Thursday, November 30, 2006

100th post--More Gifts

This is my 100th post. I’ve tried to decide what “100” things I’d like to write. I’m not really that good at “100 things about you” type thing. But it is also Thursday which is my 1000 Gifts day. So today I’m going to offer 100 Scriptures that I consider gifts. They are special to me for a variety of reasons. I’m giving the text only, so you’ll have to get out your Bibles and go for it (or go to to look them up). I’d encourage you to look at the context of the verse as well. I certainly don’t want to be accused of proof-texting. Finally, I’m listing them as 1-100 and they are in no particular order except how I thought of them today but for the 1000 gifts list they are 176-275. Blessings to all of you!

1. A future that is planned by God (Jeremiah 29:11-12)
2. A God who hears my prayers (see again Jeremiah 29:11-12)
3. Godly mentors (Titus 2:4-5)
4. Freedom (Gal. 5:1,13)
5. Discipline (Hebrews 12:7-11)
6. Adversity (Romans 8:28)
7. Arrows in my Quiver (Psalm 127:4-5)
8. Eternal Life (Romans 6:23)
9. God’s attention to detail in my life (Matthew 10:30-31)
10. Peace with God (Romans 5:1-2)
11. Wisdom (Proverbs 13:20, Proverbs 9:10)
12. Knowledge (Proverbs 15:14)
13. Mercy (Psalm 23:6)
14. Lullabies and victory songs sung by God (Zephaniah 3:17)
15. Instruction for Life (Micah 6:8)
16. Love (1 Corinthians 13)
17. More instruction for Life (Matthew 22:37-39; Luke 10:26-28)
18. Even more instruction for Life (1 Samuel 15:22)
19. Gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12)
20. Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
21. My Weakness (2 Corinthians 12:10)
22. Inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16)
23. The Communion Table (Luke 22:17-20)
24. Death is Conquered! (Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:36, Luke 23:46, John 19:30)
25. RESURRECTION! (Matthew 28:6, Mark 16:6, Luke 24:6)
26. Restoration (John 21:17)
27. Appearance to Mary Magdalene (John 20:18)
28. Persistent Prayer (Luke 18:1-8)
29. A Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews 12:1)
30. Heroes of the Faith to encourage us (Hebrews 11)
31. Trust when don’t know how to Pray (2 Chronicles 20:6-12)
32. Pierce my ear and my heart (Exodus 21:6)
33. My Standards of Judgment (Matthew 7:2)
34. No fear of evil (Psalm 23:4)
35. Days in God’s Presence (Psalm 27:4)
36. Flawless Words of God (Psalm 18:30)
37. Lost Sons and Daughters are Welcomed Home (Luke 15:10-24)
38. The Image of God in Me (Genesis 1:27)
39. Deep Roots (Psalm 1:3)
40. Instruction for Marriage (Proverbs 21:9)
41. More instruction for marriage (Proverbs 12:4)
42. And more instruction for marriage (Ephesians 5:22-24, 33)
43. Instructions for parenting (Ephesians 6:4)
44. More instruction for parenting (Colossians 3:21)
45. And yet more instruction for parenting (Proverbs 22:6)
46. Renewed Strength (Isaiah 40:31)
47. A Child is Born/Immanuel (Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 1:23)
48. New mercy every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24)
49. The harvest (John 4:35)
50. To be a harvester (Luke 10:1-3)
51. Little children in Jesus arms (Matthew 19:130
52. To lift Holy Hands (1 Timothy 2:8)
53. A Comforter (John 14:26)
54. A Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)
55. A good deposit (1 Timothy 1:14)
56. A Returning Savior (John 14:1-4)
57. A room for me in heaven (see again John 14:1-4)
58. A Cornerstone (Isaiah 28:16)
59. Worship (Revelation 5:12-14)
60. Justice (Amos 5:24)
61. Higher Thoughts (Isaiah 55:9)
62. Salvation (John 3:16)
63. A Kingdom to Seek (Matthew 6:33)
64. A Clean Heart (Psalm 51:10)
65. The (ONLY) Way (John 14:6)
66. Bread of Life (John 6:51)
67. Daily Bread (Luke 11:3; Matthew 6:11)
68. Loving each other (1 John 3:11-14)
69. More on loving each other (1 John 4:7)
70. Walk in the Light (1 John 1:6-7)
71. All will Confess Jesus (Philippians 2:10-11)
72. Confession (Romans 10:9)
73. Confession of Sin (James 5:16)
74. Strength for Today (Philippians 4:13)
75. No Anxiety (Philippians 4:6)
76. Mountains are delivered (Joshua 14:6-14)
77. Faith of a Mustard Seed (Luke 17:6)
78. A God who hears prayers (Psalm 116:1-2)
79. Better is One Day (Psalm 84:10)
80. Heart Meditations (Psalm 19:14)
81. Exaltation (Isaiah 25:1)
82. Running the race (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)
83. Faith and Deeds (James 2:14)
84. Words (Proverbs 16:24)
85. Teaching children (Deuteronomy 11:18-20)
86. Wedding verses (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
87. Blessing Verses (1 Samuel 1:27)
88. Quickness of the Coming (1 Thesselonians 5:1-3)
89. One Purpose (1 Corinthians 3:7-9)
90. Treasure (Luke 12:34)
91. Hospitality (1 Peter 4:9)
92. Handiwork (Proverbs 31:13, 22)
93. A crown (Revelation 3:11-12; 4:10-11)
94. By His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)
95. Hinds Feet (Habbakuk 3:18-19)
96. Thankfulness (Psalm 105:1)
97. No longer Deserted (Isaiah 62:2-4)
98. Contentment (Philippians 4:12)
99. Benediction #1 (Numbers 6:24-26)
100. Benediction #2 (Jude 24-25)

