Monday, December 31, 2007

Pondering the Outgoing Year

As I sit here watching the clock ticking closer and closer to the end of a year, I can't help but to think back on the events of the year.

It has been a good year.

It has been a hard year.

Caring for my mother-in-law for a few weeks early in the year. I now have a greater compassion and respect for caretakers of sick family members.

Adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom and not having a convenient "title" to define myself. BK and I have laughed and cried...danced and played baby dolls...gone to story-time at the library and to playdates with little friends.

Realizing that I can handle working from home...although my house has suffered from neglect.

Becoming involved again in a church that I left several years ago.

Being made more aware than I ever have been (or ever wanted to be) of the living conditions of the poor in the world...specifically in India...though the travel and ministry of my great-nephew Josh.

Enjoying extended family...welcoming the arrival of a new baby and celebrating in the news of another one on the way...so glad that more family members have moved locally so that we can see them more often.

Celebrating the accomplishments of my handsome, smart grandsons...taking them to church with us...picking them up for one of our many adventures...watching them run and play in my back yard.

Love to you all as we begin a new year...and a new chapter in our lives.

Goodbye 2007...and welcome 2008!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Blessed

My grandson went to see A Christmas Carol this year and now his favorite saying is "God bless us all...every one!" Just like Tiny Tim, his heartfelt wish can't help but put a smile on even the most hardened scrooge.

My family is blessed beyond measure. Are things perfect? No...I assure you that they are not. Are we rolling in money? Nope. Do we all get along...all the time? Umm...can't say that we do.

But we are blessed nonetheless.

Baby girl is feeling blessed with her new doll house. I arranged it so perfectly (or so I thought), only to have her rearrange it...again...and again. Oh well, I guess that shows a creative mind. By the way, mommy doll has spent most of the day in the kitchen, while daddy doll has lounged on the bed. Don't ask me what that's about.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I was reading another blog this week. The author was telling anyone who was interested about the exploits of her husband. Not only did she write about how many times he had messed up that week, she went on to number them (1..2..3...) and with great relish she shared how foolish he had been and how much he had let her down.

As I read this blog, it was funny at first. Then I couldn't help but cringe as I thought about the effect that her words had to have on her poor husband. A husband needs his wife's respect...that's how God made him.

The Bible tells a husband to love his wife, but the wife is told to respect her husband. It doesn't say anything about the wife having to "earn" her husband's love...and neither does it say that the husband must "earn" his wife's respect. Like the Nike commercial...we are told to just do it.

You might ask, "What can it hurt just to tell a few friends or family members what he has done this time?" Have you ever noticed that when you are with a group of women and one tells something derogatory about her husband, others feel the need to chime in and try to out-do the others? Before long, we have turned these men that we love into a joke...into bumbling, clueless buffoons who can do nothing right.

Marriages today have a 50% chance of ending in divorce. I can't help but wonder how much disrespectful behavior plays a part in that statistic. With our mouths we can build up...or tear down.

This was a reminder to myself to watch what I say about my husband to others...because it does matter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Celebrate Him

As much as I love Christmas...carols...parades...good eats...decorations...parties...gifts...I wonder what it would be like for one year to skip all of the "stuff" and just focus on the One whose birth we celebrate during this time. Sometimes, despite my best intentions, it is hard to see the baby in a manger past the big, flashing "Toys - 40% Off!" sign.

We rode around a few nights ago, sipping on milkshakes and looking at Christmas lights. Among the "Oooo's" and "Ahhh's" of the beautiful displays, we saw a cross beaming brightly in one yard. Some might wonder "Why the cross...what does that have to do with Christmas?"

It has everything to do with Christmas. Look beyond the twinkling lights and see Jesus. Christ-mas. The baby born of a virgin. Emanuel. God with us.

As sweet as the scene is with the baby all wrapped in a manger, how thankful I am that the story did not end there. Even as this tiny baby nursed at Mary's breast, the plan was already set into motion. He was born to die on a cross...to save us...from ourselves...to rescue us from a life separated from God because of our sin.

