Thursday, December 29, 2011

In the Dog House

I started a new blog at a diabetes website recently.  For years I have stayed away from the diabetic community, because I just don't want to be one of those people whose daily life revolves around their blood glucose meter and their A1c test.  Lately, though, I could use some moral support from others who have been there, or ARE there.  I never did read the guidelines or rules for posting at this website, because, after all, I would never break the rules!  Rules are for people who would use profanity and that kind of stuff, and that is not me.  So I happily wrote a post about how much I like T-Tapp and how much just that one little move, Hoe-Downs, is doing for me, and I mentioned T-Tapp on a couple of forum posts.  Whammy, just like that my post was deleted and I got a warning in my mailbox about breaking the rules.  It seems new members are not allowed to post links.  

Huh.  Okay... so I re-post, this time without the links, and blammo! That post was also deleted by the moderator.  We are not allowed to promote other websites, and furthermore, we are not allowed to discuss moderators' decisions!  My profile at that other site now has a new tab marked INFRACTIONS! (**gasp** It feels like the Scarlet Letter!)  Indignantly I wrote a heated response to the moderator about this is America and I have freedom of speech, and I'll just go back to my other blog, and I bet religious discussions aren't allowed, either! And then I deleted all that indignation and responded meekly, "Thank you for telling me," and went away with my head down and my tail between my legs.  

I understand it.  Someone else owns the site, it's not really my blog, etc.  But I ran back here where I'm comfortable, to hide and to nurse my hurt feelings. :)  

So as I was saying, I have had Type 1 diabetes for over 30 years now, and I should be one of those forum experts who helps encourage others with diabetes.  But for about the past 28 years I have not kept caught up on diabetes developments or treatments or theories, so I am like a newbie. No one can MAKE you do something good for yourself, and I have, in a perverse way, hugged that truth for years.  Maybe that's because it's the one area of my life that I am in control of.  

But I was watching T-Tapp testimonials on YouTube the other day and somehow I got inspired.  Doing Hoe-Downs after meals is helping me keep my blood glucose under control and it's giving me more energy.  Yesterday my kids told me I look thin!  (Yes, they are silly.  I don't look any skinnier.  I think I was reaching up and stretching or something.)  For the first time in a very long time I feel encouraged to be ON TOP of my diabetes rather than on the underside of it.  And I am kind of excited.

*   *   *   *   *

Okay I feel better now.  It's always a good idea to count to 10.  Or 1,000,000.  :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Invisible Appliances

(not my kitchen!)


Today's post is for my family (SOME of my family), because I know they read my blog.  Surely it is better to nag via blogging than in person?  I am speaking today about the invisible appliance. No, not an orthodontic appliance.  This one is a bit larger than that.  Probably every house has an invisible appliance.  We have one upstairs and one downstairs.  The downstairs one is not so obvious, at least not to visitors. That one is behind closed doors. Maybe that is why few who live here can see it.  The upstairs one is right out there in the open where sighted visitors can see that it is not being used to its fullest potential.

Now, dear family mine, this upstairs appliance is a wonderful thing.  Besides soaping, rinsing, and drying dishes, it also HIDES them.  Since you have already rinsed your dish (you did rinse it, right?), just take one more step to the right, open the dishwasher door, and set the dirty bowl/plate/cup upside down in the rack.  See how easy that is? (Nod your head.)  Okay, good.  

Now that we have that taken care of, thank you very much, I love you, and have a very nice day! ((hugs))

*     *     *     *     *

The number one sign that my teeny little exercise routine is working is that my brain fuzz has disappeared.  And you can tell that is so when I start blogging more often. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

God Is So Good ~ Used with permission
Who would have thought December 21st in Minnesota would look like the view out my window (previous post)?  We are expecting temperatures near 40 after the weekend.  Our previous residence in western Arizona is about 58 degrees, and I don't believe the wind has stopped howling there since the day we moved away.  You know what?  All other factors aside, this year I'm glad to be spending the winter here, and not there!  **big huge silly grin on my face**  This is not true for all family members here, however.  Last night Emily cried herself to sleep.  "Why did God call us to Minnesota?  I miss everyone in Arizona!!  Boo hoo!!"  Betsy's latest post reveals her AZ longings also.  The girls are really feeling gypped with the current balmy weather, and the AZ yearnings would probably disappear rapidly if we just had a few inches of snow on the ground.