Please add your favorite verses in the Comments! Thanks for reading this far!

What kind of day are you?

The description works, but I would prefer not to see many sunrises (I like to start a little later, lol). Thanks GB for the link.

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


This week's In Other Words is being hosted by Loni at Joy in the Morning Please join us there.

"God has delivered us, He has parted waters for us, He has made water gush forth from rocks and sent us our own manna from heaven. He has brought us into our own Promised Land. Will I miss the opportunity to tell the story to our children?"
~Ann Voskamp, Holy Experience~

My paternal grandfather (Pap-paw) was a storyteller. His stories could last for hours. Stories about traveling from Texas to Nashville. Stories about the Grand Ole Opry. Stories about farming, about my dad's and my uncle's mischief, about storms he had seen, about just about everything. Everything except how God was a part of his life. Don't get me wrong, his life showed in every way that God was a part of his life. But he didn't tell the stories. And I wish he had. I know from my grandmother and my aunt that Pap-paw went through a long period of total disillusionment with the church. He came back during a revival service week soon after I was born. So the grandfather I knew was different than the man my Dad knew in his growing up years. I'd love to have heard the stories of why, how, and when did God start wooing him back. Second-hand reports are that the change was dramatic. Did he think it was? I'll never know. I'm thankful for the story his life told--loving his family, commitment to his church, integrity in his business dealings, acceptance of people. But as I am able to tell some of his adventure stories, I wish I could tell his Jesus-story as well.

I believe that there is a lesson here. To verbally and intentionally tell the stories. To pass to our children a purposeful story of faith. Sure, we must live it and mirror it, but we also need to say it. I want Jewel and Flower to know God not just because I take them to church, introduce them to Godly people, read Bible stories to them and teach them verses. I want them to know God because they know that I know God and He has proven faithful in my life. I want them to have seen it and heard it daily to the point that when God woos their hearts and calls them to follow Him, they know it is His voice and that it is real. And if I don't tell them the stories, how will they know?

What will the stories be? In part the story of how Daddy and Mommy met in a church in Washington, how God provided a job in Alabama (and then later in England), how God blessed us with the birth of two lovely little girls long after we had decided we were not able to be parents, how God provided for us when it was time to leave a job and the new job had not been offered. Those are some of the stories. There will be more. And I need to commit now to be faithful to tell the stories, to make faith real and alive for my children until the day that they start telling their own stories. What a great day that will be!

"I love to tell the story
Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and his glory,
Of Jesus and his love:
I love to tell the story
Because I know 'tis true;
It satisfies my longings
As nothing else can do.

I love to tell the story,
'Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story;
'Tis pleasant to repeat
What seems each time I tell it,
More wonderfully sweet:
I love to tell the story,
For some have never heard
The message of salvation
From God's own holy Word.

I love to tell the story,
'Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story;
For those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting
To hear it, like the rest:
And when, in scenes of glory,
I sing the new, new song,
'Twill be the old, old story
That I have loved so long.