The baby in a manger was a miracle indeed. But the cross is the greatest miracle. To think that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would be willing to leave Heaven and come to Earth...to be killed as a sacrifice...for us...for me. The ultimate sacrifice that would forever offer hope to the hopeless. His blood that dripped from that cross so long ago bought my freedom.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that everyone who believes in Him will not die, but will have eternal life. (John 3:16)

That is real love.

That is the real Christmas.

Celebrate Him.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Direction For The Journey

On the way to church Sunday, I turned down a different street to avoid traffic...and long traffic lights. One of my grandsons in the back seat said, "This isn't the way to go to church Gran D!"

I told him "Yes it is. You can't always tell where you are going just by looking out of the window."

It occurred to me later just how true that statement is. Our life journeys often have twists and turns. Sometimes it seems like we are at a dead end. Often we think that we may have taken a wrong turn, only to find out later that it was the right path after all.

Wouldn't it be great if we had an internal GPS navigation system so we would always know where to go? Well, as Christians we do have one...the Spirit of God that lives within us. He doesn't need a Global Positioning System to know where we are...or where we are going.

I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. (Proverbs 4:11 NIV)

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. (Exodus 15:13)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Baby Girl's Mini-Concert

video

BK just LOVES to sing. I took this clip with our digital camera, so the quality isn't great...but she can belt 'em out can't she?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Superwoman I'm Not

I wonder why is it that this time of the year especially I find myself running around like a chicken with my proverbial head cut off? I tend to do this at other times of the year too. It seems like there are days that just don't have enough hours for everything to fit inside.

Upon reflection, it is not that there is a lack of hours. What really is going on is that I try to pack too much into those 24 hours.

I say yes. I volunteer. I want to help. That's not a bad thing, right? It doesn't seem like a big deal at the time. Surely I can fit that little thing into my schedule. The problem comes when all those little things turn into several big things, eating away at my time and energy...leaving just the left-overs for my family.

It's hard to maintain balance...especially for stay-at-home moms. Because we don't have to sit at a desk at work all day, it is assumed that we have time to devote to countless activities. Throw a home-based business into the mix and the juggling goes to a new level.

I have to remind myself over and over and over that my number one priority has to be my family and my obligations to them. If I am so busy with my "stuff" that my house is neglected (this is a challenge for me), or don't take time to plan our meals so we end up eating out (spending money that we don't have and eating food that is not nutritious), or getting so stressed that I am unable to be the wife and mother that I am called to be, then there is a problem.

When my priorities are out of whack it can cause damage to my marriage, my finances, even my health. I cannot be all things to all people...as much as I might want to try.

So if you run into me and hear me muttering...

"I would love to but I just can't right now..."

"That sounds great, but I just don't have time..."

"I'm sorry...not this time..."

...just know that I'm practicing putting first things first.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Cards

I love Christmas cards. I love to send them and I love to find them in my mailbox. This year I mailed/handed out 85 cards! When I go through my Christmas list, it reminds me of how blessed I am to have so many people in my life. Some are old friends and some are new. Some are family members in other states and some live across town. Some I haven't spoken to in a long while and this time of year makes it easy to keep in touch.

A lot of people don't send out Christmas cards any more...either because of the time it takes...or the cost involved. But I love knowing that hopefully my cards will bring a smile to the recipients and help to make their holiday a little more cheery.

By the way, a friend sent me an email saying, "You know those two or three (or more) extra Christmas cards that you have left over and never know whether to keep or throw away? Here is a very good use for them. The Central MS Correctional Facility is asking that any unused or extra Christmas cards you have to be sent to the chaplain for distribution to inmates to send to their families and children that they are unable to be with this Christmas."

Send cards and envelopes to:

Central MS Correctional Facility
Attn: Chaplain Kelly
Box 88550
Pearl MS 39208

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sweet Smile

I know all the reasons folks warn about posting pics of our kids online...and I agree for the most part...there are some bad folks out there that do bad things. But I just HAD to share this photo of my sweet angel. She is enjoying Christmas so much this year.