You know, when we moved to AZ eight years ago the first summer was a relatively mild one.  And our first winter back in MN is, so far, a very mild one also.  Now maybe this is just a coincidence, but I like to think God cares about me so much that he is holding back icy winds and freezing temperatures just for me.  :)  Or maybe it's because he really doesn't want to hear my complaining about it... yes, that's more likely.  At any rate, it really is wonderful, because when we lived here before (like, fifteen years ago) I had a really bad time with winter lasting from October thru March. No, March is not entirely snowy, however one can always expect a blizzard for the state basketball tournaments.  So look.  This winter is already three months shorter than others I have endured with less grace. God is just good to me and I appreciate it.

Speaking of fifteen years ago, the other day I ran into a woman I have not seen since we lived in Minnesota before.  It is so weird how that can happen in a very small town, where I just went to pick up a few grocery coupon items while the girls were at music lessons. You know how it is.  We should always dress to represent our Saviour, but there are times when we just need to run out for a minute to grab something, and we're hoping to slip in and out of the store or post office without being seen.  In most cases, the chance that you will not be noticed is inversely proportional how bad you look.  If the person is important to you, you will look like something that crawled out from under a rock, just this one time. This woman looked exactly the same as she did fifteen years ago.  She was wearing no make-up, but it didn't matter -- she looked youthful and slender and beautiful.  I'm sure I look the same, too, except for an additional 25 pounds, a pair of dark circles and some wrinkles...  But miracle of miracles! This ONE TIME when I ran into someone who knows me, I had a bit of make-up on and it was not an epic bad hair day.  Isn't that just a blessing??  I think that's a blessing.  :)  (You have to count the small things, too.)

And now it's time for me to quit blabbing, and go kiss four more of my blessings good night.  Yes, God is good to me. 

♪ ♫ ♪  Ooooh, the Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun and the rain and the apple seed!
The Lord is good to me,
Amen, amen, amen amen amen,
Aaaaamen!  ♫ ♪ ♫

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


For those of you who are still thinking about putting up tissue snowflakes on your windows, you might want to reconsider.  Smarty pants here thought sure the hairspray would come off the glass easily, after all, that's how I get it off the bathroom mirror.  But this is what my rented windows look like after much straight alcohol and scrubbing:

It was pretty while it lasted!

I sure am thankful for internet anonymity...

*   *   *   *   *

In everything give thanks,
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus,
concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Come, Lord Jesus

Someone asked if our family sings Christmas carols.  We sing the doctrinally sound ones, and they are good for all year long. These beautiful words, sung to the tune of Our Great Savior (one of my favorites!), are rich with meaning:

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our sins and fears release us;
Let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of ev'ry longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver, 
Born a Child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now thy gracious Kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to thy glorious throne.

I like that first line, Come, thou long expected Jesus.  Planet earth is getting to be a scary place to live. I am ready for Jesus to come again and set things right!   

The first time he came, only a few knew the King of Kings dwelt here.  When he comes again, the whole world will know about it!

At his first coming his kingdom was not of this world.  When he comes again, he will take his throne in Jerusalem.

The first time he was here, he was lowly, riding on a colt, just, and having salvation. The next time he comes he will be exalted, riding a white horse, and judging and making war in righteousness.  

The first time he came, he wore a crown of thorns.  Next time he will wear a crown of gold.

Jesus first came as the Lamb of God.  His second coming will be as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. 

The first time he came he gave his sinless life's blood for me, so that the next time he comes, he'll be taking me with him! 

God's greatest gift was not just his Son -- it was the blood of his Son!  Jesus did not remain a babe in a manger.  He grew up and accomplished what his Father sent him to do.  He is God Almighty. He died to make things right between you and God.  

What will you do with Jesus?  Will you worship him as a babe in a manger, and then go about your life unchanged, the same as you were before?  Or will you, in repentance, receive him as your King?  If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.