I love to tell the story,
'Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
of Jesus and His love."
~words by Katherine Hankey, 1866

Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday Menu

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Monday: Pasta and tomato sauce with salad (just kids and I)
Tuesday: Chef's salads and garlic bread (just kids and I)
Wednesday: Ham Roll-ups and chips (Bible Study night)
Thursday: Taggliatelli and pork with marscapone cheese, salads, corn
Friday: Baked Trout, Steamed carrots, salad
Saturday: Decca's Chicken, Drunkard Style (from Maya Angelou's Hallelujah the Welcome Table), baked potatoes, green beans
Sunday: Navy Bean and Ham soup, Homemade Bread in the bread machine

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Just a note to regular readers: I have been struggling with what to call my husband in these posts that gives him an identity while keeping privacy (which is important to him). He suggested I use the nickname “German” because it tells something of his background. So from this day forward, German he will be.

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It was the week before Thanksgiving, 1994. I was at the church for our annual family Thanksgiving meal. As I walked down the hallway, I heard this conversation:
S: I think they are
A: I don’t think so
S: I’m pretty sure they are
A: Well here she is let’s just ask…”[Mipa] are you and German dating?”
Me (quite incredulously): Dating? No we are just friends.

I had not really given any thought to dating German. We were the only single people our age in the little church and we liked each other’s company (plus we both kept getting invited to the same things at the pastor’s house, a deacon’s home, etc. etc.) Hmmm…

It’s Thanksgiving day. I’ve ridden along with German and his brother as we travel to our Pastor’s Sister-in-law’s home for Thanksgiving. It is a long trip from Spokane to Missoula. Lots of time to get to know each other better while his brother naps in the back seat.

It’s Christmas time. I’m staying in Spokane. German is in St. Louis with his friends. We talk on the phone every night. Unbeknownst to me he is trying to change his flights so he can come back to Spokane for New Years. He gets the call from the airlines that his flight is changed.

It’s December 30. My grandmother just died. I call him to say I’m flying to Texas. He was packing to come home.

It’s January 4, 1995. He collects me at the airport when I come home to Spokane. We spend hours just driving. By the end of the week we have begun planning our life together, decided maybe we should actually go on a date if we can see forever in our future, and went our first date eagle watching in Coeur d’Alene. Quite a change from the person he first heard speak at church who said “I’m single by calling and by choice.” And I was. But God called me to something even better.

It’s Father’s Day, 1995. He officially proposes on top of Mount Spokane. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And 11 years ago today, I became his wife. I love you sweetheart! I can’t wait to see what else God has planned for us! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friday, November 24, 2006

What a perfect evening

We had the best Thanksgiving! The tables were set:
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The buffet was laid out on the cabinet:Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The fellowship was amazing. I have not laughed so hard in ages. We had a wonderful time and were able to send lots of food home with everyone that came. Thanks my friends for a perfect Thanksgiving. Here is a shot of all of us, and then a cropped close-up of our family.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving


I love Thanksgiving. At my house growing up it was bigger than Christmas. We would always go to my maternal grandmother's house. My brother and I would watch the parades while she basted the turkey, made the cornbread dressing and all the "fixins". Her sister would arrive with her family (her 3 children, their spouses, and collectively their 7 children). The house would be filled with the sounds of young cousins giggling, older cousins catching up on the gossip, and sisters laughing in the kitchen. No one could laugh like my Ma and Aunt Ene. (oh I miss hearing that laughter!) The men (my Dad and my Grandaddy and sometimes the hired help if they were single men) would come in from the fields since cotton harvest was often still going on. We would all sit down to eat. More food than was needed to feed a small nation. We were blessed. If the fields could wait all the guys would head out to hunt quail (this would be tomorrow's dinner instead of leftovers if we were lucky). Late into the evening aunt and uncle and all the cousins would pile into their cars to head home. We didn't do anything extraordinary, we just gathered and shared and gave thanks. And in my mind that is how Thanksgiving is supposed to be.

My husband and I live thousands of miles from *home* now. It's not even a holiday here in England (my DH has been at work since 730 and won't get home until after 6). My grandparents and their siblings are gone. The cousins have dispersed across the country. But I still long for those huge family gatherings. So tonight our house will be filled. Our pastor and his wife, his two grown daughters, his son-in-law and (maybe?)son-in-law to be, his two grandchildren, our youth minister and his wife and his three children will join my family for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And we have much to be thankful for. But right this moment I'm thankful that I can carry on my grandmother's traditions. I miss her more on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year.

