Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Mysteries.  Like...where have I been?  And why have I not posted?

Well, there is some Weird Flu going around.  It comes with extreme fatigue, headache and achiness.  It has been knocking at my door for over a week.  Several days last week I came home from work and went right to bed.  Perhaps this approach kept the Weird Flu from totally setting in because I haven't been bedridden yet.

Mysteries of God are also swirling in my head.  God became my Lord and Savior when I was 18.  I am now 52.  There have been many situations and times in my life that I have wondered if God knew what He was doing.  There have been even more situations and times that I have experienced God's great faithfulness, peace and strength.  Thankfully those faith times have impacted me in tremendous ways.  They "outweigh" the mysteries that I have no answers for.

Do you have questions for God that you would like answered?  Do they seem like mysteries?  Well, I think you should ask Him about those times.  You might get an answer or you might get a "wait" signal.   A wait signal is okay.  It is one of His mysterious ways.  He knows when we are ready to hear the answer and that "waiting" is the best thing for us.

Mysteries are fun.  God is awesome.  What a good combination.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


The Husband is a blessed man.  The blessing I'm thinking of today is that his wife, me, doesn't like to shop.  Yes, it is true and I have actually encountered other women with the same attitude.  The gene that most women are born with, the Shopping Gene, missed me and I am thankful.  Grocery shopping doesn't fall into this gene.  I don't mind grocery shopping.  Go figure....

With the era of online shopping, I am in my glory.  Sitting in the comfort of my home with my coffee cup and maybe even in my pajamas, I can accomplish my shopping needs.  There are no crowds to deal with or lines to stand in.  When I need to make a purchase I find my favorite shopping site, I begin scrolling through the pages, adding items into my "cart" and when I'm ready, I click to pay.  Within a set number of days, those packages arrive to my doorstep.  I figure the shipping charges equal the gas I would spend driving to the store and the other driving I would do if I left my house to shop.

Yesterday, however, I had to pretend I had that Shopping Gene and venture into a store.  See, Kidlet Three switched schools this year.  He is no longer attending the private school where he wore uniforms each and every day.  Those uniforms that I could purchase online.  Now that he is in public school, he tells me he needs more clothes.  Did I mention he is 13 and now starting to pay attention to what he wears? 

Honestly, his wardrobe has consisted of baseball and hockey tee shirts and athletic shorts.  When he asked me to take him shopping because he needed new clothes, I had a vision of him in a nice polo shirt with some jeans and that made me smile.   Maybe, just maybe, I could get him in something other than tee shirts and shorts.

We set off on our shopping trip and in the car we started discussing what store we should go to first.  There was a moment of delight when Kidlet Three gasped and said "what do you mean stopping at the first store?  I'm not spending the afternoon shopping with you!"  Which I translated in my brain to:  "I hate shopping just as much as you do, Mom".  We agreed on the first store and it was around 1:03 p.m. when I pulled into the parking lot.  

Once in the store, Kidlet Three headed to the men's area and immediately started grabbing athletic shorts in all sizes.  Then he headed to the tee shirts and grabbed two.  He turned to me and said "I'm done."    The thought of trying on those clothes had never entered his mind.  There was a bantoring back and forth that took place in aisle two of Men's Wear about trying on clothes when one goes shopping.  I won.  Off to the Fitting Rooms went Kidlet Three.  This is where he realized he doesn't wear a men's large (at the age of 13) so he needed to return several of the items he had picked up.  When I mentioned looking at jeans, he stopped dead in his tracks and looked at me with this exasperated frown and said, "I don't wear jeans.  I need sweat pants."

Two pairs of sweat pants, three pairs of shorts, one sweatshirt and two tee shirts later we were checked out and heading to the car.  As I looked at the time on the car dashboard, it was 1:45 p.m.  Score!  We had gone into that store with a mission and had accomplished much in a short time. 

Maybe next year he'll want a polo shirt and some jeans.  Or, maybe I'll buy those online and slide them into his room when he isn't looking.  Amazingly sneaky!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Joy Strength

There is Joy in the Lord

This plaque is in my kitchen

I call her the Joy Angel

She is so bright, cheery and a reminder of the Truth

The Truth being there is Joy in the Lord

It is hard to understand

but it is possible.

My dad had surgery yesterday with a neurosurgeon

digging around in his spine.

Today my husband met with his surgeon because of

ongoing health issues.

Thankfully there is no talk of surgery for The Husband.

My dad has done remarkably well post-surgery.

He's doing so well he was discharged today.


With all of these emotional tugs on me, I am so

very grateful that

There is Joy in the Lord


The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

Thank you, God! 

Your Joy is amazing!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

God Will Change You

The following is from another daily devotional that I read.  The book is entitled Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. 

Proverbs 19:11  Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand.

Even though you may still be operating in old habits, you still have hope of change, but you can't change yourself.  God will change you, if you seek Him with your whole heart.

Don't be in a hurry for God to finish working in your life.  We want everything to be done instantly, but God is not interested in our schedule.  The enemy may thwart your plans, but God's plans don't get thwarted, and He has a unique plan for you.

Seek God's plan for your life.  Stay on fire, red, hot, zealous.  Pursue His purpose for you with every ounce of energy you have.  There is nothing in this world that is worth seeking more.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beef Stir Fry

What to do with 1 1/2 pounds of beef stew meat?  That was my question the other day.  I had purchased the package to make beef tips to serve over noodles.  Yet, that didn't sound good on the day I was going to cook them.

Instead, I decided to make a beef stir fry.  I marinaded the stew meat in soy sauce for several hours in the refrigerator.  Then I heated about 2 T. olive oil in my frying pan (I don't own a wok) and I quickly cooked up the meat.  Then I added the vegetables:  carrots, green onions, frozen peas and frozen broccoli (what was left in the bag).  The frozen vegetables added liquid in the pan and caused quite the steam bath!

