Tuesday, October 25, 2011

1000 gifts:43-61

I celebrated a birthday last week. I guess turning 40 is a big deal....although I don't feel any different. I don't feel older, or wiser and I don't feel like a hit some great milestone. I eased into 40 just like it was any other day!
Each of my children remembered the day in their own way...from singing to balloons, coffee hand delivered to pictures hand drawn. Their expressions as individual as they.
Flowers were delivered in lieu of my husbands presence and later a party from my dearest friends to commemorate this glorious new decade I was entering!
I guess if I learned anything from the whole day and the last 40 years, it is to appreciate everything you have, to give all you can and to love deep and unhindered...to find joy in the little things and to laugh! Here is my list of those moments this past week.

  43.  lunch with friends
  44.  cuddle moments on the couch
  45.  excited eyes at a new experience
  46.  promises kept
  47.  girls night out to watch a movie...Courageous
  48.  teenage girls so willing to watch over and love my kids
  49.  quiet evening in studying and meditation
  50.  friends who go above and beyond
  51.  beautiful flowers
  52.  the touch down of a plane returning my husband home to me safely
  53.  reuniting
  54.  a shopping trip just for me
  55.  dinner for two
  56.  a family who made the above possible by taking the children for the day
  57.  a new worship song
  58.  a long afternoon hike with friends
  59.  dessert and tea
  60.  a quieter day
  61.  an early night to bed

There are so many things to be joyful, grateful, thankful for....what about you? Care to share? I am joining up...although a day late...with Ann @ a holy experience.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

to do

Recently my to do list has been increased. It's not a bad thing....but when some things get added to the list, others need to move down the list. In the last 2 weeks I have added two new faces to Ms. Kerri's Home ChildCare. I love what I do and having children in my home providing them with a "home away from home" allows me to be home for my children! This is very important to me and so are the new little faces that have joined us. These precious babes are adjusting but it will take some time and so with that I wanted to let all my faithful readers know that blogging is one of those things that has had to move done the priority list. I am not completely taking a break because I really love writing and sharing my heart, however for a little bit my posting may be a little more sporadic.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

wlw:back in the groove

This week over at Confessions of a Snowflake, Alicia is talking about recovering after a bad week...or in my case a few bad weeks!! The question is "what do you do, how do you recover from this?" 
I had a few rough weeks...I wasn't tracking, I wasn't exercising, and for the most part I wasn't really watching what I was eating....however I was enjoying it!! It's tough when you have weddings and Thanksgiving and cooler weather which demands comfort foods...but I did recover this week...although my weight results coincide with my poor choices of the past few weeks, this week I am doing better. I am tracking and I even found a recipe for comfort food that isn't astronomical in point value. I made this amazing antioxidant soup jam packed with  nutrition, proteins and lots of veggies!! YUMMY!!! and soup is so wonderful on these cool damp days!! 
Why? How? I think it comes down to the fact that this is a lifestyle not a diet for me! I am not just in this to shed some unwanted pounds...I am doing this to improve my life. When I eat well, I sleep well. When I sleep well, I have more energy. When I have more energy, I can do more with my family, friends and at home. When I can do more, I feel better in general. When none of this is in place I feel tired, worn down and just generally yucky and lackadaisical who wants to feel like that? Yes...I am going to have bad days, make poor choices, not always stick to plan...but that is temporary and I will get back on track because as Alicia always says..."Quitting is NOT an Option!!"

Here is the recipe for this amazing soup:
3 cloves garlic
2 med onions
2 large sweet potatoes
3 cans beans (kidney, black) drained
1lb fresh baby spinach
8C Kale
3 cartons vegetable broth
1/3t oregano
1t ground cumin
1t pepper
2 1/2t sea salt

Saute onion and garlic in EVO
Add all remaining ingrediants
Bring to a boil
Cover and gently boil about 15 minutes (until potatoes are cooked)
Garnish with Parmesan cheese (not included in the point value)

Makes 12 (2 cup) servings
5 Points on the WW point plus
This soup has jump started me back into tracking...feeling better and also satisfying my need for comfort food in the damp cool weather! Try it...it's delish!!


Monday, October 17, 2011

1000 gifts:23-42

The weather is cooler now and the signs of autumn are everywhere. 
Leaves fall from the trees to the ground covering our street in their golden glory. 
Sweaters cover up the short sleeves and flip flops are replaced with socks and rubber boots. 
It's a season of comfort food and cozy-ing up with a blanket and a good book.
A time for change, for gratitude, for thankfulness, for appreciation.
A time to realize that even on a cold, damp and rainy day....there is always something that will warm our hearts and bring a smile to our face!

 Here are the things that filled my heart with happiness and put a smile on my face!

