold temps in South East Texas this winter, I find myself focused on warm winds of spring, although those winds can turn really hot really quickly. This bouquet of fresh tulips and blue irises have dazzled me for a few days. The tulips smell sweeter than honey, and every time I look at them, I know my Redeemer lives.



I'm linking to Cindy's "Show and Tell Friday." Scoot on over and see who's showcasing what.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Foodie Friday - Lemon Pound Cake

I am joining Michael today at Designs by Gollum for the 1st Anniversary of Foodie Friday. I'm a certified lemon nut, and this pound cake recipe is so simple and so scrumptious. If you need some new inspiration in your kitchen, click on the link above and be inspired.


LEMON POUND CAKE:

• 1 pkg Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® Lemon Supreme Cake Mix
• 1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant lemon pudding and pie filling
• 4 large eggs
• 1 cup water
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan.

2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour into pan.

3. Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 25 minutes. Invert onto heat resistant serving plate. Cool completely.

ICING:

• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Directions: In a small mixing bowl, beat the sour cream and butter until blended. Gradually add confectioners' sugar. Beat in lemon juice and peel. Drizzle over the cake. Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped

I'm unwrapping Kindness today. It came in the form of a text message from my twin who lives down the lane: "Got some great sausage sandwiches coming up. On the table in five."


Oh, how I love her. Let me count the ways. The sausage sandwiches were scrumptious!

"Be ye kind one to another." - Ephesians 4:32
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For more unwrapping, visit Tuesdays Unwrapped.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Multitude Monday - Counting A Thousand Gifts

Today, I'm linking at Ann Voskamp's inspirational blog, "A Holy Experience," taking another step toward unwrapping a thousand gifts from the Giver of good things. All are invited to unwrap their treasures at "Multitude Monday."

#8. Morning's first sip.


#9. Sunshine after much rain.
#10. Laughter from my daughter's room.

#11. Words of love that lift the weary.


#12. An e-mail from a caring friend.
#13. Hazelnut Cream candles.

#14. Fuzzy robes that warm the bones.

# 15. Red roses from out of the blue.

#16. Mother's love in colored pieces.
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"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give 'good' things to them that ask him?"- Matthew 7:11 (NIV)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pondering Life and Love


It’s a cold, rainy, lovers-kind-of-night in the neighborhood. As a roaring fire crackles in the fireplace, I relax in my comfy chair, sip apple cider and ponder my life.

Seven years post-divorce and still single. Will I ever marry again? Some days I hope so; other days, not so much. Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely. I strive to be content.

Still, there are days of restlessness, wanting someone to love and be loved by. Someone to share life’s ups and downs, twists and turns, chaos and calm.

Just yesterday, while browsing the antique mall, I watched as couples walked past, holding hands, sharing thoughts about this, that or the other. Part of me wanted what they had—common interests; common dreams; common goals.

But did I want it badly enough?

Even when skies are blue, marriage is hard. For sure, mine was no exception. In our 20 years of togetherness, my husband and I were strangers in many ways—just making do and going through the motions. We had good times, of course, but our marriage was a struggle early on.

For sure, I don't want another 20 years of making do and going through the motions. If I ever marry again, I want a deep relationship of mutual passions, where souls are exposed, desires are fulfilled and real love is made. A relationship that builds up and binds together. A love that seeks to serve—for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death does part us.

Above all else, I want a husband who understands that, as Christ loved the church to transform her into a "glorious bride," a husband’s unconditional love is a transforming gift to his bride, as well. It, alone, empowers her to surrender her very being without constraint. To feel desirable, despite her weaknesses and flaws. To let go of her heart, knowing it will be safe in her husband's strong, yet gentle, hands. Thus, his gift to her becomes her gift to him. She is free to love with an open, uninhibited, crazy kind of love.

Oh, it sounds really good, and it seems really simple. But I’m not sure that such love can even be found nowadays. And even if it can be, I don’t know if I’ve got the patience, the desire or the wits to look. So much baggage to sort through anymore. Multiple marriages. Multiple divorces. Children in multiple states. A red flag here. A red flag there. Here a flag. There a flag. Everywhere a red flag.

I know good marriages can come after divorce—I've seen some—but is it any wonder that divorce wasn't God's plan from the beginning? That marriage was meant to be a covenant between one man and one woman...until death? Divorce breaks things, and it leaves disconnected souls shuffling back and forth, to and fro, hoping to somehow, someday, someway, make a connection. Even to the strongest of hearts, it's disheartening at best.

And so, despite the cold, rainy lovers-kind-of-night in the neighborhood, I relax in my comfy chair, sip my cider and watch the fire alone. Will I ever marry again? Some days I hope so; other days, not so much. ♦
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I'm linking to "Spiritual Sundays," where words of comfort, motivation and inspiration are free for the clicking.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Foodie Friday - Chocolate Cobbler

Valentine's Day isn't complete without chocolate. This recipe is simple to make, and impossible to resist. I am joining Michael today at Designs by Gollum for my first Foodie Friday.