142. memories of Thanksgiving with Ma and Grandad and all the family
143. memories of Aunt Ene's laughter
144. memories of seminary Thanksgivings with Julia
145. memories of a Thanksgiving wedding
146. cooking lessons from two grandmas who loved to cook
147. Ma's cornbread dressing
148. Mashed potatoes and giblet gravy
149. Crescent rolls dripping with butter
150. Turkey roasting in the oven
151. pumpkin pies on the cabinet
152. pecan pies on the cabinet
153. baking pies with the girls
154. spilled milk
155. delight in Flower's eyes as she tasted the batter
156. intensity in Jewel's eyes as she sets about "getting it right"
157. pride on their faces as they look at what we've done
158. the blessing of having more than we could possibly eat
159. 17 friends and family gathering around the table
160. grocery delivery
161. hot showers
162. autumn breezes
163. my cup of English tea
164. delicious aromas filling the house
165. making memories for my girls
166. gathering for Bible study
167. the confidence that God can handle my questions
168. the time I spend with God looking for answers
169. the growth as I grapple with the questions
170. the joy as God answers my questions
171. the gentleness of his answer...even when the answer is harsh
172. memory verses to transform me
173. sermons to challenge me
174. Godly dreams for the future
175. anticipation
176. more to come....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Note today In Other Words is being hosted at Sting My Heart Please visit to see others' comments on today's quote.

"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time."
~ Oswald Chambers ~

Jewel's memory verse a few weeks ago was Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

It was a joy to hear my four year old walking around saying, "now fayfe is..." If you ask her what the verse means she will say "knowing Jesus is right." That is not exactly what I taught her, but that is the essence she was able to grasp. And as she grows up I pray that she will continue to believe that.

Faith is a choice. But it is also acting on that choice. My pastor reminds us frequently that if what we believe is not changing our behavior then we really don't believe it. And it is so true. I can say I choose to have faith, but if I'm not acting upon it then it is just words. This is important because James 2:14 cautions that faith without action is dead! I must make the deliberate choice to pattern my actions after the One who I say I believe. Faith is making the conscious choice "today I believe that Jesus/God is right" and then allowing the Holy Spirit to mold me more into God's character. I may not understand how His character is built in me, but as long as I know Who is at work then I will be transformed. And the transformation leads me to a greater understanding and greater faith. That is one of the best things about faith, it is a full circle. I don't have to wait until I understand. Instead I have to act and trust, and through that I will understand more and more. And then be able to act and trust in even more confidence. And on and on and on.

So do you have faith? Do you believe "Jesus is right?" If so, act in confidence like it is true. If not, I pray today is the day you find that confidence and make the deliberate choice to follow Him.
God Bless you for reading!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

More gifts

126. Children's Cough medicine
127. Little arms that reach up in trust for Mommy to make it better
128. Aloe filled tissues
129. Sleep
130. Rest
131. Disney videos to entertain sick kids
132. Veggie Tale videos to entertain when Disney is getting irritating
133. Safe arrivals from out-of-country business trips
134. Belgian chocolates, from Belgium :)
135. Being asked to walk difficult paths of life with friends
136. ...And being able to share the wisdom learned from those walks with others
137. Friends to ask to struggle through hard times with us
138. Email to stay in touch with old friends
139. Computer programs to make Christmas cards with
140. 285 families on a Christmas card list
141. Fun afternoon with DH making that card and reminiscing about friends
142. More to come...


First, thank you to those who responded to my previous post. I hate to sound so whingy, it is just sometimes hard to articulate what answers I'm seeking. I'm glad the Holy Spirit knows what my heart needs and continues to work, even as I question how, lol. I took a couple of days off of the written study to just seek God. No answers yet, but that is really okay. I'd rather just be able to state the questions. I find I often learn more in classes that I don't totally agree with the material, because I seek more. And it isn't that I don't necessarily agree with the material, I just really don't like the more academic fashion of presenting it and so I'm fighting it. In discussion with a few other people in the class, they are not really happy with the written presentation either. So at least I'm not alone.
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On a much better Bible Study note, my ladies study on Friday was AWESOME! It is so amazing to see how God laid out and prepared this study for us. Two months ago I just jotted down nineteen "topics" and chose one verse that spoke to the topic and one quote that related somehow. The task was each week to just wait for God to speak on the topic and then come and discuss. The topics seemed disjointed and thrown together. But every week, without fail, the discussions have been amazing. The struggles that people are talking about in their lives or in the lives of their friends are exactly on topic. And we are seeing God mightily at work.

The topic this week was "awareness" and the verse was
"He pays even greater attention to you, dow to the last detail--even numbering the hairs on your head!" Matthew 10:30, from the Message version
We were talking about the attention God pays to us, and if that is frightening or reassuring. We also talked of when we are most aware of God and when we are least aware of God. There were some "AHA" moments during the study when God made Himself very apparent. A good discussion of how we should react (and honesty about how we often react) when God brings to our attention/makes us aware of the sin in our life followed. It was incredible. I love being a part of a study when the walls are broken down and there is honest evaluation, application and accountability. This group is reaching that level of trust. I can't wait to see what God will do next.