23.  Little voices belting out worship music from the back seat of the car
24.  The colours of fall
25.  Missing my turn off on the highway....giving me five extra minutes to listen to my new Matt Redman CD
26.  Mom's group
27.  Leftovers
28.  Drop in visits from my older daughter
29.  The pureness and innocence of a child's bedtime prayer
30.  A heart felt apology from a child
31.  Crayons to paper
33.  A family drive in the rain
34.  A "spirited" conversation
35.  A husband who responds with grace after harsh words I have spoken
36.  Resolve
37.  Feisty teenagers with questions
38.  A true friend who gives honest answers
39.  Hold on for dear life hugs!
40.  A reminder that I will never have the last word....only He will
41.  Friends who feel like family
42.  Watching the transformation of night turned into day
What things have created a happy heart in you? Care to share?


Saturday, October 15, 2011


Gypsy Mama says:

"On Fridays around these parts we stop, drop, and write.
We write bold and beautiful and free. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.
Won’t you join us?"
    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 2. Link back here and invite others to join in. 3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!
Today's Prompt: Catch

Funny that today's....or should I say yesterday's word is catch because it seems all week that is what I have been doing....CATCHing up! This week I introduced 2 new faces to Ms. Kerri's home child care. These beautiful little girls have been entrusted into my hands as there mommy's return to work after spending the first year with them. These darling little girls now being handed over to me with no idea of why mommy can not stay and so they cry....they cry alot and it tugs at my heart strings and so I sit with them...playing, cuddling, singing, and sometimes even crying along with them. The anxiety these poor babies go through when mama has to return to the work force. But these little ones are the reason that allows me to be home with my babies....my not so little babies. Now on this weekend, because I was unable to accomplish as much as I normally would have, I play catch up. I will do laundry and clean, cook and play with my own children who so nicely took a back seat while I tried to coax new ones into there new routine! This weekend...I will catch my breath!

Friday, October 14, 2011

the power of love

The bride, safe and secure in the arms of her lover, now knows that her only focus can and must be Him! She has been through times of trial and tribulation, she has been tested in her faith and her love and only by the grace of God has she been able to come out of the wilderness. This journey has matured her in her faith and love, her relationship with God. Let us continue to read chapter 8.
 5 Who is this coming up from the wilderness
   leaning on her beloved?

Photobucket   Under the apple tree I roused you;
   there your mother conceived you,
   there she who was in labor gave you birth.
6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
   like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
   its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
   like a mighty flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love;
   rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
   all the wealth of one’s house for love,
   it would be utterly scorned.
These verses truly proclaim the beauty and power of love. As the bride asks to be placed like a seal over the heart of her lover, she also describes just how passionate she is for Him. This loving mark of possession is a promise of who we are in Christ and that we are His alone.
"...you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory." 
Ephesians 1:13-14
This deep and strong, relentless, never ending love is ours for the asking. A love that can guide us through the troubles of life, the difficulties of the everyday, the unexpected and unplanned...this is the love that our God offers us. We only need to be willing to ask for it, receive it and live it! God will not force us to love Him, nor will He take His love away. Only we, in our sinful nature can destroy a love like this and so we must desire it, appreciate it, nurture it and continue to press in, even in times of trial continually growing in maturity as the bride!
 "Consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2-4
Such a powerful, beautiful love! Barbie, of My Freshly Brewed Life also shares her thoughts on these verses...be sure to pop over and take a boo!

Monday, October 10, 2011

1000 gifts:1-22

Choosing to find Joy....giving thanks, in the everyday tasks of life is not always easy. But when you take a moment to look...to really see those moments and then put those moments on paper, written in pen and sit back and let those treasured times soak in, the realization of how joy-filled life is, is almost mind boggling. Even in the midst of chaos and frustration, there is something wonderful to be found. It can be difficult to see it in the moment but it is there! 
Last week I began jotting down my gifts, my blessings, my joy-filled moments amongst the mundane yet chaotic life I live. Today and every Monday I will be joining Ann Voskamp @ a holy experience, to share with you those places I found to make me smile, to make me laugh, or even those places that brought tears to my eyes. These little treasures of life that God has placed in my day to keep me striving to find, live and love Joy....daily!
  1. Cool fall mornings with hot coffee
  2. Fresh sheets on the bed
  3. Red curls and freckled cheeks
  4. Contagious giggles of a 3 year old
  5. Consistent reinforcement to strive for Joy in everything
  6. Gentle and sometimes not so gentle reminders of where I am supposed to be
  7. Good friends
  8. New friends
  9. Morning devotion
  10. An in depth Bible study which makes me yearn to dig deeper
  11. Quiet time with God
  12. Afternoon strolls with kids on bikes
  13. Warm sunshine
  14. Cool breezes
  15. Fresh cheese bread made into croutons for stuffing
  16. An 18lb turkey gifted by my father-in-luv
  17. Snuggles with the grandbaby
  18. An eager 5 year old wanting to help make turkey dinner
  19. Squinched up baby noses
  20. Warm outdoor fire on a cool evening
  21. Pumpkin ice cream
  22. Spontaneous plans with friends
Here in Canada we are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend....a perfect time to be thankful for all of the God given blessings!! Join in and share some of those blessings....where have you found Joy this week? 