When the vegetables were crisp-tender, I removed everything to a side dish.  I used a slotted spoon to keep the liquid in the frying pan.
Four cups of cooked Jasmine Rice were added into frying pan and quickly stirred to soak up all the pan juices.
The meat and vegetables were added back into the frying pan and stirred together...quickly!  I could tell there was some burning taking place so I did add about 1/2 cup of water!
This was a fun, enjoyable meal and lot "lighter" than the beef tips and gravy over noodles that I had originally intended.  In fact, this was an amazing meal that I enjoyed for lunch for several days!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Overcoming Fear

I made these molasses-glazed-ribs again last night.  The Husband, Kidlet Three and I were all licking our fingers at this delicious meal.  It was a great meal to celebrate the end of a great summer and the start of a new school year.

Kidlet Three started 8th grade today.  Eighth grade in a completely new school for him.  He has been in private school from kindergarten until now.  The total enrollment in the K-12 private school was close to 300 students.  Today the school he started in has 900 students in grades 6 through 8. Those numbers are quite overwhelming when you are used to knowing almost everyone in the school!

Last night Kidlet Three was able to verbalize his fears to me.  His biggest fear was that he wouldn't know anyone.  So we started listing the people he would know. As he got close to naming 23 kids he paused and said "wow, I know more people there than I thought I did".  And his countenance changed..a little.

His second fear was dealing with diabetes in this big environment.  Last week I did take him to the school and he practiced walking from his fourth hour class to the office where he would be checking his blood sugar, getting his insulin and then we bee-lined it for the cafeteria to find the fastest path.  We made it to the cafeteria in about 3 minutes but there weren't 899 other people milling around in the hallway!

Waking up this morning, Kidlet Three was full of fear.  Yet he pushed through.  He showered, ate his breakfast and ran out to catch the bus.  He barely posed for the annual First-Day-of-School photo.  All day long I prayed that he would feel God's peace, that he would feel welcomed and that the fear would blow away. 

At 2:40 I called his cell phone.  He was on the bus already, heading home.  When I asked him how school was he said "no problem Mom...I gotta go...riding the bus is so much fun."  There was no fear in his voice.  Tonight as we've visited, the word fear hasn't been mentioned.

Praise God.  I had so many friends and family praying for this boy in these new big adventures.  And God's peace surprised Kidlet Three's understanding.  With God, he definitely overcame fear.  Amazing!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Unending Love

I am a sleeper.  I can sleep anywhere and I can sleep through most commotions.  Praise God!  The other night, however, sleep was nowhere to be found.  You know the drill.  You toss and turn, then try to fluff the pillow and re-arrange the blankets.  Sleep wasn't in any of those actions.  As I finally lay still, I started praying.  My prayers started something like this:  "God, You know I have to go to work tomorrow, please help me fall asleep."  Silence and no sleep.  Then I prayed, "God, why would You have me stay awake right now?"

The inner nudge came...."Ephesians 3".

If I am completely honest with you, I wrestled with it for a minute.  I didn't really want to turn on the light and read, I wanted to fall asleep.  But in the silence, again, The Nudge came and it was the same, "Ephesians 3."

So I turned on the light and turned my Bible to that chapter and started to read.  The bottom verses of that chapter made me gasp.  I gasped because there was an issue in my life that I wasn't sure how it was going to be resolved.  And the answer was right there on the pages in Ephesians.

God is so funny!  I knew He wanted me to have a good night's sleep because He wants what is best for me.  However, He also knew that this issue was going to continue on and could potentially become so big and huge before it could be resolved.  So He gave me The Nudge which directed me to the answer.

The answer is...His Unending Love. 

In Ephesians 3, Paul is writing that he didn't feel qualified at all for the tasks God had him doing.  Yet Paul trusted God and knew that God was leading him and guiding him the whole way.  And Paul's response to what God was doing in his life, which was affecting the lives of other people was this:

14-19My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

20-21God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

Those verses are from The Message Bible.  God's love has no end in its height, its breadth and its length.  Like this picture...unending and inviting.
After reading those verses and spending time in conversation with God, I rolled right over and went to sleep.  I was wrapped up in His love and slept like a baby.
If there are any issues in your life that you need answers for, give God a try.  Ask Him for answers.  You won't be disappointed.  He is amazing!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Here is a tweaked up version of the Weight Watcher Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe I found online.  My version uses onion salt since I didn't have a real onion in the house, crushed pineapple since I didn't have pineapple chunks, and the chili powder.
3/4 cup oatmeal
2 large egg whites
2 t. onion salt (or 1 cup finely chopped onion)
1 clove garlic finely minced
2 T. dried parsley
2 t. dried oregano

Combine the ingredients and add 1 1/2 pound lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
Form into 1-inch balls.  Place on a sprayed cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven about 25 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce.  At this point I took great liberties with the recipe.
8 oz can tomato sauce
20 oz can crushed pineapple
3 T. spicy brown mustard
1 1/4 t. chili powder
1/2 t. hot pepper sauce (I used red pepper flakes)

Bake meatballs until cooked through.  Pour the sauce into a slow cooker and add the meatballs when they are done.  I used a casserole dish and baked for about 10 more minutes.
My family loves Jasmine Rice.  I also started the rice cooking while the meatballs baked.
This sauce was a little too tomatoey for Kidlet Three.  When he dished up his plate he focused on the meatballs, rice and the green peas.
This is a great meatball recipe. I'm not sure I'll make this sauce again, however.  Even though it was a 3 PointsPlus value. 

If you try this recipe, give me a shout back and tell me your thoughts!
Have an amazing day!