Come, thou long expected Jesus!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse;
and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, 
and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; 
and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: 
and his name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, 
clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: 
and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: 
and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, 
Revelation 19:11-16

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kids Creating

Years ago we had a friend who "gauged" his TV, meaning, he filled it with shotgun shells.  Isn't that a grand idea?  I love it.  We have never had a television, but there are times when I would like to gauge the computer monitor. :)  Occasionally I find a girl or four with eyes glued to it for way too long, watching the early episodes of Little House on the Prairie, or some such thing, via DVD.  The less expensive and more reasonable alternative here would be to ban videos for a while. So I did it!  Mother No moved in!  And you know what immediately followed. TNDS, or, There's-Nothing-to-Do Syndrome, immediately hit the house. Some residents were hit harder than others, one in particular being the most despairing.

But look!  This is what happens when you turn the TV off: the girls' imaginations and their hands are now at work!  They are making things.  Betsy wanted to make a doll house out of popsicle sticks.  What started out as just a box with a peaked roof became a mansion!

Amy followed this tutorial to make an ear-bud case (or three) for herself, so that she would quit losing her ear-buds at the bottom of her travel bag, under the covers, or in the mess multitude of valuable things on her dresser. It slides easily on to the zipper of her jacket or bag, and she's set!  Is that cute or what?  You can make one yourself in about 20 minutes, or you can pay $12 for one on Etsy.  (I know what I would do!)

Alison has suddenly acquired a desire to learn how to draw, hence "Susie" here.  (This is a Hebrew play on words.  In Hebrew, a word approximately pronounced Susie (soosee) means "my horse".)

And when she couldn't get the music to an arrangement she liked, she decided to write it out from listening to a recording of it.  The left hand is missing because she doesn't need that part.  I love to listen to Amy and her play.  If I don't watch myself, I can already start tearing up at the thought of them leaving us in a few years for some unworthy young men.  :)

Emily is drawing, baking, and writing her own composition.

I have only heard one person mention LHOP lately, and it was the one hardest hit, the one who was convinced she would have NOTHING to do.  She is recovering, however slowly.  At the moment she is making grand plans for a tea party with some other little girls in the neighborhood.  Mother No Maybe is in charge right now, and she is making that particular child exercise some much-needed patience.  How about a few weeks after the holidays?  (Anyone have any ideas how we can give it a gospel theme?)

I am enjoying these good after-effects of the video ban.  Hmm.  Might have to extend that ban indefinitely!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Betz's Birthday!

Another birthday has come in the Diamonds household.  Where do the years go??  Betsy has been shooting up before my eyes.  I am sure she was a foot shorter just last week!  This year Daddy decided he would take each of the girls on a special outing for their birthday.  Alison got to go along with him to a preachers' meeting, Emily had a date at the zoo, and Elisabeth and her sister, Amy, whose birthday is not 'til next month, were taken to the Mall of America for a day at the Nickelodeon Universe theme park.  Now, in addition to the drive and the cost of this adventure, Daddy is not a big fan of rides and theme parks, so we see solid evidence here that he was thinking of someone else's happiness on this day.  He brought along a backpack full of work to do while the girls had a blast riding everything that was fast and furious. 

Wait.  What is this??  My husband on a roller coaster???

As it so happened, the park was not at all crowded, and some travelers who were at the MOA on a layover gave my husband a left-over ride ticket.  Look!  He even has a smile on his face!  That man just has to do something completely out of character once in a while to keep all of us ladies guessing!  (The ride, I mean.  Not the smile.)  :)

The birthday girl likes to have her gifts hidden.  This was too funny -- she looked all over for this package in the red wrap, and there it was in plain sight!

Betz's traditional birthday cake choice is banana cake with peanut butter frosting.  It was a tough decision this year, though, because she thought lemon cake sounded good, too.  Emily solved that problem.  Betsy was sure puzzled when she unwrapped a lemon!

And surprised to get a cake mix!

It hasn't been a lemon of a birthday, though.  