By the way...the toy she is holding sings "Jingle Bells" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"...Sesame Street style. Grouch sings "We wish you a yucky Christmas and a lousy New Year."

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bags To Freedom

My nephew Josh is still serving with a mission team in Calcutta. He has been there since August and will be coming home Dec. 15th. He posted something so cool on his blog today. Apparently, Calcutta has a HUGE sex-trade. There is an organization that is offering women a way out of this life...and Josh knows some of the folks involved in this organization. They teach the women a trade and pay them a fair wage. They make beautiful bags...and they are available for sale.
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The Freeset Story
www.freesetbags.com

Each Freeset Bag tells a story of one woman's journey to freedom. She used to stand with 6,000 other prostitutes in a small but well known area of North Calcutta. She didn't choose her profession; it chose her. Poverty does that. It robs people of their dignity and children of their innocence.

She still lives in the same area, but instead of selling her body she makes Freeset Bags. Now she has choices, the choice to work decent hours for decent pay, to re-establish her dignity in her community and to learn to read and write. Now her daughter won't have to stand in the street selling her body like her mother used to. Freedom has been passed on to the next generation.
By purchasing a Freeset Bag, you become part of the story of freedom. Thank you!


These bags are available for purchase on eBay: http://stores.ebay.com/Asha-Imports_Freeset-Bags_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZ1QQfsubZ4069909QQftidZ2QQtZkm

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Nothing But The Baby Will Do

We drove to a local church tonight to see a live Nativity. By the time we got there, it was sprinkling a little, so we couldn't stay out very long. We parked and crossed the street. BK was so excited to see Baby Jesus. The live sheep and donkey were nice, but she wanted to see the baby. Mary & Joseph were alright...the shepherds were cool...but she had to see Baby Jesus. Her excitement was contagious. She cried and cried when we left because she just loved being there.

This year, I hope to let Christmas be a constant reminder that the baby who was born so long ago, came to give us life...and hope. I'm thanking Him tonight for letting me see Him fresh through the eyes of my sweet angel.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:16-17

Four Words

A king called all of his wise men and counselors together for a meeting. He addressed them and said, "I want you to go and think, read, and research. Consult the wisest and most learned men in the land. Spare no expense."

"I want you to find the ONE statement that will get me through all situations in life. Whether I am on top of the world or in the pits, find that statement."

"I don't want to learn long and complicated philosophies. I want one simple statement. Find it or write it; I don't care, just bring me the statement."The men left and consulted for months. They finally returned and handed the King a scroll. The King unrolled the scroll. On it was written four words.

"THIS TOO SHALL PASS"

That was it.

The wise men explained. When you are on top of the world, that is but a fleeting moment, things change, always remember, this too shall pass. When you are in the pits, all nights are followed by day, at your lowest moments remember also, this too shall pass. All external circumstances and material things change. No matter what your circumstances, remember, THIS TOO SHALL PASS!

The wise men reminded the great King that this would get him through his earthly things but the truly wise knew there were things beyond this earth and life. . .Things that were eternal. True wisdom they reminded the King was in the ability to recognize the fleeting temporal things of the material world from the truly eternal things. O Great King they said, "Most of the things that you worry or gloat about are temporary and our four words apply."

For most of your situations. . .THIS TOO SHALL PASS!

From Mountainwings.com

Helping The Fatherless

"Are you ready to be stunned? The United Nations counts 143 million kids around the world as orphans. 143 million innocent children are waiting for love and support. That statistic simply makes my heart ache. The Orphan Crisis Recognizing that the severity of today's orphan crisis is bigger than any one organization, Focus on the Family has joined together with FamilyLife and Shaohannah's Hope to launch a long term, nationwide campaign called Voice of the Orphan™. This campaign seeks to raise the awareness of the orphan crisis and spur fellow Christians to action." Jim Daly, President and CEO, Focus on the Family

This quote is from an email that I received this morning. Like Jim Daly, it makes my heart ache as well.