CHOCOLATE COBBLER

1/2 stick Oleo
3/4 c. sugar (can be adjusted to individual taste)
1/2 c. milk
1 c. self-rising flour
2 T. cocoa
1 dash salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt oleo in 8x8 baking dish. Mix flour, sugar, salt and cocoa in a bowl, stirring in milk and vanilla. Mix well and pour into 8x8 dish with oleo. Batter will be rather thick. DO NOT stir.

Topping:
3/4 c. sugar (can be adjusted to individual taste)
2 T. cocoa
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 c. HOT water

Mix sugar and cocoa in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over batter. Top with pecans and pour hot water over the batter. DO NOT stir. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.
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For more delectable Valentine's Day recipes, visit "Foodie Friday."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Show and Tell Friday - Roses Are Red

This week's delivery of two dozen red roses was a shock and awe moment for me. Who knew that finding an old friend would bring such sweetness to my home? I'm still a bit speechless. They smell delectable, and they're much too gorgeous not to share.

 


If you have something for Friday's "Show and Tell," click on the link and join the party at Cindy's lovely blog.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Tuesdays Unwrapped"

I'm unwrapping Reassuring Words today. After months of roller coaster riding, they are a welcome sound, indeed.

And they have come in all sorts of packages: The Bible. E-mails. Blogs. Text messages. The telephone. My daily devotional. Songs. The mouths of family. The mouths of friends.

The bottom line is this: I'm God's child. He commands the winds and the waves. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. The hairs of my head (all bajillion of them) are numbered. He knows what I have. He knows what I need. And no matter what the circumstances may be, he will provide for me. Not because I'm perfect, but because I'm his.♥
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To find more of God's gifts, visit Tuesday's Unwrapped at Emily's blog.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Multitude Monday" - A Thousand Gifts Unwrapped

A Chinese philosopher once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Today, I'm linking at Ann Voskamp's inspirational blog, A Holy Experience, and taking the first step toward unwrapping a thousand gifts from the Giver of good things. Some might be obvious, some not so obvious, but all will be good. Ann calls it "Multitude Monday." All are invited to unwrap their treasures.
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1. Taste buds to enjoy Chocolate Cobbler.

 2. Daily evidence that God is bigger than anything I face.

3. Love letters in the sand.

4. Mom's wisdom.

5. Dad's prayers.

6. Sisters to laugh with.

7. The smile of my December gift, unwrapped in 1985.
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"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give 'good' things to them that ask him?"- Matthew 7:11 (NIV)

"Blue Monday" - Shark Loop

If you want to spread your "blues" around, follow the link to
 Smiling Sally's "Blue Monday."
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Blue has always been a favorite color of mine, but I'd never used it on walls until I bought my home a year ago. In selecting a color for my office, I decided on a slate blue. The paint is Valspar, and the color is "Shark Loop." I was more than pleased with how it turned out--cool and classy, yet warm and inviting, too.




Happy Monday! May it be bright and blue. :-)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Father's Love


My dad called last night. He didn’t want anything special. Just missed hearing my voice. Wondered how I was. Wished I’d call more than I do.

As I hung up the phone, I thought of my Heavenly Father and how he, too, longs to talk to his child. To hold her when she’s tired. To comfort her when she weeps. To whisper calm when chaos comes calling. And, although his child sometimes goes for days, maybe even weeks, without fully surrendering her time, her Father doesn’t love her any less. He just patiently waits, hoping she’ll miss hearing his voice, escape to a quiet place somewhere and give him a call. He won’t grill her about where she’s been, of course. He’ll just hold her close and listen.

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee.”- Jeremiah 33:3

Heavenly Father, help me to love as you love, looking past the failings of others, ever ready to listen whenever they call.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Show and Tell Friday - My Piano

One of my prized possessions is my Kawai piano.

Although I'm not a master musician, nothing soothes my soul like sitting down and playing for a spell.

A favorite hymn of mine is "How Great Thou Art." The minute the music begins, my living room is transformed into a cathedral of worship, no worrying allowed.
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I'm linking to Cindy's blog today. I can't wait to see what other bloggers are showcasing on "Show and Tell Friday." Join me?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mosaic Monday - Head-to-Head; Heart-to-Heart

Since this is the first day of February (the love month), I did a "head-to-head; heart-to-heart" mosaic of me and the joy of my life, my daughter. I like how a heart forms when two heads come together. We've done many such poses through the years. I hope we do many more. ♥


If you enjoy lovely mosaics, head over to Mary's Little Red House blog where every Monday is Mosaic Monday.