Last summer the girls went to Cabella's with some friends, and Betsy raved about some candied pecans they were sampling there. In vain I looked everywhere for them (we don't have Cabella's nearby) and finally decided to try making some. rarely disappoints; now we are all fattening up on delicious pecans.  The nicest words a mom can hear are these: "Mom, these are better than Cabella's!"  *pats self on back*

This evening we will have the birthday girl's choice, chicken tacos, and play a game or two of her new game, In a Pickle. 

My #3 child is becoming a beautiful young lady.  I am so thankful to be her mom. :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

The View From My Window

** Before doing this project, read this post!

No snow yet, but still, it's pretty!  Excuse the rag on the sill.  I will forever be the mom who has a laundry basket in the background of a family photo...

1. Cut snowflakes out of tissue paper. For how to cut, see here or here or here.
2. Iron snowflakes without steam.
3. Wet the window. *** 
4. Smooth tissue snowflakes on window.
5.  Give each one a shot of hairspray to keep it up.

Ta da!

*** Update: Wetting is not necessary. Give the window a shot of hairspray, smooth snowflake on, then spray again.

***  More recent update:  Find something that works better than alcohol, to get hairspray off windows!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Industrial Strength Fail

We rent this place, along with all of the appliances.  It is just what we need and when we moved in, everything was as clean as could be.  Everything looked brand new.

I had an issue with the washing machine, however, and after a few months of living here I called our landlord.  He graciously drove over here to find out why the washing machine agitator was not agitating, but only going in a circle. This is a problem, you see, because that means the clothes are only spinning around in a circle in soapy water, and not really getting clean.  I had this dilemma at our old house, you remember, and I hoped that I could be the fix-it woman again. But the solution to this one was not as simple.  

So Mr. Landlord came over and together we figured it out, or so we thought.  Shortly after he left, I realize it was not fixed after all.  Now, I don't like to be a problem renter, so I have not called him about it again.  At least the clothes smell clean.  But sheets are a huge mess -- they just spin tighter and tighter until I could use them for a rope.  And since I have no hot water pressure to the washer, it is kind of bugging me that my dirty underwear and towels are just spinning around with cold water and germs.  

And then there's this problem:


Now, I know all the verses.  In  everything give thanks.  Giving thanks for all things.  O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good.

This is the best I could do. (I asked Amy to Photoshop me, but she said it was hopeless.  Yes, it's the real uncombed, un-make-up'ed, frumpy-looking me.  It was wash day, okay?)

Okay, let's think about this.  What is positive about this situation? 
  • I don't have to wash the clothes by hand, although they would probably get cleaner that way...
  • Having a rented bum washer gives me something to look forward to with our next house.
  • It gives me practice untying knots, and that is a good skill to have.
  • Struggling with these knots is strengthening my arms.
  • On this particular day we all had a good laugh!
  • It gave me something to write about.
Ah, yes.  To every cloud there is a silver lining.

*     *     *     *     *

Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Prov 31:29 

(I'll always be a Proverbs 31 Woman wanna-be.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not a day.  It's an attitude.  Whatever you focus on gets bigger.  Sometimes it gets so big that you can't see around it.  Do you suppose this is why the Lord gave us Philippians 4:8?  

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
think on these things.

How I would love to have the discipline of keeping my mind on these things.  I would love to have these things in the forefront of my thinking all the day long.  Sometimes I feel like if I could just get to the bottom of all the things that are wrong with me, I'd feel a lot better.  But no, the truth is that I'd feel worse.  Because when you scrutinize things and spread them out under a microscope and try to identify all the little culprits that are stealing your joy, those things become your focus, rather than all the things around you that would bring you joy, if you could just quit majoring on the bad stuff!

On Thanksgiving Day I was tired from a lighting-quick trip to Wichita and back, stuffed with turkey and all the trimmings, and ready for a clean-up-avoidance nap, when someone in the family said, "Let's take a walk!"  It was SUCH a beautiful day (thank you, Lord), and I have such a wonderful family, and well, I just couldn't stay home. Guilt is strong. :)

We have a lovely wooded trail along the river.  It's a snowmobile trail of course, but do you see any snowmobiles on it?  Of course not.  There's no snow!  Yippee!  (Oh wait, I am supposed to be looking forward to that.)  Instead, leaves and trees and rocks and weak sunshine and dried seed pods and the smell of cold fresh air and natural compost... all riches.  The natural world is ready to be hidden away under a beautiful blanket of white.  White, like my soul after Jesus washed me clean in his blood.  