If you have ever thought about adopting, but have been intimidated by the process, there are some excellent resources out there. One is the website http://www.voiceoftheorphan.org/Display.asp?Page=AdoptionMain

On this website, there is also a great document to download called The Eight Steps of Adoption. http://www.familylife.com/hopefororphans/AdoptionGuide.pdf

God is calling His people to make a difference in these children's lives...with prayer, giving...and maybe even opening our hearts and homes to offer a child a family.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

'Tis the Season

We had a full day today. First, we picked up the Bubbies (three of my grandsons) and took them and BK to have breakfast with Santa...and later to a Christmas Parade. Tonight, we took BK to the Singing Christmas Tree at Belhaven. The weather couldn't have been nicer. We parked close, opened the back of the van and crawled in to enjoy the sights and sounds. Afterwards, we ended up at Cracker Barrel for dessert...quite a day!

I have decided to end the night with a song.

Everyone...sing along!

On the first day of December...my family spent with me...

Twelve carols singing...
Eleven jingle bells ringing...
Ten pancakes eating...
Nine elves seating...
Eight cycles zooming...
Seven bands booming...
Six Shriner's weaving...
Five thousand cars leaving...
Four children giggling....
Three Santa bellies jiggling...
Two pooped out parents...
And a good night of rest for us all!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Super....Natural

I have always believed that kids have a clearer path to the things of the Spirit. It just stands to reason that they have less of the baggage that we carry around as adults, so there is less to block the way...or distort the view...to Heaven. They are less hardened and more sensitive to spiritual things (both good and bad...that's why we have to protect them...but that's another post for another day). I have heard stories of children seeing visions. In fact, my son had one when he was about five (he saw Jesus....yet another post for another day).

So anyway, BK and I were out running errands this morning, when BK yelled excitedly from the backseat, "MOMMY...LOOK! Up in the sky...it's an angel!"

Needless to say, I almost ran off the road. I jerked my head around looking up in the sky where she pointed. Nothing. Then "Mommy...there's another one!"

This time I saw what she saw. The angels were blowing trumpets...hanging on the light posts in the median...the city's Christmas decorations.

I laughed...at myself...at the situation. "Yes baby, I do see the angels."

Did I really expect to see an angel in the sky? Stranger things have happened...angels have appeared to folks for a long, long time. However, I think I'm probably more likely to run into one in the line at the grocery store...or ringing the Salvation Army bell at Wal-Mart...or sitting in a car seat in the backseat of my van, eyes wide open and taking in the wonders around her...bringing blessings to everyone whose lives she touches.

It might just be natural...but it's pretty super too.



Thursday, November 29, 2007

Whew!

Some of you know that I took an online class through Hinds this semester (Sociology). A month after I signed up for the class, I started working part-time (mostly from home), so life has been a little crazy trying to get everything done...while being a full-time mommy too. Well, I finally finished all four of my essays a few weeks ago and I made 100's on all of them...and then I took my final exam this week and made a 96!!! So my 4.0 average is still intact. I'm so relieved that it's over. Maybe now I can breathe a little bit and enjoy the holidays.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thankful Reminders

Hubby and I hung out with the little 'uns this morning at church. BK's regular teachers were out today and they asked us to be substitute teachers. What an experience...an hour and a half with a class of two-year-olds! Actually, it was pretty fun...and hubby said that they behaved better than his high-school students.

Our lesson today involved being thankful to God for the things He gives to us. Our Bible verse came from James 1:17 - Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Sometimes we just need to be reminded, don't we?

Repeat after me...

God is good...all the time.

All good things come from God.

And from the immortal words of the Madame Blueberry song (Veggie Tales - for those of you without toddlers):

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!
For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!
Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have,
That's an easy way to start!
For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!

