Thursday, July 30, 2009

She Prepares, She Packs, She Speaks!

She Speaks is just around the corner....literally! Come Friday morning, I will be in my mama mini van heading up the road to be filled with a weekend packed full of joy, laughter, hugs, and JESUS!! Oh, I can't wait!

Last year, as a newbie to Proverbs 31 Ministries, I decided to sign up for Women's Ministries presentations. They were fabulous! God has really been doing some amazing things in my heart this year, and I have felt the gentle push to step out of my comfort zone this weekend. I have signed up for the Speaker's Track. Now, I am not feeling the call to speak--especially since I tend to babble! But, I thought this would be a great opportunity to try to learn to stay focused on one topic...and hopefully, it will transfer over to my facilitating Bible Studies! So, I have been preparing.

She Packs is a little more difficult!! Hubby will tell you that it takes me days to decide what to pack for a simple one night trip! He can pack a suitcase for a week in under 5 minutes! No lie! (He does travel some and has more practice than I do!). It's not like I have a million different clothes to chose from...I just can't decide what I want to wear from Friday to Sunday! I want to take only one pair of shoes--in addition to my running shoes, of course! (They go everywhere, people!) Do I take the black ones or the brown ones? Or, can I just wear my ugly but most comfy Crocs? That leads me to what clothes will match with the shoes. And that, of course, leads to what jewelry to take!! I usually just dump it ALL into my handy dandy suitcase and have all options ready and waiting!! But, I am trying really hard this time to make decisions! I have until 8:30 am Friday morning!

"She Speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." Proverbs 31: 26

I will be speaking and listening and praying and eating and running! I will be making new friends and hugging the necks of old friends. I cannot wait to hear what God has to say to each of us this weekend. I will be listening for His small quiet voice to give me that wisdom and instruction that comes from spending time with Him and in His Word. During this conference, we have the time and opportunity to be in prayer. It's not just rush, rush, rush like so many other conferences. This is very special, and I am so thankful that the P31 team has incorporated this into the ministry.

I will take a gazillion pictures--promise! I'll post about our time next week. If you think about us over the weekend, we all would so appreciate your prayers! The Proverbs 31 Team has put hours of planning and prayer into the next few days. Please lift them up as they share and encourage others. There are some ladies who are traveling far distances alone. Some have never traveled without their spouses. Others are seeking peace; others answers from God. Still others don't have a clue as to what to expect.

Just remember, when you invite God to a party, He will show up in a mighty big way!!

Ready to Party!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bread of Idleness...Not!!

Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" has been my mantra this summer! And, it's not over yet! Come Friday morning, I'll be driving my way up to Concord, NC for the She Speaks '09 Conference!! I am so excited!!! But, I wanted to share a little with y'all about our trip to Tenn. this weekend!! Picture one shows the lovely mountainous curves through North Carolina that my Hubby adores! I am terrified as he pretends to be Richard Petty and hug the median walls!! Mercy!! This was taken through the windshield--I DID NOT hold my head out the window for this shot! I'm not that crazy!!

By the time we arrived, it was supper time. Munder (the boys' name for their Grandmother) had been in the kitchen all afternoon. I have to show y'all the fruits of her labor! Remember, she is another version of Paula Deen!!
This huge skillet of friend okra was completely demolished by the time my boys finished eating! It was out of this world! Do you think they have friend okra in Heaven? I surely hope so!
Child #2 couldn't wait, so he was sneaking some morsels before we ate!! To the left is our precious aunt Mil, Munder's sister--they are a hoot!!
Love this! There wasn't enough room at the kitchen table, so the boys got to eat on the back porch! Do any of y'all remember being put at the kids' table for big family meals? I do! My grandmama would spread newspapers out under the table in case someone spilled something on the rug!!
And this....this....beautiful slice of strawberry swirl cheesecake with a fruit topping of strawberries and powdered sugar and Heaven knows what else was the creme de la creme!! This was a Paula Deen recipe that took hours to prepare! And bless her heart, Munder did it! That is her gift--hospitality! I, on the other hand, would have called my sweet little friend Lori-who bakes--and asked her to make this for me!! I don't bake--it turns out yummy but ugly! It is not a gift of mine at all! But, that's ok!!

