Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Real Value of Gold

I was packing my husband's lunch for the day.
There was a shiny gold candy in its wrapper on the counter.
At 4:30 in the morning.
It looked all sparkly in the light from over the sink.

I've been reading the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp,
you should really see her blog ,
and the book is about eucharisteo and seeing God's blessings around you
and giving thanks.

So I look at the shiny gold wrapper
and I say that you Lord that you tell us Heaven
has streets of gold
even though I don't know why.
I'd never really been a girl who said, "Oooo, gold streets."
I'm more a country lane, cobblestone street kinda girl.
Little more farm and a little less flash.

But do you know what my heart heard
at 4:30 in the morning
that made me stand amazed?

"Because the world's treasures
are only good enough
for the dust of your feet."

If what the world calls valuable is
nothing more than building material--
gold, pearls, precious stones (Revelation 21:15-21),
what does He consider treasure?

What is truly valuable when it is seen in its true light?
What would He tell us to treasure?

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:1-3

"He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure." Isaiah 33:6

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you,
not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today,
and tomorrow is thrown into the fire,
how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith!
And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink;
do not worry about it.
For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor.
Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out,
a treasure in Heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near
and no moth destroys.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Luke 12:27-34

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts
to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power
is from God and not from us." II Corinthians 4:6-7

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant
nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain,
but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
In this way they will lay up treasures for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age,
so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." I Timothy 6:17-19

I don't know about you, but I'd surely like to take hold of a life that is truly life.
Because this frantic dash that we call life often doesn't feel like truly living.

Thank you God for a tiny glimpse of your truth
brought in a shiny gold wrapper.
May we see the world rightly today
see the costly things of this world in the proper perspective--
brick, cobbles, timber, layers under our feeet--
and what feels so common, so ordinary,
as the treasure it is.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Newest Style!?!

A certain son of mine, who shall remain nameless, walks in with a mohawk and wearing camouflage.

To go to a function at church.

I ask him if he thinks that's the way to go.

His response?

"Well the look I was goin' for was modern-day hillbilly."

I wasn't aware that was a style.

Probably wasn't until today.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What I Love

Do you know what I love?

I love those moments when I realize

God has been listening to my conversations.

He's heard my words.

He has known my thoughts.

And He lets me know He's been listening...

So clearly I have to laugh out loud.

And then He sweetly points the way.

He always waits to speak...

until He knows I am honestly ready to listen.

Oh how I wish those moments, those moments when I am truly willing to listen,

were not so few.

Friday, March 2, 2012

How Sweet It Is

I've been doing some baking. Thought you might like to see.

This is Riley's penguin cake. He wanted an ice cream cake.

I called it the 'March of the Penguins' cake.

These are some practice cookies. I'm baking owl cookies for a client's baby shower favors.

Whoooo loves ya baby?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Menus and a Few Minutes of Spring

It's a rainy day here but I did manage to sneak out during a lull in the drizzle to snap a couple of pictures. They are the first of my azaleas to make their appearance. Right now they're a little wet, but they are a sure sign that spring is just around the corner for us here in the deep South.

I guess I'd better get back in the habit of planning my menus. I've been kind of lax in this area and that messes up my day. It's hard to think what to fix for supper when everyone's home, needing help with homework and all trying to tell you what happened while they were gone at one time.

Monday--Chicken Pot Pie, Applesause, Tossed Salad
Tuesday--Shrimp Creole, Rice
Wednesday--Hamburgers, Potato Salad
Thursday--Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread
Saturday--Catfish, Cheese Grits, Coleslaw

Hope your week is off to a great start!

I thought it'd give those of you in colder climates a little glimmer of hope.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dance with My Daddy

Another Valentine leftover...the Father Daughter Dance. She is all dressed up and ready to go.

She picked the dress, even told me how to do her hair.

She and Daddy are ready to go.

Having fun at the dance or, as she calls it, the ball. My little Cinderella.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Budding Photographer

Here are a few pictures Riley took on his recent trip to the Georgia Aquarium. Thought y'all might enjoy them too.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Little Late, But I Still Love You

Sorry I am late in wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day. You know I still love you all anyway. On the actual Valentine's Day I was busily decorating 26 little individual cakes for Meredith's class at school and then helping at her party.

Here's a picture of how they turned out.

Since it's a little something pink, I'll share with everyone at Pink Saturday. To check out all their great stuff visit Beverly at

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Simple Addition

My mom in the hospital +

one with pink eye and sinus infection +

one throwing up +

packing for a field trip =

my Monday

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cupcake Party

For her 7th birthday, my youngest decided on a cupcake party. I would make the cupcakes, the girls would decorate. This was the easiest, happiest party we've ever done! The girls had a great time, they stayed busy the entire time, and everyone got along beautifully. I limited the number of kids to the number of chairs we had around the table--six. That was the perfect number. I think that's going to be my standard rule for kids' parties from here on out.

These are the invitations that we made. I just used some pretty scrapbooking paper in the colors that she liked. I traced around a large lid for circles that I cut in two for the icing, traced around a coke bottle top for the "cherry", and used the hole punch on some trimmings from the scrapbook paper for the sprinkles. We then drew a number seven with a glue stick and added glitter. The party information was on the back.