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Friday, November 23, 2007

A Star Shall Lead Them

I love Christmas. I love decorating and traditions...baking cookies...hiding gifts...riding around to see Christmas lights. I read a great idea tonight that I think we will incorporate into our family traditions...having a birthday cake on Christmas Eve and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

I braved Wal-Mart this morning. Even though I did not set my clock for four a.m., I still think I got a few good deals. One thing I picked up was a new star for our tree. When I saw it on the highest shelf, it immediately caught my eye. There are no lights or other flashy embellishments. It's just a beautiful red star that looks like it is crafted from the thorns that were used to make the crown for Jesus when he was crucified. How appropriate that it was red...for the blood that He shed. He was born to die...for me. I found the symbolism too appealing to leave it there on the shelf.

So I brought it home to adorn our tree. There was just one problem. It is too heavy for the artificial tree. I thought I would have to return it, but looked around to see if I could use it somewhere else. I decided to see if it would go on top of a plant I have in our den. So now my corn plant is sporting a beautiful red star. Maybe it's happier there anyway.

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A Walk On The Wild Side

My hubby was off work this week, so we decided to take a short trip. One day we found ourselves in Hattiesburg and we spent a few hours at the zoo. The princess sure did have a good time. I got a great pic of the jaguar. Check it out....

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks....anyway

I'm sitting here with a blank screen and it occurs to me how intimidating that can be. Don't get me wrong--it's not that I don't have anything to say. I always have something to say (just ask my husband). But I think the responsibility of public writing holds me back from being as honest and transparent as I normally would be. After all, I am a Christian and I believe that I should probably be using this medium to inspire and uplift. The problem is that I do not always feel uplifting or inspirational and it's hard to pass along something that I struggle sometimes to experience myself.

Depression closes in on many people this time of the year...threatening to lower its cloak of darkness and choke out any semblance of hope and joy. Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about?

I do.

I know that I have much for which to be thankful this Thanksgiving Eve. My Savior who loves me no matter what...my family and friends...my little miracle child's arms around my neck, squeezing so tight...my church...my decent computer in my comfy house in my safe neighborhood in my free country...good health...provision...gas in the car and a turkey in the fridge. Life is good.

So what does one do with this feeling of sadness and impending doom?

I have found over the years that reminding myself that I will not feel this way forever...while not beating myself up over getting to this point in the first place...seems to help...at least a little bit.

Some people will say it is a spiritual problem. Some will say it's a chemical imbalance. Some might even say that it is predestined genetic issue. Most will have an opinion...and most are not helpful at all.

I pray that God will help us to be sensitive to those around us who are sad and hurting...for whatever reason...and help us to remember that this is not the season to be jolly for everyone.

Pass along a smile and a hug...and hold the judgement...you never know what a difference it could make.

Use It....Or Lose It

I think this article was written by Mary Hunt (Everyday Cheapskate). Maybe we should turn this time of year into the season to rid ourselves of the things that weigh us down...

What would you do if you had to actually use -- or at least enjoy -- everything you own?

Truth be told, most of us would never live long enough to accomplish such an overwhelming task. Instead, we pack it, stack it and pile it away -- even pay rent to store it -- and keep right on accumulating, acquiring and attaining even more. More doesn't add to our joy the way we thought it would. More stuff only dilutes the quality of our lives.

Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, "discovered" the 80/20 principle in 1897 when he observed that 80 percent of the land in England (and every country he subsequently studied) was owned by 20 percent of the population. Pareto's theory of predictable imbalance has since been proven widely and applied to almost every aspect of modern life, including the things we own.

It's difficult to fend off that sick feeling when you calculate clutter's actual cost in hard-earned cash. Of course, there's that original price tag. But then there's the cost to own it.

One woman who finally had it with all her clutter loaded it up (it filled two pickup trucks) and headed for the flea market. Excited that she could possibly net $800 to $1,000 for one weekend of selling, she changed her attitude quickly when she realized her prices were about one-tenth of the price she paid.