And isn't it ironic, just as I'm struggling with what does the Holy Spirit really do in my life---He breaks through and moves in the study I'm leading. I don't believe in coincidence. I believe that it is a God-incidence. And I'm sure the two lessons will soon become more apparent how they fit together. That is, if I keep seeking to be aware of God in my life.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Struggling with a Life in the Spirit

No, not necessarily my life in the Spirit, but this Bible Study that I am currently enduringstudying. I try not to be negative about the way studies go, but I am really struggling here. So, maybe by blogging it out, I'll find the answers I'm needing. I'll welcome feedback, but you may also feel free to skip this post as it is rambling and self-serving.

OK, the deal is that I am participating in this study. It is a LifeWay study and I was incredibly excited because the other LifeWay studies I have done have majorly changed my life (think Henry Blackaby Experiencing God and all the Beth Moore studies). I have needed to just be taught for a while, and now I have the opportunity. And although I am learning, it is more from arguing with the study than absorbing from it, if that makes any sense. And I am frustrated. But I'm more frustrated with last night's/week's study. (Note: we have the weekly quizzes ahead of time and since they are taking me longer than the 10 minutes or so in class, I'm doing them ahead).

Last week's topic was "A New Creation" and is talking about the part in redemption that the Holy Spirit plays. The question was posed,
"In this unit we focused more on Jesus than on the Holy Spirit, so it may surprise you to realize we considered at least 8 activities of the Spirit! In the short blanks, name as many of the activities as possible."
At best I could come up with 7 out of the study, and I really think 2 of them were stretching it but I did copy the list of six from the book. I listed: conviction, justification, regeneration (the author uses this interchangeably with redemption), forgiveness of sin, faith (as in empowering a person to believe), and repentence. I added the incarnation because without that the work would not have been able to start in me. I suspected that the 8th was empowering/enabling us to serve, but can't really find where he says that in the study. If I had just brain-stormed activities of the Holy Spirit my first would have been conviction followed by intercession for me at the throne of Christ. So far, intercession has not come up in the book (but we are only on week 4 of 10). I was NOT confident in any of my answers.

So class time comes. The pastor says that we are going to brainstorm these together (in other words, he didn't find 8 either, lol). But when it came time to consolidate our lists he asked for "six (not eight) core activities of the Holy Spirit." The list was put up: Incarnation, Enabling of Jesus' ministry, Sacrifice of Jesus', Resurrection, Conviction, Regeneration. He asked if we are all happy with the list. There is an uncomfortable silence. He asks again. I'm not comfortable so I speak up. I express that "maybe it is splitting hairs" but I have a problem with four of the six core activities of the Spirit relating only to Jesus and being already accomplished. I see the Holy Spirit living and working today, and this seems incongruent. He pointed me to an activity in the book which paralleled five activities of the Spirit in Jesus' life with mine (Jesus' birth parallels my new birth, Jesus's empowerment to serve parallels my service, Jesus' resurrection parallels my eternal life, etc). He contends that the activities in the Jesus life are the same as in our life. I could have pointed him 8 pages further in the book where my list came from, but I didn't because that wasn't the point. And if Jesus' birth parallels my new birth which comes by conviction and redemption, why are Conviction and Regeneration separated from the Incarnation? He asks if I'd be happier saying "significant activities" instead of "core." *shrug* It doesn't change my struggle that much. (Aside: AARGH! No wonder Christians can't agree on doctrines of the Holy Spirit, we can't even agree on the terminology.) Anyway, obviously, I still was not convinced, but no one else is talking so I shut up. And we talk about the Holy Spirit's role in Jesus' life and if Jesus needed the Spirit, who are we to say we can go it without the Spirit's help. And I see the point, but I'm left, wanting....something.

I KNOW the Spirit is alive and at work in me. I hear the daily/hourly/sometimes minutely voice of conviction in my life. I know that is the work transforming me to be more like Christ. I know that when I don't have a clue how to pray, the Spirit knows how and does pray. I know all of this. I can't tell you how I know anymore than I can tell you how I know that my children love and trust me. I just know it. And I want to know how to connect with that more. It is not that I don't believe that the Spirit was an integral part of the life of Jesus. I do. But I find it tedious to separate in such an academic sense what was the work of Jesus and what was the work of the Spirit. And maybe that is my struggle, I don't need to separate Jesus from the Spirit, I just need to learn more about the spirit at work in my life. I don't even know how to ask the questions, I just know I need something else.

