Wednesday, July 18, 2012

honey and sunscreen

Sophia just woke up crying, so I went in there and said "what's wrong hunny?"
She replied "No feel good. Can't breathe. Want you mama."

I picked her up and held her, gave her some medicine, then rocked her. Her tummy to mine. Her head on my chest. Arms around my rib cage for a moment then she moves her right arm between our tummies so she can touch her belly button. Legs straddled on my lap. Her hair golden and soft as silk.She smells like honey and sunscreen. Tears came down my face.

I realize how fleeting these moments are and soon I will wish I could remember that moment, that sweet smell of my Sophia, her words beautiful to my heart. Not burdensome at all; memory making for the moment but will be forgotten. And that is what breaks my heart. These moments are what I will forget. I wish I could remember it all, but I won't, so for now, I will cherish them as they come and love my girls with a love that they will remember. A love that lasts.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

the flood waters are up to my neck

Psalm 69: 1-18 1 Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. 2 Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. 3 I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. 4 Those who hate me without cause outnumber the hairs on my head. Many enemies try to destroy me with lies, demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal. 5 O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you. 6 Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me, O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated, O God of Israel. 7 For I endure insults for your sake; humiliation is written all over my face. 8 Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me; they treat me like a stranger. 9 Passion for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. 10 When I weep and fast, they scoff at me. 11 When I dress in burlap to show sorrow, they make fun of me. 12 I am the favorite topic of town gossip, and all the drunks sing about me. 13 But I keep praying to you, Lord, hoping this time you will show me favor. In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation. 14 Rescue me from the mud; don’t let me sink any deeper! Save me from those who hate me, and pull me from these deep waters. 15 Don’t let the floods overwhelm me, or the deep waters swallow me, or the pit of death devour me. 16 Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful. 17 Don’t hide from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble! 18 Come and redeem me; free me from my enemies.
God brought this to me exactly when I needed it most. His word expressed my soul's distress. I couldn't express how I felt other than feeling like I was just barely staying above water, like when Logan and I were in Tahoe with BCs that leaked and had to pump air in them to just barely keep our noses out of the water. Overwhelmed. On the verge of panic. Burnt out. Weary.

 My heart longs to be a Godly wife and mom and a great housekeeper, but I feel like I am always just barely making it. I have been feeling resentful that I had to help Logan with his burden by having to work, when my heart is at home with my children. I felt discouraged with my image and my efforts to have a different body. I felt completely overwhelm with the things that needed to be done around the house. I felt burnt out from the things I am committed to.

 I look to my Lord for strength and dignity. My image is in Him alone. For grace and patience and love.

He allowed my Tallulah to be sick so we HAD to be at home. He gave me rest. He brought me this Psalm. He convicted me of gluttony. Not necessarily with food, but with my time, with my choices. He gave me time (to be at home to get things done, to love on my girls, to spend with my husband)... was I wise with little? No. Then how shall He entrust me with much?! 

Speaking to me through verse 10, I was prompted to by the Spirit to fast. I obeyed. He gave me strength. I didn't want to then be gluttonous once the fast was over, but to have that transform my habits. He allowed me to be super productive. Gave me patience with low blood sugar. And strength against "hunger" and want and need. We set the bar low very low, on what we require/allow for our lives. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is the same that indwells us! (Romans 8:11)

 He doesn't necessarily take us OUT of the floodwaters when we call for help, but He gives us breath and energy to keep treading the waters till they subside or we overcome them. He made me who I am, knowing my desires and needs and wants, and placed me where I am for the perfect time. He is not taking me out of the waters but giving me His Spirit and allowing me to thrive in these waters, as my act of worship!
1 Corithians 10:31- Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:17- Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Romans 12:1- And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
And to Him be the Glory!
Being worshipful and joyful in ALL things, even being a working mom, IS being the mom and wife and housekeeper I was created to be.
Psalm 51:1- Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

Monday, April 2, 2012

homemade window cleaner

Best cleaner EVER............

1 32oz. spray bottle add:
8 oz. rubbing alcohol (I use Wintergreen)
1 tsp. Dawn dish soap
Fill rest of the way with water.