"We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. And...never tire in doing what is right." 2 Thess. 3:11-13.

"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27
The bread of idleness is not something that my Mother-in-love or I eat. Hands are always busy--sometimes too busy! Sometimes we need to clear our busy schedules and sit awhile in the Presence of God. He needs to show us where He wants us to be busy--and not busybodies! I loved that!! Y'all, things have not changed a whole lot in 2000 years!! Take a look at your summer schedule. Have you found time to rest in Christ in the past few weeks? Or, does it look and feel just as hectic as the school schedule? I encourage you to take time each day to sit at His feet and listen for Him. He's there..ready to meet you...but are you??


Friday, July 24, 2009

Zebras and Ladybugs!

Happy Friday! Woohoo! I am so looking forward to this weekend! Tomorrow, we pack up the Mama mini van and head off to the beautiful state of Tennessee to visit Hubby's parents. Y'all, my mother-in- love is the BEST cook! The boys and I have been putting in our orders for weeks now for some of our favorites (Fried okra is at the top of the list along with Munder's brownies!) I'll be posting again on Tuesday--hopefully, I'll have some fun pics to share!

Well, today is all about my precious little friend way...way...out in the Pacific Northwest! I would love to vacation there one day and actually meet her! Nichole (On Purpose) was the winner of the little canvas painting that I gave away on my 100th post! I had so much fun painting this for her! She told me that her favorite colors were red and black--I immediately thought of Georgia's football colors!(Once an SEC fan always an SEC fan!!) When I started painting, one of my boys referred to it as the ladybug canvas! It's red with black polka dots! Then, I added a funky zebra ribbon! I just love my zebra ribbon (I have found a pair of zebra shoes that I'm eyeing as well!!)
Nichole shared her life verse with me, and I painted it on the canvas. I had read it before, but when I took the time to painstakingly paint one letter at the time, God shed a new light on it! I love how He works!!

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Cor. 5:15
Y'all, this is powerful! He made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us--sinners that we are even when we try to be good! We are to live for HIM. Put yourself in His place. Think about this...How would Jesus handle a job loss? What would Jesus say about that couple considering divorce? How would He respond to a family situation that's gotten out of control? This is it people! We as Christians are the temple in which He resides. There is no longer the temple that was built for the Lord by King Solomon. No longer is there a temple where a curtain separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the sanctuary. That physical curtain was ripped from top to bottom on the day of the Crucifixion! We now have the Holy Spirit within us and are to live as Christ did! That's what this verse is all about! Nichole, this verse is awesome! I am so thankful that you blessed us all with it, sweet friend!

As you enjoy the weekend, remember this verse! I also encourage you and challenge you to pray and explore the Bible to see if your life verse has been given to you yet! If not, pray and ask God to reveal it to you!! I am!! I would LOVE to hear your life verse if you already know it!! Please share with us!!

Sweet Blessings!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Forgiveness...optional or not

Forgiveness.... a word that many people use without thinking about what it really means. Have you ever told someone that you forgive them just to make them feel better? Or, have you said it because you knew you were supposed to?

Look at the other side of the coin. Have you ever been on the receiving end of forgiveness when you had done a wrong to someone....either on purpose or by accident? It's hard, and it hurts no matter what you age!

In Wendy Blight's book, Hidden Joy, she writes "Scripture teaches that forgiveness is not optional. Jesus died on the cross to save you from you sin. You did nothing to deserve His forgiveness. He gave it freely with no conditions attached." Hmmm....not optional. It is expected because we have been forgiven.

This makes me remember a question that a friend asked one day. She wanted to know how to forgive someone if they had already passed away. I was not expecting this, and was not prepared to answer as God would have wanted me to! This, my friends, is an area of weakness of mine that I am truly working on! I need to be spending more time knowing God and His Wonderful Word than other things that I chose to do! Guilty as charged! I have experienced growth, but I have a long way to go!

Please take time to visit Wendy's blog today and as we discuss forgiveness. Some of the comments have just melted my heart! This book is simply wonderful! I received my copy in the mail right before we left for the beach in June. I settled down with it on the beach and began reading. By Wednesday, I was still reading! Y'all, I've said it before--I am a speed reader! Even Hubby asked me if I was almost done with this book. I told him that I wanted to really think about each chapter--to let it resonate within my heart. God so used it to speak to me! I highly encourage you to order this book for your collection! Wendy did a beautiful job sharing her heart and story.

