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Friday, October 29, 2010


I just found this saved from October 16, 2006, a little over 4 years ago.....I'm so glad I wrote it down then because I have forgotten this story, and it's a great one. 

Carly illustrated so well to us yesterday the battle we face between our flesh and the Spirit.  As we drove together to evening church, she began talking about how she feels like there is something inside her that makes her want to be mean and do wrong.  She then quickly assured us that she doesn’t, of course.  But it keeps pushing and pushing her!  As a mother, my first question was, “what did you do?”  But thankfully, God shut my mouth.  Actually, I had a cold and had lost my voice.  Either way, I had no choice but to just listen to her theological discourse.  She began to talk about a movie we love called The Emperor’s New Groove.  There is a sweet natured character named Kronk in this movie.  Unfortunately for him, he is the sidekick to the villain.  He often has to make decisions about whether to do right or obey his evil boss.  Carly used him to illustrate how she feels.  “It’s like Kronk when he has a daredevil on one shoulder and an angel on the other shoulder.  He doesn’t know which one to listen to!”  She went on to describe that she feels like that too, and do we know what she means? 

Oh do we!  My husband and I snickered about her use of the word Daredevil.  I don’t think she understands really that the voice of the “daredevil” she hears and the voice of Satan are the same because she has very strong feelings of dislike for Satan.  Her conversations about him are filled with resentment and indignance.  She knows he is very evil!  But her little daredevil is not so scary to her.  She feels a need to listen to him.  Why?  Because daredevil is a part of her.  It’s hard to believe it when I look at her angelic strawberry blonde curls as they fan across her pillow and she makes those cute little sucking sounds as if her thumb were still in her mouth as she sleeps.  It’s not so hard to believe the next morning when she pushes her brother into an argument and then blames him for being so mean.  Our morning is shot before 7:30. 

That day in the car, her daddy explained to her that the daredevil is her sin nature.  He told her that it’s easy to do things that God doesn’t like, it just comes naturally to us.  It’s hard to do the things that make Him happy and proud.  She nodded and kind of frowned because she doesn’t like to make God’s just that the daredevil pushes so hard!  Through my laryngitis, I pushed out one phrase as much for myself as for her.  “It’s hard, but God helps us!”  She smiled because she believes it, and knowing that God helps us somehow gives us strength to push back!

Romans 7:15-25
“15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bowtie Beauties

Now that I'm blogging I'm very excited about having a place to celebrate when I make up some new food that's yummy.  My family enjoys the food, but they don't really get the celebration I usually text a friend and get a text party in return with lots of exclamation points and comma winks.

I'm a meal planner, and rarely just make something up out of the pantry (which is why the text parties are rare).  But last night the Texas Rangers were 1 game away from making it to the World Series for the first time ever and so EVERY second spent watching the afternoon game before we had to leave for church was golden.......SO, no one from this household was eating at church (original meal plan) or anywhere else!  Uh-Oh, I had no plan for that! 

I looked in the pantry and found a couple of cans of tomato stuff and a box of mini bowtie pasta.....and decided to be brave.  I remember reading in one of my favorite cookbooks; How to Cook without a Book by Pam Anderson that you can make your own red sauce to go on noodles, so I tried it!  Topped it off with lots of parmesan cheese and some Turkey Pepperoni since meatless doesn't go over so well here among my carnivores.  They ate it up......

Here's what I did:
Cover the bottom of a medium saucepan with olive oil (2-3 Tablespoons).
Add 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic and 1-2 teaspoons of dried minced onion.  I would've used 1/4 cup or so of fresh onion but didn't have any - remember I am cooking out of my pantry and I used my last onion yesterday.  Turn on the heat and cook until garlic just begins to brown and bubble - I've learned the hard way that garlic burns easily and quickly.  Don't burn the garlic.  Add one 15 ounce can of tomato sauce and one 15 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes (use something chunkier if you are a chunky tomato lover - chunks sure look beautiful in the sauce) and a couple of teaspoons of Italian seasoning.  I always grind dry seasonings up in my hand like my momma taught me.  My palm still smells like yummy sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste (remembering that the parmesan cheese coming up will add salty taste).  Bring to a simmer, cover and let go awhile stirring occasionally until the noodles are done. While your pasta is simmering cook 1 pound of your favorite pasta.  Drain and stir in a little butter.  Pour sauce over noodles and stir to coat, serve with lots of fresh Parmesan cheese.

 This is my bowl and fork - it's a TINY bowl (not really). I'm already dreaming about next time.....maybe some bacon, maybe the tomato sauce with basil already added, some real onion?? The possibilities are endless. 
Goodnight Beautiful, the Rangers lost - but you are a winner!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Our oldest has really become a fan of fishing.  I am a fan of him, and my girls are both fans of being outside......and the usual snacks and goodies that go along with such a trip. 

One of my favorite childhood memories is when my parents would pick up KFC and our family of five would go to a nearby lake.  There was a really fun spillway nearby and picnic pavilions that were probably within my mom's eyesight, but we had to cross a stream to get there and felt we had hiked several miles on our own.  We could crawl up on top of this particular stone pavilion.....I loved it, still do.

Happy memories.

October has become a crazy busy month for my husband, and we were really thrilled to have an evening to sneak away to go fishing last week.  We picked up a bucket of KFC (thus the nostalgic earlier ramblings) and headed to the pond.

We all had fun - the boys fishing, the girls playing in the mud and the little boat, the Mom taking pictures and eating KFC biscuits.