Her mind went to the time she'd spent earning the money to buy all the stuff; the time spent shopping, lugging it all home then storing it until moving day. She figured even if she made $1,000 on this effort that meant she'd spent at least $10,000 (probably more!) purchasing it. That day she vowed to never buy anything again unless it was absolutely necessary.

Ask yourself a series of questions to determine what stays and what goes:

Does it work? So much of the clutter in our homes is made up of broken things we plan to fix someday and clothes that don't fit anymore but we hope they might someday.

Do I really need it? The answer will be clear as you imagine the impact of this item disappearing from your life.

Do I enjoy it? If this item brings beauty and joy to your life, it is not clutter. Sentimental belongings should be treated with great care and respect -- not forgotten in the attic.

Am I using it now? If it doesn't fall into the 20 percent of things you use on a regular basis, it is suspect.

Once you've earmarked the stuff that needs to go, move it out. Sell it, give it away or throw it out. Of course, one of the best solutions for "good stuff" is to give it to someone who really wants or needs it.

Decluttering will calm your spirit, clear your mind and increase your ability to enjoy your current situation, your family and relationships -- your life!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cherokee Legend

I received this by email this morning from MountainWings.com....it's good reading...

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe evensome human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him. ~Author Unknown~

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cookies Are The Answer...What Was The Question?

Life's little irritants have a way of getting under my skin. Such as...is it just me...or does the fact that Christmas trees are now in the stores before Halloween bother anyone else? It seems like this year in particular has been filled with friends and family talking about decorating early for Christmas. I'm really not a Scrooge. But I would like to digest my turkey from Thanksgiving before stringing lights on the tree.

What about gas prices? I heard on T.V. last night that the price of gas has risen over 30 cents a gallon in a month! That is just insane. Sometimes I think that I should trade in my mini-van and get a car with better gas mileage. But we really need a van so we can haul all the grandkids and BK around. It seems that it just keeps taking more and more to live these days.

I have discovered something that can take the edge off the aggravations of life...cookies. It's hard to be depressed with a warm, fresh-baked cookie in your hand. I recommend them highly...for medicinal reasons, of course. One of my sisters sent me an email this week with links to many, many cookie recipes. I have never seen such a list of cookie recipes. Look below to find your favorite and whip up a batch...or two...and then pick up the phone and invite me over. Life is better lived with homemade cookies...and the friends who bake them.