My Aunt gave me this as a window cleaner recipe many many years ago. It will never streak. The alcohol is a disinfectant. It cuts grease, sticky messes, gets out carpet stains and some staines on clothes even. I use this everywhere. Never use my flat top stove w/o first cleaning it with this. Greasy and sticky spills on the floor are a cinch to clean up with this.
Kids call it 'Mom's green stuff' :)
Never thought of making wipes with it but I don't know why it wouldn't work. I use it with paper towels all the time.
The wintergreen alcohol can be purchased at the dollar tree for just a buck. It makes 2 bottles of cleaner. Also smells good. Makes the cleaner green so it's easily identifiable and not mistaken for water.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

chicken and spinach pesto lasagna

2 lbs ricotta cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, beaten
1 cup grated parmigiana
1.5 lbs of mozzarella cheese grated
22 oz jar of Basil pesto (from costco) or 1.5 cups of homemade
1/2 of a rotisserie chicken cut up
1 box of lasagna noodles cooked al dente
frozen spinach,about 2 cups? I added it by hand,I would probably use fresh if I had it
salt and pepper

2 glass 9x13 pyrex pans

> preheat oven to 350 degrees F
> mix ricotta, parmigiana, garlic, egg, salt and pepper
> spread some pesto on the bottom of your pans
> *lay out 4 lasagna noodles overlapping
> spoon on and spread out 1/2 of the cheese mixture (1/4 and 1/4)
> then spinach,
> then chicken,
> then pesto
> *then mozzarella
> repeat * to *
> cook at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, let set up for 5-10 minutes.
> serve and enjoy!

(I probably would have added another layer of pasta before the last layer of mozzarella (like a proper lasagna), but I gave my girls dry ones to eat, so I didn't have enough. It was still SO good and filling! Be aware that there will be a lot of oil after it is cooked (since that is the pesto base), I just poured some of mine out before I had it set up.

you couldn't even tell there was spinach! (cooked spinach can tend to be bitter) Plus the pesto was green so you couldn't see it either (a huge + when feeding children)

Monday, January 9, 2012

sour cream Orzo recipe

I just made a recipe (off the cuff of another recipe)...and it was so good!


10 oz. pkg. orzo
2 garlic cloves
1-1/2 cups water
1 lb diced fully cooked chicken
2 cups frozen baby peas
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

On medium, I put minced garlic and oil to cover the bottom of the pan and orzo till a little transparent. Then I added the water and turned to low and covered for about 12 minutes. Then (about five minutes before the rice is done) stir in the chicken and peas. Cook until orzo is tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and cheese. Cover and let stand 5 minutes before serving. 6 servings

Friday, January 6, 2012

Refuse to be reserved

I was watching Passion 2012 streaming online originally to see my friend Chris playing in one of the worship bands. Then Francis Chan started to speak. God speaks mightly through that man!

"think of what we can accomplish if we refuse to be reserved..." -Francis Chan

I have been wondering and asking God if we should be done making babies...what is HIS will. We can think through it all we want to make sense of it, but ultimately, it is up to Him. Something He spoke to my heart was that Logan and I keep saying we can't afford to have more children. They cost a lot of money (especially as they get older)...but what if money wasn't an issue? What then?

He has put it on my heart once again that it is probably best if I don't go through pregnancy again (hormones, marriage, sleepless nights...all of these things suffer) but that maybe we would adopt. I want to love and care for God's children who need a loving family, who need to know HIM! That we can be a shining light in the darkness. My eyes and heart are opening up slowly to what God has envisioned for this family and not what I have expected. God is softening me as I watch my sisterfriend Laurie go through their adoption.

I don't want to stand by and watch with a broken heart and NOT act on it. I refuse to be reserved! God use me!

When Logan and I were engaged someone spoke prophetic words over us and they said that our marriage would be one of fire. Full of power. That mighty things will be done because of our union... (I don't think they were just referring to the amazing stools we would make) ;)

That has stuck with me (partially because I was so uncomfortable, and praying that if it wasn't of God that He would cause her to stop, and it didn't) and I continue to watch and see what God does and is doing.

All praise and Glory to Him!

the year 2012

After being in prayer while working on a previous client, (yes sometimes, I zone out and go auto-pilot and pray if I am giving "just a relaxation massage"), one of my dear clients, Marie, asks me what God has told me about for 2012.

me thinking: Hmmm...Did God tell ME something. Did I even ASK?! Ugh. FAIL! God speak to me, organize my thoughts!...