I had a great time taking and editing the pictures from that evening. 

These sweet little evenings are treasures.  Doesn't it seem that the ones we plan out in detail often pale in comparison to these "KFC fly by the seat of your pants" adventures?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Leftover Muffins

This week I was baking muffins for a church lunch we host every month.  I had a great time making about 5 dozen yummy muffins on Wednesday afternoon just before I had to herd the kids into the car and head to church dinner - choir - Awana - Youth.  I had set the muffins onto the counter to cool, but didn't have time to put them away - so they were still there waiting on me when I got home that night.  I walked into the kitchen and was met by two sights; one beautiful and one not so much.

Here they are:

I was very proud of the beautiful muffins that I had made to serve; but kinda bummed about the dirty dishes I'd forgotten were still in the sink, shrug and sigh.

I do love to bake, but my family is kinda wary to eat just anything they find in the kitchen.  They've all seen and heard me come running screeching at them not to eat something I've prepared to go to some church-ish function.  All of them (except the baby who eats what she can find - especially ice cream while I'm in the shower) ask me before they touch anything really good or well-wrapped.  I have to tell them, "It's OK - I made it for you!"  OR, and it pains me to say - they get what's left over from said church-ish functions.

Prioritizing family and ministry is always a tricky balance and one I've been working on for.....well, since I married a pastor. These two images in my kitchen Wednesday night really encouraged me to refocus on this issue. Does my family get the yummy muffins or the leftovers and dirty dishes of my efforts?

I love being a ministry family and count it one of God's most amazing and surprising blessings.  I have great compassion for all those who are hurt at church, especially those called to serve there.  But every time I hear petty complaints about being in ministry I'm reminded of the flexibility and the "instant" family support and the precious gift of spending our lives on what really matters and want to scoff and roll my eyes.....I may not do it outloud, but such complaints usually get a great big "puh-shaw" at least in my brain.  I believe in making sacrifices as a family for the ministry we have given our lives to serve.  BUT I also believe that sacrifice shouldn't be all that our family knows.  The struggle and pain that often goes hand in hand with ministry should NEVER be the usual for our kids, or for us for that matter!  In other words, it's OK to eat leftover muffins sometimes, but there better be some WONDERFUL and intentional "just for you" treats and celebrations too.

So, I wrapped up my muffins and took them to the lunch and brought home leftovers.  But this morning I'm making their favorites - Chocolate.  I think I may even decorate them so that when they say tentatively, "Hey, whodja make these muffins for?" I can say, "YOOOUUUU", they are all for you!"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Moses and Mary

“But Moses replied to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent—either in the past or recently or since You have been speaking to Your servant—” Exodus 4:10 HCSB
I read this verse for the first time in this translation this weekend and almost laughed out loud (putting lots of emphasis on the ORs).  For some reason it makes me grin to imagine this exchange between Moses and God.  I think it’s funny that Moses keeps reminding God of the pattern of his weakness, “Hey God, I’ve never been able to give great speeches – from when I was younger even until recently (insert giggle here) or especially since you’ve been talking to me about all of this!  PLEASE don’t make me go!”  I was reminded about how wrong I am to think that God is going to ask me to do something that I’ll hate and am destined to fail trying, as if that were His motive.  He does sometimes ask me to do things that make me uncomfortable and require me to take a big gulp of faith.  But especially there He’s teaching me and desiring to share an amazing moment with me where He whispers, “See, you can do it!  And look what happened because you were willing to go with Me!”  He’s building passion and confidence and dependence – these are treasures.
"I am the Lord's slave," said Mary. "May it be done to me according to your word." Luke 1:38
So today, while preparing for something completely different, this verse came up.  It’s Mary’s reaction when the angel tells her that she is going to be the mother of the Messiah.  My first thought was back to Moses from two days before.  How different is Mary’s response from Moses’.  She states her purpose (to serve God) and then states His Word inserting her name right into the middle of it.  This deserves a true grin (a flabbergasted at such grace and courage teeth-baring kind of grin).  How foolish of me to try to talk God out of what He’s asking me to do with Him.  Instead of reminding Him that I’m still weak both in the past, and recently, and even though He’s talking to me about it, I should just insert my name into a great big sentence of faith surrounded by His WORDS which describe the greatness of His character and His actions.  I am His servant, may my life be right in the center of His Word and His plans for my day… day……by day……until a lifetime is lived.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

It's finally Fall and I can finally find canned pumpkin so I decided to make Pumpkin Bread today.  I originally got this recipe out of a Southern Living magazine.  I think it's called Pumpkin Pecan Bread.  I made a couple of changes especially in the spices because I don't like Pumpkin Bread to be too Spice Cakey......I like Pumpkin Bread to taste like pumpkin with a sweet cinnamon sidekick.
Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Southern Living Pumpkin Pecan Bread Recipe
3 1/3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
Put all ingredients in mixer and blend slowly to combine – stop to stir flour lumps up from bottom of bowl and scrape down sides with rubber scraper.  Continue to mix just until well blended.  Pour into 3 glass bread pans sprayed with Baker’s Secret and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

I have 3 Pyrex bread pans and this recipe fills them up perfectly.  They are a little bit smaller than a traditional pan.........sorry.

The Triplets with their Momma

I love this stuff.
I am feeling very blessed today, enjoying family and the work God's given me.  Next on my baking agenda - Amanda's Gingerbread Cookies!   Happy Fall!
I heart this recipe!