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

Sweet Blessings!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

So, How Was Your Weekend?

Isn't it funny how you think you won't be participating in a certain activity--say, like yard sales--because they conflict with your normal Saturday morning routine--like running??? That's the message that I left Rhoda at Southern Hospitality last week after my yard sale post. No time to shop when the weather is just cool enough to get in a good Saturday run. Or so I thought!

Saturday morning, God blessed us in SC with mild temps and practically no humidity--practically unheard of in the middle of July! I laced up my running shoes and took off around 7:30 (yes, I slept in!!). I was on my merry little way meandering through the neighborhood, when low and behold, a man was hammering a sign on a post. That means one of two things. Either his dog was lost, or he was having a yard sale! Yep, the dog was still in the fence, so this sweet man was in his driveway with a small amount of goodies scattered about. I told him that I would take a look on my return loop. And, I keep my word!

As sweaty as I was, I turned into his driveway and immediately my eyes darted around for milk white glass--no luck!! Then....I saw this! Oh, the possibilities!

Two posts ago, I showed y'all the little coffee table that I painted for a friend whose daughter is in a sorority at college. I got it to her this week, and they both loved it-wheew!! So, I figured that this little bedside table that I paid a whopping $2.00 for could also be turned into a cutesy collegiate table! That's my plan....a few weeks from now. I have a few canvases that I have to finish first. I'll show it to y'all when I finish.

In addition to yard saling and running, we FINALLY finished our summer sport--swim team! We've been doing this for 11 years now, and we love it! Both boys did a great job during the season and at this last meet. Child #2 is diving into long freestyle which is 100 meters--top pic (he is STILL working on his dive!!!). The bottom pic is Child #1 in the black swim cap doing backstroke--obviously :). We were almost late to the meet due to the fact that Child #2--so like his mama, bless his heart---couldn't find his goggles! He had to borrow some at the meet. Hubby loves to be on time, and well...we weren't!!! Such is life!

I DO hope that you all had a great weekend, and did something enjoyable! Looking forward to linking up with Rhoda and seeing your treasures. Make sure to visit her blog to see some of the really cool things gals found at yard sales this weekend. I KNOW that I will not be yard saling next weekend as we are road tripping to visit my in-laws in Tennessee.

I'll be posting again on Wednesday. Have a beautiful day!!

Sweet Blessings!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Taste and See Friday

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." Psalm 34:8-10

I love this scripture! It teaches and reminds us so much in just 3 sentences. "Blessed is the man/woman who takes refuge in him." The Hebrew word for refuge is chacah. It means "to flee for protection." Do we flee to the Lord first when we are upset or fearful? Some turn to food or even a lack of food. Others escape with extreme exercise. Or, some simply vent about it to husbands or BFF's . After telling them about our issues, do we finally take them to God as an after thought? God truly wants us to go to Him first. We need to lay our burdens down. He is so good. He is ready to comfort us if only we will tell Him our fears or issues. Y'all, He ALREADY knows what we're upset about! He's Omniscient!!

Since the beginning of the scripture tells us to "taste and see," I wanted to see what you have tasted lately that was just delicious!! Please include the recipe!! That way, those of us struggling with what to cook over the weekend will have some ideas!! Thanks so much!! This should be fun!!
Dianne's Taco Dip

Layer these items in order:

1 can refried beans

1 block of cream cheese (fat free is fine!)--I cut mine into slices to cover the beans

1 jar of salsa

1 can chopped green chilies

grated cheese on top (I use a 5 cheese Mexican blend--or whatever is in the refrigerator!

I place these in a 9-13 pyrex dish coated with Pam. Bake on 350 for 20 minutes or until bubbly. This dip is great with chips or alone--heehhee!!! Feel free to add ingredients or take away according to what your family will eat!

Seeking the Lord!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gettin' Ready for Dorm Life!!