Saturday, October 8, 2011

happy thanksgiving weekend

{ photo credit }
Today, as I prepare a thanksgiving feast, I am reminded of all the blessings I have. I am sharing this day with my grandchildren and this afternoon friends will be joining us for dinner...the traditional feast of turkey, stuffing and all the other traditional delicacies that go along with it.
Later, we fill our tummies with treats of pecan pie and pumpkin ice cream. I am so glad I can share it with great friends and amazing family and that my life is filled with love, happiness and health. That is the most important thing...to remember how God has truly blessed me and my household.
Thank You, God!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

safe and secure

The journey of the bride began in immaturity and has now grown into a powerful testimony of faith and trust in and through her true love. This love perfect love embraces her, protects her and prepares her for this new life. 
Barbie from My Freshly Brewed Life is also sharing her thoughts on these verses of chapter 8. Pop over and see how God is speaking to her through verse three and four of the Song of Solomon.

3 His left arm is under my head
   and his right arm embraces me.
4 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
   Do not arouse or awaken love
   until it so desires. 

Just imagine with me for a moment, being in the arms of Jesus....His left arm under your head, His right arm embracing...how secure do you feel? How capable do you feel to be able to fulfill your call? It is much easier to go into this world knowing you are safe and secure in the arms of love!
   God lives forever! You can run to him for safety.
   His powerful arms are always there to carry you.

   Deuteronomy 33:27a (NIRV)
His arms are there to protect us, guide us, direct and lead us. They are there for support, healing, safety and security. In His arms we are not alone, we are united as one with Him and now in full maturity we are able to go into the world and share our story, our testimony, His Love with others....however we must guard our hearts from those who do not understand.

In verse 4 we see the "charge" to the daughters of Jerusalem (other believers who are not as strong in their faith) to "not arouse or awaken love until it so desires". This is the 3rd time (2:7 & 3:5) where this warning has been issued. 
In other translations the word "charge" is also seen as:
  • adjure to you
  • warn you
  • swear to me
  • promise me
I see this is a strong reminder, not just to others who are searching in their walk but also to the bride herself to be careful of lustful desires, reasons to stray away. We need to protect our hearts, our souls and our minds from things that may distract us, deter us, or cause us to focus our direction on something or someone else. Our focus should be God...in everything we do and say, in how we live and love. 
Let this be my focus as I live and love, striving to remain safe and secure in His arms of love! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

wlw: comfort food

This week has been tough for me....I will admit it!! "Big Loser Day", well, it hasn't been a big loss this week at all! As a matter of fact, I gained back the amount I lost the week before. How? Why? The long and short of it.....COMFORT FOOD!
{ photo credit }
When the cooler weather hit, so did my comfort food cooking! Homemade mac and cheese....with 4 kinds of cheese! Chili....made with beans, peppers, tomatoes, corn and beef topped with sour cream and shredded cheese. I love to make one pot meals....like chicken in cream sauce or beef stew with biscuits! None of these are very conducive to my weight loss efforts but they are foods that warm the tummy and they just make me feel good....that is until I weigh in! So now I am on the hunt for BETTER comfort food recipes! That is the topic this week at WLW with Alicia...The Snowflake. Pop over there and see what everyone else is sharing for recipes...I know I will be!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

rejoice in it!

Finding JOY in everything I do has really become a strong part of my journey. Recently I shared with you how God had laid this one simple 3 letter word on my heart and as I strive to find that Joy, I am searching for scripture to boost me, encourage me and lift me up in this goal of being Joyful in all that I do. I would love to share these verses with you and I hope and pray they will bless you as they have me!
As I finish reading the book of Ann Voskamp..."One Thousand Gifts", I am beginning my own gratitude journal and will begin sharing that on Mondays, linking up with many as we all share, reach and go beyond the 1000 gifts. Next Monday is the Canadian Thanksgiving, what a perfect day to begin sharing my thanks and praise, my reasons for smiling, laughing and being Joyful....Joy-Filled!! Will you join me in this gratitude journal? Will you strive to find joy in all that you do?


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday, Mom!
It wasn't so many years ago that my mom and I, well, we didn't get along very well. She was stubborn and I was bull headed....she seemed to think she had all the answers and I seemed to think that I was right! Let's put it this way...we are very much the same and neither of us were willing to back down...BUT...by the grace of God, today we are very much different people! My mom and I can now spend more than an hour together without butting heads...as a matter of fact, we have spent up to 4 days together without ripping each other apart! Anyone who truly knows us can say that we have not done this out of our own power....this truly is a God given achievement and so I would like to take this as an opportunity to share with you what my mom really means to me. 
More than willing to give you the shirt off her back
Offering advice and experience when it is called upon
Teaching by example and with love
Helping when needed emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually
Encouraging, loving, compassionate and full of laughter and Joy
Respectful, responsible and reliable
I just pray that I am able to take these qualities, learn them well and pass them on to my children. Thank you mom for being such an inspiration....a great mom....and friend! I Love You!
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