Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bible Stories

Most moms when their children were little have had them ask to hear another bedtime story. It becomes a nighttime ritual and draws us closer to our children as we see the world expand in their eyes.

I was reading Nehemiah on the daily reading plan at Studylight.org. The first chapter showed the numbers of how many were left after begin exile by Nebuchadnezzar. I know God had a plan in all the numbers and genealogy but I don't have a great interest in it and so I just scanned past. Of course, I did glance back to see who had put them in exile once I started to read chapter 8.

After the people of Israel settled into towns, they began to ask for the Book of the Law of Moses. Ezra the scribe and others prepared, then on the first day of the seventh month they assembled "as one man" (v.1) in the square. This consisted of men, women and all that could understand. (v.2) Ezra read from daybreak til noon and they all "listened attentively to the Book of Law". (v.3) Which if it is like anything like a morning here in the west would easily be six hours, God bless him.

I was just imaging that they sat there listening to Ezra read and how they were drawn into God's word. Surprisingly, as Ezra opened the book the assembly stood. Ezra praised the Lord and the gathering "lifted their hands and responded, Amen, Amen! and then they bowed down and worship the Lord with their faces to the ground". (v.6)

As Ezra read all through that morning the Levites "instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read". (v.7,8) Amazing that God encouraged the gathering by letting the priest teach to them as Ezra was reading. Even then He gave us the example of learning from godly sources the things that we read and hear.

Those assembled were then instructed by Nehemiah because weeping had occurred during the reading, "This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep". (v.9) "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." (v.10) The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve." (v.11) I love how God allowed the ruler of the day to give them permission to celebrate all that they had learned.

Do we celebrate after we have learned new things, conquered a fear or drawn closer to God? Let's look how we can learn, absorb the word of God and then celebrate it when we do. Don't forget to seek out godly instruction if it is not clear on what we are learning.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Laughter helps the Mothering go Down

After going to a gymnastic meet with Libby and her Girl Scout Troop, I had a couple of girls in my car for a trip home. The two of them were just gabbing, talking about movies and funny things which got us all laughing.

Laughing energizes me, renews my well being. To survive motherhood without completely losing myself, I need to find amusement anywhere I can, even if it is just the way a name sounds, TODD. So after making up songs and saying other names that made us laugh we were too quickly home and inside recapping our night at the meet.

It refreshed my mind to why I had kids in the first place. I find it hard to always be that kind of person who always find the good in others and not get bogged down with issues that present themselves.

I just love when I have had the roughest times with my kids and then I get to see them in a situation outside our house. The kids are kind and funny.

I don't only want to just be the disciplinarian but to actually like the people I am raising. When I spend time with them when they are older will it because they are my kids or that I really enjoy them?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Don't you just hate it when you are wrong? You think you are justified in your answers. Indignant that someone would question your character. Then you have a minute to sit and reflect and the Lord starts revealing to you how you should have reacted.

It recently happened to me. I was confronted on an issue ten minutes before my son's birthday party started. I blew up at the relative who had tried to ask the question kindly. I felt justified. I knew I was right and how dare they walk in and question my motives.

You have to love your family! For the most part they are the ones that when you are feeling proud of yourself and a little haughty will bring you right back down to Earth and remind you of why we do this in the first place.

I didn't want to hurt their feelings but I did. I didn't want to get upset and have to take that extra minute to calm down but I did. I didn't want to go back to that person say that I was wrong but I did.

Even if my words were justified, when I meant every word, does that mean I am right to use the wrong tone and get upset with the one asking? Is that how I want to treat others? Is that how I have been taught to treat others? No!

Jesus gave us the command in Luke 10:27 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

I know that I will always have some issue that I will have to go back and ask forgiveness for because it is human nature to be sinful. Jesus was the only perfect being and as I grow closer to Him it is easier to know when I have to go back to someone. Easier to not have the reaction sometimes. Easier to love those around me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stroke of Luck?

Stroke of luck is what most people would call it. I call it a blessing from God. I got to see my girls last Friday. My oldest Lexy has moved from Utah to Idaho with her mom and I know that our visits will be fewer and fewer. My Saidie girl who has been missing in action since she got a new step mom a couple years ago was with her biological mom and they together came to my house to pick up Lexy who had came by for a visit while Lexy and their mom were in town.

In the past at this point in a story, a friend would ask "so tell me again how are they your girls?" My girls are as stated before not my biological daughters. My husband is not their biological dad. When I married my first husband, Lexy's dad, I got what I called an "insta" family. She turned four the month after we were married.

Sweet, darling, little, tiny actually girl always acting years older than needed to be stole my heart. After our first six months of marriage Lexy's mom had an issue with daycare and asked for our help. I began to take care of Lexy weekdays from noon until five. As a bonus her two year old half sister, Saidie came along and joined our family.

I know most of the time I think it would be easier with a pull out chart but isn't the way with most blended families. We live in a time where blended families are the norm and I am proud to say I am a part of it. The Lord has allowed opportunity for me to have a legacy in Him for all three of my daughters and my son.