You're looking at this lion's face and wondering what on earth does this cutesy lion have to do with college?!! Have the heat and humidity have gotten to Runner Mom!! Well, that IS true, but this adorable lion's face was on a plastic sorority cup that a friend of mine gave me. She asked if I could paint this on a coffee table that she purchased at a yard sale for $5.00!! Remember those darlin' butler tray coffee tables that were usually in a cherry finish? My sister had one in the 90's, and I simply loved it. Well, I guess the owner of this one got tired of it and spray painted it black! It was not bad, just boring.

I purchased some black paint from Lowe's--they now have the sample cans of Valspar for $3.99!! Love that!! I slapped on a few coats to TRY and smooth out the bumps and bulges--remembering that this was going in a dorm room, not a living room!

Then, I took my regular dinner plate and traced a perfect circle in the center of the table. I added the fun details and then, the polka dots! I took a round sponge brush (Wal-Mart) and painted a plethora of dots using her room and sorority colors. Y'all, this project was simply TOO fun!!! After it dried, I put a sealer on--Minwax, of course!! This is a semi-gloss for the table. Hopefully, it will keep stadium cups that sweat from dripping onto the cute lion's face!!

And no, I didn't replace the brass hinges that don't look like brass anymore--college room!!
(Yes, I worked on it outside just in case the fumes were a little strong!!) So, my table for this precious girl is done, and I just need to deliver it!! I will now have a few dollars to spend at She Speaks...which is in just a few weeks!!! I am so excited about going this year. I attended last year, and I have to say, it was one of the BEST conferences I have ever attended!! Prayerfully consider this for next summer, y'all.
Sweet Blessings!!
(I accidentally deleted my SUSAN button!!!)
***Hop back over this Friday and have your favorite recipes ready!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Trinket or Treasure?

Last Wednesday, on a fabric hunting trip, my sweet friend,Teresa and I discovered that a yard sale was going the middle of the week, people! Even my boys know that the good yard sales happen on the weekends! But anyway, we parked the car and hopped out to see what goodies awaited!

We didn't have to wait long! We found a tablecloth on the ground filled with darlin' hats from the 50's and 60's!! Jackie-O would have been in hog heaven! I modeled a yellow feathered one for Teresa! It was something else! Think of Big Bird feathers!! And, the camera was in the car, but we didn't get it!! Sorry!

Then, we found something that I DO collect! Milk white china....usually bowls or vases. I have tons that Mama simply didn't use any more, and I just love them! This is what we discovered last week.
This darlin' vase was $3.00. I was amazed--almost everything this lady had was tagged at $3.00!! Must have been her favorite number.
And this, my prize!! This adorable punch bowl and matching cups was a mere $6.00!! I did try to contain myself! I was doing a happy dance on the inside!! I proudly showed these finds to Hubby when I got home. All he did was shake his head!!! Bless his heart! He didn't see the value in it!! And yes, I could quote some scripture here and have a great mini lesson on treasures on earth as compared to those stored in Heaven, but I won't! You get the picture!!

Hop over to Rhoda's today for more fun finds! I doubt I'll be doing anymore yard saling this summer. Saturday mornings are prime time for my long runs. But, if I see another mid-weeker, I'll link up to share!!

Many Blessings!

Friday, July 10, 2009

And the Winner Is.....

Good morning, friends in Bloggyland! I am amazed at all of the wonderful comments left on my blog about the canvas give away! I am still trying to drop by and visit each one of you. I wish that I could give all of you one!! I will gladly take orders if you want to purchase one for a birthday, yourself, or Christmas! Speaking of, Hobby Lobby has had their Christmas stuff out for SEVERAL weeks now!! Mercy! I am planning on doing a Christmas give away in a few months--similar canvas, Christmas scripture and Christmas colors.

OK, I put your names into a baseball cap--it was laying on the floor and needed to be picked up anyway! Then, Child #2 drew the lucky winner!! And that would be..........drum roll please..............
Nichole at "On Purpose"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!! Just let me know your favorite short scripture :) and 2-3 colors that you could use.
Girls, I hope that all of you have a great weekend. We are at the climax of swim team with Divisionals tomorrow(90 plus degree temps and humidity!) and Pasta Pump-Up tonight (food--my favorite!!) I need to gather my ingredients for Baked Ziti , so I need to run to the grocery store--only for the 14th time this week it seems!!
On Monday, I'll be back and link up with Rhoda and her yard sale treasures! I am so excited about my finds, I just can't wait to share with y'all.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dasani, anyone?