See the struggle? I can't even articulate it. Which is sooo frustrating. So here is my question for you (since you got this far): In your life what are the core activities of the Spirit and how does that play out for you? Maybe by hearing your experiences I can separate from the academic study and just relate to the Spirit living in me. Thanks for staying with me!

More Gifts

66. Crisp autumn mornings
67. walks around the lake
68. teaching Jewel and Flower about God's creation
69. cloudless skies
70. thunderstorms, rare occurence that they are
71. rainbows
72. gold and red leaves on the sidewalk
73. daffodils and tulips under the earth...
74. ....and then bursting forth Spring with colour
75. wedding vows
76. wedding bands
77. commitment
78. the past 11 years
79. dreams for the years to come
80. Education opportunities
81. Teachers and professors who helped shape who I am
82. The privilege of being my children's teacher
83. Sonlight curriculum
84. Jewel writing her name for the first time
85. The joy on her face as she accomplished her task
86. Children's Stories
87. Goodnight Moon
88. Dr. Seuss
89. Caddie Woodlawn
90. Five Little Peppers
91. Beatrix Potter
92. *the Jesus book* (Jewel's first Bible)
93. VeggieTale videos
94. Disney videos
95. an enchanted look on Flower's face as she watches
96. Books to read...for mommy
97. The Classics (esp. Jane Eyre)
98. Authors who feed my soul...
99. Dee Brestin
100. Philip Yancy
101. Beth Moore
102. Les Hughes
103. Henry Blackabe
104. Max Lucado
105. Sight
106. Hearing
107. Touch
108. Taste
109. Smell
110. Rasberry candles burning
111. Wind on my face
112. Sunshine
113. Flowers blooming
114. Lavender brusing against me
115. Honeysuckle
116. Chocolate
117. Fresh ground coffee
118. grating nutmeg
119. children's laughter
120. church bells
121. the quiet of the early morning
122. stitches that line up
123. gifts to stitch and give
124. secret Santa pals
125. friends to help keep the surprise
126. More to come....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


"No gift unrecognized as coming from God is at its own best... when in all gifts we find Him, then in Him we shall find all things."
~ George MacDonald~

I love giving gifts. I love finding the *perfect* gift for someone especially when it is serendipity since shopping is not my thing. I love stitching a pattern for someone that I know they will love. I love wrapping it with care and lots of ribbons and I love, love, love the joy I get when someone opens up the gift. I love gift giving. Some of my friends say that I am, well gifted, at gift giving.

But it hasn't always been that way. There was a time when I faced with dread any occassion that required a gift. So, what changed? I did. My reason for giving gifts changed. I stopped looking at giving gifts as an obligation and began to see it as a privilege. I began to see that giving gifts was sharing a part of what God gave me with others. I began to realize that giving a material gift from my heart was giving a part of myself and my God to another person. And in that change joy of sharing took over.

The gifts may have been the same. But the attitude they were given with changed. And therefore the giver of the gift was changed. And I've come to realize that it is me, the giver of the gift, who must first recognize that it comes from God for it to be at its best.

The receiver may not even know God yet and therefore cannot begin to fathom to the true breadth of the gift. I think of a family member who gets angry when we give him a gift--each year saying don't give me anything else. Not yet a Christian, he only sees the obligation and not the gift. My husband and I discuss, should we stop? But we feel that gift giving is one of the few ways we can share our heart with this person. So *we* keep giving, praying with each gift he'll see the heart behind the gift not the gift itself. The receiver may not want to see God. I think of a dear friend for whom I stitched a one-of-a-kind creation. When she cut me out of her life because of the reflection of Christ that she no longer wanted to see, she tossed it in the garbage. She totally understood that a gift was a from God and could not have it in her life. I pray for her that she will come to understand you can throw away the gift, but you can't throw away the God who gives the gift.

So, I keep giving gifts. Because God has shown me that giving gifts is an extension of giving Him. I pray as I affix those pretty bows to gifts that the presentation will bring beauty into their life. I pray that the gift inside will encourage the receiver. But most of all, I pray that they will see my God, the giver of all good things, in the person who gave them the gift. And then I sit back and allow God to give me the joy that comes from sharing.

Go here to see what other Christian Women are saying regarding this quote on their blogs.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

1000 Gifts

Ann V at Holy Experience of Listening, has begun a series of 1000 gifts and invited other bloggers to join her. What a lovely way to usher in the holiday seasons. So here is my first entry of gifts where God has blessed me. I'll try to post on Thursdays.