1-2-3 Cookies 7 Layer Cookies Allie Nelson's Famous Snickerdoodle Cookies Almond Crescent Shortbread Amish Sugar Cookies Andies Candies Cookies Angel Crisps Angenets Applesauce Cookies Apricot Fold-Overs Aunt Edy's Molasses Crinkles Auntie Linda's Ginger Gems Bakeless Dream Cookies Banana Drop Cookies Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World Biscotti Biscotti Blueberry Cookies Boiled Chocolate Oatmeal Drop Cookies Bronwnies Brown Sugar Shortbread Brownie Cookies Brownie Delight Brownies Buccaneer Snowballs Buried Cherry Cookies Butter Cookies Butter Nut Balls Butterballs Butterscotch Haystacks C.O.P. Cookies Candy Cane Cookies Candy Cookies Caramel Shortbread Cheesecake Brownies Cherry Buns Cherry Crowns Cherry Winks Chewies Chewy Noels Chinese Chews/Haystacks Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Chocolate Chip Cookies Chocolate Chip Meltaways Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies Chocolate Christmas Trees Chocolate Cream Cheese Squares Chocolate Crinkles Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (no bake) Chocolate Snowball Cookies Chocolate Streusel Bars Chocolate Sundae Cookies Chocolate Walnut Crumb Bars Choco-Scotch Crunchies Choose A Cookie Dough Recipe Christmas Crackers Christmas Crunch Bars Christmas Ginger Snaps Christmas Macaroons Christmas Mice Cookies Christmas Shaped Cookies Church Window Cookies Coconut Cookies Congo Squares Cookie in a Jar Corn Flakes Cookies Cornflake Christmas Wreaths Cowboy Cookies (oatmeal) Cream Cheese Cookies with Apricot Filling Crème De Menthe Chocolate Squares Crème Wafers Crescent Cookies Crispy Crunchies Date Nut Balls Date-nut Pinwheel Cookies Diabetic Peanut Butter Cookies Disgustingly Rich Brownies Doodles Double chocolate chip cookies Double-Chocolate Crinkles Eatmore Cookies Eggnog Cookies Elizabeth's Sugar Cookies Elves Quick Fudge Brownies Emily Dickinson's Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Emily's Best Brownies Famous Oatmeal Cookies Firemen Cookies Fluffy Shortbread Cookies Forgotten Cookies Frosted Peanut Butter Brownies Fruit Cake Cookies Fruitcake Squares Fry Pan Cookies Gems Ginger Cookies Ginger Crinkles Gingerbread Baby Gingerbread Cookies with Butter Cream Icing Gingerbread Men Gingerbread Men Ginny's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Glory's Golden Graham Squares Glory's Sugar Cookies Gramma Chapman's chocolate coconut drops Grandma Elsie's Zimt (cinnamon) Cookies Grandma J's Butter Cookies Grandma Olson's Parkay Cookies Great Grandmothers Sugar Cookies Gum Drop Cookies Gumdrop Gems Haystack Cookies Ho-Ho Bars Holiday Cereal Snaps Holiday Chocolate Butter Cookies Holiday Raisin Walnut Bars Holly Cookies Hungarian Cookies (Little Nut Rolls) Ice Box Cookies Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies Italian Cookies Jacob's Peppermint Snowballs Jam Bars Jessica's Famous Brownies Jessie's Chocolate Chip Cookies Jubilee Jumbles Juliet's Peanut Butter Blossoms Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies Kentucky Colonels Kiefle (cream cheese cookies with jam filling) Kifflings Kiss Cookies Lacy Swedish Almond Wafers Lemon Angel Bar Cookies Lemon Bars Lemon Cake Cookies Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies Lemon Squares Linzer Tarts Log Cabin Cookies Luscious Lemon Squares M&M Cookies Magic Cookie Bars Melt in Your Mouth Cutout Sugar Cookies Melting Shortbread Meme's Cream Cheese Cookies Milk Chocolate Florentine Cookies Mincemeat Cookies Mincemeat Goodies Molasses Cookies Molasses Forest Cookies Molasses Sugar Cookies Mom Mom's Crescent Cookies Mom-Mom's Ginger Cookies Mom's Nutmeg Sugar Cookies Mom's Old Fashion "Puffy" Sugar Cookies Monster Cookies Moravian Christmas Cookies Nana's Famous Soft Southern Cookies Nitey Nite Cookies No Bake Chocolate Cookies No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies No Bake Cookies No Bake Cookies No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies No-Bake Cookies Norwegian Sugar Cookies Nut Balls Oatmeal Bars Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Nut Cookies Oatmeal Coconut Crisps Oatmeal Cookies Oatmeal Scotchies Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Ooey Gooey Caramel Chocolate Dunk Ooey Gooey Squares Orange Slice Cookies Parking Lot Cookies Peanut Blossoms Peanut Butter Bars Peanut Butter Blossoms Peanut Butter Cereal Cookies Peanut Butter Chewies Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars Peanut Butter Cookies Peanut Butter Cookies Peanut butter fingers Peanut Butter Reindeer Peanut Butter Surprises Peanut Marshmallow Cookies Pecan Puff Cookies Peppermint Snowballs Peppernuts Persimmon Cookies Persimmon Cookies Petey's Yummy Spicy Almond Thins Pfeffernuesse Pffefferneuse Cookies Pineapple Filled Cookies Pizzelles Potato Chip Cookies Potato Flake Cookies Praline Cookies Praline Strips Pterodactyl Nests Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin Chip Cookies Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Pumpkin Cookies Queen Biscuits Quick Cookies Raised Sugar Cookies Raisin Filled Oatmeal Bars Raspberry Meringue Bars Really Peanutty Butter Cookies Reese`s Brownies Reese's Peanut Butter Bars Rich Flavor Christmas Cookies Rich Lemon Bars Ricotta Cheese Cookies Royal Almond Christmas Bars Rudolph Cinnamon Cookies Russian Tea Cookies Russian Teacakes Samantha & Kelsey's Chocolate Chip Cookies Sand Art Brownies Santa Claus Cookie Pops Santa Claus Cookies Santa's Butterscotch Melts Santa's Shorts Santa's Special Squares Scotch Cakes Scotch Shortbread Scotcharoos Scotcheroos Seven Layer Cookies Short Bread Cookies Shortbread Skor Squares Snicker Doodle Cookies Snickerdoodles Snickerdoodles Snow Balls Sour Cream Apple Squares Sour Cream Christmas Cookies Special K Cookies Spice Cookies Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Spritz Cookies Stained Glass Window Cookies Stir & Drop Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Swedish Pepparkakor (Pepper Cake) Cookies Swedish Sugar Cookies Sweet Marie's Swiss Treats Taralle (Italian Cookies) Tea Time Tassies Texas Brownies The Best Shortbread in The World Thumbprint Cookies Thumbprint Cookies Toffee Squares Traditional Christmas Sugar Cookies Traditional Gingerbread Men Cookies Triple-Chocolate Chip Cookies Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies Vanilla Waffer Balls Walnut Butter Cookies Walnut Crumb Bars White Chip Chocolate Cookies Wild Oatmeal Cookies Will's Famous Apple Jack Cookies Yummy Yummy Peanut Butter Blossoms