So glad I got to physically put my arms around my girls. Love seeing how they are growing into women. I praise God even on the hard days for the blessing of blended family and allowing me to serve them as a step mom.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Super Bowl Healthy Recipe Contest

By the 13th day of January most of us have broken our New Year's Resolutions if we had made any at all. Certainly for most who had made a resolution for weight loss will see it fade away before Super Bowl. The last big game of the season lends itself to fried hot wings, pizza, and other fatty foods.

So this year I am asking for you to enter your healthier versions of these and other healthy, delicious game day recipes before January 17th. Recipes will then be tried and a winner declared by January 24th so all of we have time to plan our Super Bowl menu and grab all of our ingredients ahead of time.

I promised to add my own recipes to my blog for Super Bowl. So here is my most requested seven layer bean dip recipe a bit healthy but still in serious need of portion control.

Seven Layer Bean Dip

1 can vegetarian refried beans
1 16 ounce low fat or no fat Sour Cream
1/2 package taco seasoning mix
2/3 cup favorite salsa
3 green onion sliced
1 small tomato
1/4 cup grated cheese
1 small can sliced olives

Open can of beans mix together as spreading around a large platter. Carefully mix 1/2 package of taco mix and sour cream in it's own container or Ziploc. Spread sour cream mix 1/2 inch inside over the beans. Add the salsa over that and spread close to the edge of the sour cream. Add the rest of your toppings one layer at a time. Serve immediately or chilled. This will serve a whole bunch of people, 10-12.
Serve with baked pitas or baked tortilla chips.

Enter your recipes in comments and the winner will be notified. Second place winner will be randomly drawn from all entries.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I am a sports nut! I think that was a big reason my husband was attracted to me. On our first date I actually held my own in a conversation about football. Alan has since taught me about the nickle and dime packages, which most girls think has something to do with the change in their purse. We look forward to big games and have friends over often to cheer on our teams.

Alan and I actually had started talking about the Super Bowl and what we will be serving and where everyone will sit. We love to entertain but don't always have the biggest space for it. At the beginning of our marriage Alan and I chose a house that we would have room to start a family and a mortgage that I could stay home to care for our family when the time came. So when we do have friends over we are in close quarters but no one seems to mind and we always have a great time.

I didn't always feel this way, I was asked to teach a bible study for the ladies of our church and knew that if I hosted we would have to limit the numbers because of the size of my house. My friend, Angie, actually gave me the best advice. She told me "if you are ashamed of your house then you are saying what God has blessed you with is not good enough."

Talk about having to drop in an instant to your knees to repent. In that moment my attitude changed. I now share what God has given us with others and never looked back. I thank God for that sister who gave me a hard truth in love. I just love those. Angie helped me to become what God called me to be in Timothy 5:10 "and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds."

The picture above is one I took at a recent Denver Broncos Game. My husband surprised me with a weekend away. I will post some of our favorites recipes for game day in the next few days.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blessing of Peaceful Mind

As I continue on my attitude of gratitude, I have to apologize for not posting the last few days. My desire to share thankfulness is still going strong and when things got crazy this week I had great foundation already in my head to look back on to give me a sense of tranquility.

My daughter took a really bad fall last night while trying to give her brother back a stuffed animal before bed. I was down the hall and out of sight of her when I heard a big noise followed by a scream for dad and mom. Alan being closer to her than I was got to her first and shouted for a towel as I came down the hall.

A bit confused I went back to the kitchen for a towel. Upon returning within seconds of Libby's tumble quite a puddle of blood was on our floor. Not quite sure of where it was all coming from I began to ask questions. Before I got any real answers Alan sent me back for a few more towels and our son, Aaron went for ice.

After gathering up supplies I headed back to my Lib. By the time I returned, Alan had discovered the blood was all from her nose and she had begun calming down. Helping her up, we headed to the kitchen and sat her down. While we waited and tended to Lib's nose minute after minute passed and I started to feel a bit panicky. Aaron and I had said a quick prayer after getting Lib in a chair but I felt an uneasiness welling up inside of me.

Praying again quietly to myself, the anxiety left me as I began remembering she is not only my child but my sister in Christ. Peacefully I was reminded of my sweet daughter that at even the early age of 10 has a great love for the Lord. I thought of how amazed I felt when the first thing she asked for a Christmas gift was a nativity. Her desire never wavered, steadfast she repeated her desire to all that asked her what she wanted.

I have always struggled with showing my appreciation for the blessings around me. I have learned an invaluable lesson this holiday season by the examples of others. So many took a challenge to express their gratitude for a couple of weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. I felt remorse that I didn't share any of blessings at that time and felt compelled to share them this Christmas Season.

Sharing how God has blessed me, changed my focus to have more of a positive outlook and gave me reassurance to have peace during a difficult situation. I am so grateful for having a daughter who has begun her own relationship with the Savior and that my lovable girl who now has a growing collection because she received an abundance of differing nativities.