1. DH who loves me
2. Jewel
3. Flower
4. Extended Family
5. Church Family
6. IRL Friends
7. Computer Friends
8. Shelter
9. Food
10. Warm Sweaters
11. Shady hats
12. Shoes
13. barefeet in green grass
14. Listening to Jewel pray
15. Listening to Flower "amen"
16. Freedom to worship
17. Freedom to speak
18. Freedom to travel
19. Just Freedom
20. Ladies Bible Studies
21. Harvest time
22. Cotton bales
23. Freshly cut wheat
24. a peahen in the garden
25. ducks on the lake
26. Baby swans growing their white feathers
27. elegance of the blue heron
28. Girls' dancing
29. giggling
30. cuddling
31. tugged ears
32. hugged necks
33. kissed cheeks
34. a child's trust
35. Forgiveness
36. Discipleship
37. Sanctification
39. Cross Stitch Crazy message board
40. quilt patches
41. Stitching floss
42. Creativity
43. a warm kitchen
44. Bread baking
45. garlic cooking
46. soup in the crockpot
47. travel
48. German Alps
49. Tuscany
50. Stockholm
51. Prague
52. Scottish Highlands
53. and the Lowlands
54. Teachers of Scripture
55. Pastor Bill
56. Pastor Charlie J.
57. Brother Charlie S.
58. Brother Scotty
59. Pastor Mike
60. Jack M.
61. Dean Anne
62. Worship Leaders
63. Music teams
64. Organ music
65. Praise music

SBQ---Flossy Inventory

Today's SBQ was suggested by Jan
( and is:

How many different brands of "complete" embroidery floss sets do you own? How do you keep track of it? (i.e., spread sheet program, index cards, palm pilot, etc.)

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I own a complete set of DMC and near complete set of Six Strands Sweet, and a nice start on the WDW and GAST. I keep excel spreadsheets of the total collection and how many of each colour I have. Those spreadsheets are then kept on my Palm Pilot so I have a quick guide always with me if I happen upon a good shopping opportunity. lol

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Goals and WIPs

November goals:
Stitching and Quilting
1. Start and finish 5 Hinzeit State blocks for Xmas gifts
2. Complete all states on ALTWL thru Oklahoma
3. Finish and mail ornament for exchange
4. Complete 3 table runners for gifts
1. Keep up with Life in the Spirit, including memory verses
2. Order ETC and Singapore Math books (next level)
3. Write Christmas letter and design card
4. Host Thanksgiving dinner (for 17)

In a quick recap of October goals I did finish Stef's NRR, I finished all of Preamble Sampler (not just the stripes), I finished and sent off two quilts, I started the writing curriculum with Jewel (she wrote her name for the first time today!) and I blogged regularly although not 3 times a week. I haven't been walking as much as I had hoped due to weather. I'm going to get better at in-home exercise when we can't get out.

And here is a finish (the Christmas ornament for my 12 Days of Christmas pal) and a Work in Progress (America Land That We Love). This is my focus piece until it is done!Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

IOW--Seed Planting

"Just as an inferno begins with but a spark, a field grows vast and plentiful from the sprinkling of seeds"
~ Stephanie Fries ~
Steph's Poetry Corner

I am very blessed. As I look back through generations of my family, there is a strong line of faith. My mother's grandmother taught her about God. My Dad was taught by his parents who were taught by my grandmother's parents who were taught by their parents. I can confirm at least four generations of belief that distilled down into my Dad teaching me. With this quote I've been wondering about the person who taught my great-great-great grandfather about faith in God? Did they have any idea the impact they would have on generations to come? That sharing of the Truth has led to generations of belief. I get to reap the benefit of that. My harvest is sweet because I didn't have to experience a lot of difficulty in coming to Faith. I saw it lived out in front of me, I accepted it as truth and I acted upon it for myself. I am so thankful to the people who planted those early seeds of faith in my family. I am part of their harvest. The harvest was not limited to family either. My great-grandfather was an elder in the church and from what I hear a pillar of a community of faith. My grandmother literally loved hundreds of kids into the kingdom (her children's friends and then her grandchildren's friends). My parents taught Sunday School and impacted the lives of the youth of the church. And, now, the harvest still grows.