Prayerfully pondering this I started opening my mouth...2011 was a purging year, renewing, de-cluttering year. I think 2012 will be a year of transformation that sticks. Beautiful changes that are completely HIS will for His GLORY!

Then I asked her. She said that was exactly what God told her. She spoke more eloquently, of course. (because that is how she is, beautiful and every word thought through and for His Glory!)

I love sharing moments like this. It is why God intends for us to be in community, to be able to stand FIRM in what he is saying and has said and slaying any lies, together.

Share who you are, who you serve, and you will be surprised at how God uses you and speaks in and through you. Be bold and tenderhearted.

concept or reality

The past several weeks our pastors have been speaking on the Five Point of Grace and then Jason Diaz spoke at church this past Sunday (New Year's day). It was about reverence, a concept or reality...which I was convicted about and have been asking God and searching my heart as to WHEN that transformation happened in my life (and where it needs to happen currently).

As I was massaging a client Thursday morning, I was in prayer and thinking of WHEN the transformation happened, when I was completely transformed and LIVED for God. I asked Jesus into my heart and have loved God and heard his voice from a young age. Raised to serve. Created to be tenderhearted. Subtle walls went up from hurts, fear, insecurities, relationships, identity. I still loved God (mentally), although I didn't fully actionwordlove Him for about 6 of those years (12-18). I lived two lives. Served two masters.

I moved out of my parents home and in with my friend January 2000. It was that summer that I can trace back to where there was a change. When the reality of my choices hit me and I was able to see where my heart was and how far I was from God's. It was then that my love turned into actionwordLOVE, whole heartedly, for my Savior.

(Come to think of it, maybe it was my brother Nicky's fault...those are the years that he was relationally then physically removed from me...I will think through that at another time.) ;)

Anyhoo. It was at that time, He was bringing me to Himself, calling me to be who He created me to be, to serve and love and be tenderhearted once again, purified, breaking through those walls.
I have LOVED and sought Him and His will wholeheartedly since then. I love him, to him I owe it all, and all PRAISE goes to my Savior!

Now, on where He is currently transforming me, which is part of how I came to the first realization...

In December (2011) I read a blog post by John Piper that read:
Should we be tenderheated?

The longer I live the more complexities I see in living. They’re not as paralyzing as they used to be. I pray more for a spiritual nose to sniff out the path between precipices.

Take tender-heartedness, for example. I think one of the most practical and important passages in the whole Bible is Ephesians 4:31–32. God put that there for me. It is one of the most important mandates in my life.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

There are dozens of situations where I should be more tenderhearted than I am.

But what about 2 Chronicles 13:7? Jeroboam and “certain worthless scoundrels” — this is already not sounding tenderhearted — defied Solomon’s son Rehoboam and broke the kingdom in half. Why did that rebellion succeed? Multiple reasons. Here’s one.

“Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them” (2 Chronicles 13:7, KJV). That’s a good literal translation.

So there is a tenderheartedness that is out of place and harmful. Rehoboam was too soft. The situation called for firmness, toughness, resilience. It called for a heart that could not be easily “touched” with misleading emotions.

So here I am at 65 still pleading to God daily for the spiritual sensor to find the path between hardness that destroys and hardness that saves.

Join me. It is not a cocky life, but it is Godward.

I want to be tenderhearted at all times without walls up (from fear or pride). That is what I desire. I am going to stand FIRM in who GOD created me to be, tenderhearted, with His love.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

the heart

Tonight Logan was describing the heart to Tallulah:

It is a muscle that pumps all the time, it never stops, never sleeps, it is always working. It pumps the blood through your body all the time which keeps you alive..."

What came to my mind was:

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jer. 17:9

And also, it kind of sounds like Satan...never stops, never sleeps, is at work even when we don't realize...

How does this all tie in together?! What are we to do? I kinda felt a little hopeless, until the Holy Spirit reminded me of this:

"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."
Proverbs 4:23

Thankfully, if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savoir, He indwells your heart. Never sleeps, never stopping, always working even when we don't realize.

PRAISE to the Lord, for He made us and KNOWS us.
Thank you Jesus for your GRACE on me. I love that YOU are in my veins, pumping LIFE into my whole body.

"Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name."
Psalm 103:1