Wow! I love all of the sweet comments on my last post--the 100th one! If you want to be entered in the canvas give-away this Friday, leave a message on that post! I'll put them all in a hat on Friday morning, and I'll post around lunch time--if I can get my boys off the computer! We are struggling with our sharing of the computer this summer!! Anybody else know the feeling?

I am studying John's account of the Samaritan Woman (John 4 1-42). I was overwhelmed at some of the insights gleaned last night while reading. I wanted to share some of these with you and would LOVE to hear your thoughts!

I'm reading from Anne Graham Lotz's book, Just Give Me Jesus. Her teaching has shown me some things in the Bible that I sorta overlooked. I simply didn't read beyond the words to the deeper meaning. I tend to do that!! Yes, confession time! One of these was the fact that the Samaritan woman was dissatisfied spiritually because she didn't know the TRUTH. You see, the Samaritans worshiped the true God, but...the Samaritan Bible only contained the Pentateuch. The Pentateuch contained only the first five books of the Old Testament. That's all this Samaritan woman knew!

But first, take a look at her. She was a woman without any girlfriends! She had no Kelly's or Lee's or Wendy's to go to the well with early in the morning. She missed out on chit chatting with the other women in town. She didn't know who had gotten married or had babies or had redecorated their one would talk to her. Bless her heart! She had been through five husbands and was living with a man now that she was not married to. Can you imagine what she went through each time she had to go out in public --whether to draw water or to get food from the market? All alone and knowing that others were pointing fingers at her? And now, she's met a Jewish Rabbi who is actually talking to her! Her little world has been shaken up today!

After Jesus asked her for some water from Jacob's well, conversation ensued. Can you imagine what was going on in her head? When Jesus told her about the "living water," her heart must have leaped for joy! Not ever having to draw water again because she would never be thirsty again! She asked him for some of this water. Jesus told her that the water He gave would "...become a spring of water welling up to eternal life." All she had to do was to confess her sins and be forgiven. Y'all, she was so excited...she heard the TRUTH from the ONE and ONLY, the Messiah himself! Never before had she experienced so much joy! She had been set free to have everlasting life. She is one of those that I can't wait to talk to when I go to Heaven! She was no longer spiritually dissatisfied.

OK, what keeps us from being satisfied spiritually? Think about this one. For me, it's setting aside time to spend in God's Word each day? BUT... I don't always process what the scriptures say. I am a speed reader, and in college, that was great! But now, I need to slow it down in order to hear every little thing that Jesus wants me to know. I don't want to be thirsty again.


Friday, July 3, 2009

My 100th Post--Amazing!!

Wow! 100 posts! It only took a year! I just can't believe that I stuck with it this long! But I know why--it's you! My wonderful bloggyland friends whom I get to visit on a regular basis. Thanks for your kind comments, uplifting advice, and honesty. I truly appreciate it.

As I mentioned last week, I am going to do a give-away for this post! Do y'all remember this cute little canvas that I put in my Etsy shop?

Well, you can't have this one!!! It's mine and adorns my little antique chest of drawers in the study!!! But....I would LOVE To make one for you!!! You pick out your two colors (I'll use various shades of them.) and your scripture verse that you'd like. Just don't make it as long as the 23rd Psalm! It needs to be a relatively short verse, PLEASE? We will draw your name, and I'll email you to find out your colors, verse, and mailing address. And, we will do this the old fashioned, kindergarten teacher way!! I will put all of your names in a hat and one of my kids will draw out one name ! None of this fancy shamnsey computer generated stuff--no siree, Bob! Just don't forget to leave me an email address on your comment, please. And, if you would kindly mention that Runner Mom is having a give-away on your blog, I would so appreciate it!! I will draw names next Friday and let y'all know the winner then. Oh, I hope that you like this little painting! I love mine!

I hope that all of you have a wonderful 4th of July!! I would love to know your plans! We're going down to my friend, Phebe's house for fun, food, fellowship, swimming--and fireworks! I'm trying to figure out what side dish to take!! Any ideas? Let me know!! Be safe, and God bless our wonderful country!