I, in turn, have the joy and the responsibility to carry on the harvest. Sitting with Jewel each morning reading a Bible Story and teaching a weekly memory verse that I pray will be the foundation of her faith. I pray that these seeds will grow deep and she will cling to Scripture in the days to come when life gets harder. Taking Jewel and Flower to church, *singing God* together, giving money to God, going to Sunday School and teaching them how to love the body of Christ---seeds we are planting and praying grow into a harvest in their lives. How I live my life today waters those seeds in my children. I pray that a good harvest grows, devoid of weeds that could choke out the Truth. I pray that they will accept Faith in Jesus for themselves and will go on to plant seeds in their friends lives and eventually, if God allows it, their children's lives. The generations of faith continuing from early plantings.

Isn't God good?

For other writer's reflections on this quote visit here:

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday Menu Planning

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Well, I have been participating without posting for a couple of weeks, and this is really helping me enjoy cooking again. So, I guess I'll post my menu for the week in participation with Org Junkie

Monday: Tagliatelli with Pork in Marscapone Sauce, Salads
Tuesday: Greek Chicken, Steamed Carrots, Greek Salad
Wednesday (Bible Study night): Savoury Triangles and Crisps
Thursday: Chile Macaroni
Friday: Rosemary Pork Tenderloin and winter squash
Saturday: Dinner out
Sunday: Split Pea Soup, Homemade Bread

Remember Remember the 5th of November

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Yesterday was Guy Fawkes Day. It is traditionally celebrated with bonfires and fireworks. Our family went to the firework display last night. Jewel was totally enthralled. Flower giggled and pointed for the first ten minutes, then put her thumb in her mouth, tugged her ear and gave that decidedly "now I'm bored" look. But she snuggled into the pram and was content for the rest of the show and the walk home. It was a lovely evening. Not so lovely were our idiot neighbours setting off fireworks in their back garden 1 foot from our fence and 3 feet from the girls bedroom window, two nights in a row immediately after I put the girls to bed (and that was well after 9:30!) *sigh*

But you really have to love the freedom you live in when a would-be traitor is celebrated with his own day 300 years later. lol!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Growing in Christlikeness

The Life in the Spirit study this week asked us to list 5 ways that the people who knew us best would say our life reflect Christlikeness and the 5 ways that it least reflected Christlikeness. Although I struggled with ways I do reflect Christ, I think that God showed me areas that by His Grace I'm faithfully trying to reflect Him. (Un)fortunately I could have listed many more than five areas that I don't reflect His likeness. And I find that a mixed blessing. Because the more I seek to emulate Him, the more I see that I don't. In an odd way, seeing the areas that God is refining in me is the direct result of seeking a Christ-like life.

Anyway, then the study did the unthinkable. It asked us to ASK the people who knew us best to answer this question for us. Instinct is to run, hide, ignore the question (and to be fair more than half the class did ignore the question). But being the student-who-can't-break-the-rules-no-matter-how-uncomfortable type person that I am, and because my husband was sitting 3 feet away doing the same study, I asked. And he reaffirmed what God was telling me and even added a couple of encouragements that I would have never used to describe myself. And, he affirmed the areas of weakness as well. He graciously only mentioned two areas that he felt I did not reflect Christ (they were my one and two as well), but it was so much harder to hear him say them than for me to acknowledge them on paper. OUCH! But I am more determined to turn those areas over to God.

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The study went on to talk about people who we admire for their walk. And it asked the question in terms of respecting or acknowledging their moral approach to life (bad choice of word but I'm too lazy to go get the book). The word that struck me was moral. And I began to ask myself, "who serves as a moral compass for me?" Who do I look at when I am struggling with the correct path to take for guidance. I mean tangible, *I've walked this path and made this choice* guidance not just Scripture guidance. Because, although I am thankful for the Spirit in me and the still small voice of God guiding me, I need real, touchable people I can learn from as well. And, as has happened a few times in the last weeks, I have been reminded I need to cultivate those people in my life. My iron has moved away and cannot sharpen by telephone as well as in person. I need that person in my life. And I'm praying for opportunities to develop that kind of accountability in friendship.

Challenging stuff. Stay tuned for more of the journey. And please, keep praying.

What's in a Name--SBQ

Today's SBQ was suggested by Lee ( and is:

How did you decide on the title of your stitching blog? Was it random, or does it have a special meaning to you or about you?

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This is timely since I have had several people ask in the last week what my title means. Since this blog was never meant to be exclusively about stitching, wanted something that denoted speech that could cover lots of topics. Monologue seemed to fit at the time (although now I see it more as a Dialogue lol). Miriam Pauline is the name I've written under for some time. It honors my grandmothers (Mary and Pauline) and hearkens to the heritage they left me.