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Needing Rest

I'm tired. Life is coming at me hard and fast these days. I'm heading to bed soon...but there is a post in me somewhere that needs to be let free.

My nephew Josh is serving on a mission team in Calcutta, India. He has been there since August and he has six more weeks to go before he comes home. His mom is already planning the welcome home party. He is a remarkable young man and I am so proud of the work he is doing there...working with dying hospice patients...making their last days a little more bearable. He posted yesterday that he is sick and weary...and homesick.

I received an email yesterday from a woman who works with a non-profit Christian group in northern Mississippi. She told about a couple that came in for help. They just moved to that area a few months ago from Tennessee for a job. Before the husband could get health insurance, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he is having seizures from the medicine he must take. They have three small children and a fourth one due in December. The woman told how sweet and appreciative they were about everything she shared with them. She said that they cried as they told her that things are so hard for them right now, but they are believing that God will take care of them...somehow.

Life comes hard and fast to most people...at one time or another. My comment to my nephew's blog was to tell him to crawl up in our Father's lap and let Him love on him for a while. That is good advice for all of us.

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28)

Guess what? The invitation is still open.

Rest in Him.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Limping Through Life

I broke a toe last week. You just can't imagine that a tiny little bone could hurt so much...oh...but it does! I'm limping through life these days. When I was thinking about that tonight, I wondered just how long I've been "limping through" other areas of my life.

In Sunday School this week, a lady who was sharing the lesson told us about something that Max Lucado had written. It had to do with life being like an ice cream sundae...and how we shouldn't complain if there isn't a cherry on top...it's still an ice cream sundae. That struck a chord in me. It's so easy to look for what's wrong. I'm trying to shift my focus to all the things that are right...and to be thankful.

So...here's to cherry-less sundaes...and may we all learn to enjoy despite the fact that it might not be perfect.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Here's Why...

I came across an excellent article today that discusses why Christians should ask God before allowing their children to celebrate Halloween. Here is the link if you want to know more: http://www.christian-mommies.com/special-features/bible-studies/why-we-dont-celebrate-halloween/#keepreading

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A New Phase

It seems that I am beginning a new phase of my life...that of being a work-at-home mom. Over the last few weeks, I have been fortunate to find work as a bookkeeper from three different sources...most of which I can do from home. This is exciting for me because the extra income will help us tremendously. Also, the work is helping me to keep my mind sharp.