Hobby Lobby's Christmas ribbon includes lots of colors besides green and red. Check it when they have their after-Christmas markdown and stock up on colors for the year. That's where I got the pink ribbon I added to the back of the chairs.

I found cupcake stickers that I added to plain bags and wrote their names on each one. I added another sticker to each napkin. Snacks were served in mini cupcake wrappers. Also at Hobby Lobby, I picked up these little wooden cupcake ornaments that were in their Valentines Day merchandise for the girls to decorate. I also found kits to make your own candy necklaces.

Here is one of the brooches we made for each girl. She got to design each one. We used large and small cupcake wrappers, old buttons and trim.

The table was set with different types of sprinkles and toppings. We also made cupcake bracelets out of craft foam. Hope this gives you some inspiration for your next party. Super simple makes it super fun.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Grey Hair

Wanna know why women get grey hair?

They have sons.

Only a son watches a BMX stunt show at school and says to himself, "No problem, I can do that."

But the cuts and bruises from that, and a skateboard fall earlier in the day, weren't enough.

There's always room for more drama when you're a boy's mama.

Only a son has to get his head examined (literally) for running into a metal pole on the playground. Not once. But twice.

At least this time he picked a different playground.

Remember that old commercial where the boy asks the wise old owl how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?

At our house, we're asking how many licks can one kid take to his head before his mom starts making him wear a helmet every time he leaves.

If you see a kid in class or at the mall wearing normal clothes and a football helmet...he's mine.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Super Simple Snack Idea

I needed to make something snack-y for lunch boxes this week but was low on eggs. This is what I came up with and it turned out super yummy and was really simple. It's made from a cake mix but tastes like a cookie. Only four ingredients. What more could you want?

Chocolate Chip Bars

1 box butter recipe cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 (11 oz) pkg chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease your 13x9 pan. Combine cake mix, eggs and butter until blended. Fold in chips. Press into pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cool then cut into bars.

Add nuts if you want. Make variations as well.
Use chocolate cake mix for double chocolate chip bars or mint chocolate for mint chocolate chip bars. You get the idea.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Committed (No, not to the mental ward)

Although that's probably where some of you suspected I've been...and maybe I should have because sometimes it feels like I need to be.

I've been getting lots of requests lately to get back to blogging and here I am. I knew it'd been a while, but I didn't realize how long until I looked at the date on my last post. I was shocked!

Guess it's been longer than I had remembered. I always have thoughts rumbling around that I want to share with you or ideas or pictures. I just never seem to get that far.

Not today.

Today I get it done.

Together again!

Let's talk about one of those rumbly thoughts--commitment.

The reason for my pondering is Proverbs 16:3
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."

In our get rich quick success driven culture, this seems like the perfect verse. Call it God's and it'll be golden. I really don't think it works that way.

I know there's a lot of good, godly people that, as we say in the south, don't have a pot to pee in. For those of you in the rest of the world, that means they are poor. The world definitely wouldn't define them as successful. It must be more than monetary, success equals more than stuff.

There's more to commitment as well.

When I promise myself I'm going to lose weight or I'm going to be more organized or I'm going plans always end up falling apart. Why?

I promised myself. And my self always ends up going back to its old ways. But committing my plans to the Lord, that's a different story.

Numbers 23:19 tells us, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He not speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?"

When God commits to it, it gets done. Instead of making a commitment to myself to do something, I need to commit my plan to Him. What does it mean to commit something?

Dictionary definition of commit: (1) do, perform, or be guilty of; (2) to place in the charge or keeping of another; entrust; (3) to place in confinement or custody; (4) to give over, entrust; (5) to bind or obligate, as by a pledge

Whatever I do, whatever change I want to see, whatever plans I want to make for the future, I have to make a conscious choice. If I want to succeed, I have to (1) make an active decision to (2)place those plans in God's keeping. And then I have to (3) think of them as locked away and not try to take over as soon as God's way of getting me there isn't the way I would have chosen or the easiest way to travel. I have to (4) give over my illusion that I'm smarter than He is when it comes to what's best for me and simply trust. Finally, I have to rest in the knowledge that when I do my part, He'll do His. Because, when I hand over my plans and (5)pledge them to Him, He ALWAYS keeps His promises.

One last thing to note in this verse--the verb tense. "Commit to the Lord whatever you do..." This verse involves action.

We can't just think about it and have success. We have to do. I can dream up a book, a movie, a great business and a mile-long To Do list--all before breakfast. But nothing ever becomes of any of it because the thoughts flit through my mind and that's where I leave them. As thoughts.

I might sometimes go so far as to jot down ideas, but that doesn't cut it either. It is only when we commit to action, when we 'do', that we have any real hope of success. Look up one verse to 16:2 and you'll see, God knows our heart.

There's a big difference between want to and will do.

And the 'will do' is the only thing that will do any good.

What are you committed to today?

"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him." II Chronicles 16:9