There were other things to explore, like this roof in the middle of nowhere.  A teeny shelter?  A wishing well in the wilderness?  A reminder of God's protection and provision?

And the stillness of the river, a deep and silent current that brings life to millions of creatures along the way.  Peace for the soul who knows God.  Refreshment for the weary.  A balm for the turbulent spirit.  

The walk was good. GOD is good. O, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. Let me focus on him up close, so that he grows bigger in my sight, so that all I can see is my Jesus. 

*   *   *   *   *

By the way, congratulations are in order for Amy, who finally won a first place at the Edit Me Challenge! She will be opening an Etsy shop for photo edits.  She took this dark river scene and gave it an amazing transformation on her blog.  Go see.  And see the original shot here. Nice job, Amy!

*   *   *   *   *

Wanna see desert kids make a snowman?  Notice the sandals.  :)

This photo needs a crop, but then you'd miss the snow kitty.  (It's really a dog.)  All that remains of our snowmen is their heads and a bunch of lumps, and a few carrots on the ground.  We're ready for more snow, and this time we'll do it right, Minnesota style -- in boots, with coats on!  Like this.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pants Armstrong Faces Off to Winter

It's official.  Pants Armstrong and Winter are now in competition.

On Winter's side:
freezing temps
blowing snow

Most people would be deterred by the incumbent's advantages.
Not Pants Armstrong.

On the cyclist's side:
military issue polypropylene long undies
waterproof jacket
balaclava (not to be confused with baklava)
wool hat

a winner's attitude!

May the most worthy opponent win!  (My personal favorite would be Pants Armstrong.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

In Which We Have a BOY

Read that right.  I did not say I gave birth to a boy.  I said we have one.  Over the years we have talked about how totally and COMPLETELY different this family would be if we had a son.  Well, today we are finding out what it is like to have one very busy boy child among us!  A friend had an emergency appendectomy last week.  I offered to babysit for her, but she didn't call me.  So yesterday I called her.  "It's not easy to rest with a toddler around," she says.  !!  No!  So that is how we came about to have a boy in the house. 

Emily is in on cloud nine.  The big sisters are all occupied elsewhere, so she has assumed the role of babysitter and playmate.  How often Emily has wished for a younger sibling to play with.  The boy found a box of potato gleanings at the bottom of the stairs, and he seems to think potatoes belong in the kitchen. So Emily has climbed the stairs twenty times in five minutes, with a boy and a potato.  For his entertainment, she has fastened and unfastened his car seat belt a dozen times in the past three minutes.  They have gone together to throw clothes into the washer and dryer. The two of them built and destroyed a dozen towers of blocks.  He has been here for all of a half hour.  :)  When we take him home, Emily will want a nap!  I will have to pay her a dollar for handling the extra energy in the house while I iron and tackle the rest of my 100-item-long list of things to do before Monday.

Today Alison and Amy are volunteering at the nursing home.  Elisabeth is helping Daddy canvas a town of about 50 people with flyers for our new church.  In the next 48-52 hours I have to make a trip to WalMart and McDonalds, finish the laundry, make turkey dinner and dessert for Sunday at church, and pack for a short trip and a long drive to and from our home church.  The tub needs a scrub (as well as the rest of the house), I need to run my feeble vacuum cleaner, and wash out the window tracks.  Okay, that last thing can wait.  And we can scratch McDonalds.

Emily and the boy have now eaten lunch, played in the sink, looked out the window by climbing a step stool fifty times, and played hide and seek.  She's a good babysitter.  And who says little boys are more work than little girls are?  (Look -- he's SLEEPING!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

♥ The ♥ Best ♥ Applesauce ♥ Ever ♥

I promise, you will never be satisfied with applesauce from a store shelf, ever again.  Ready?  It's easy.  

Fill your crock pot with peeled, sliced apples. One of these doohickeys works wonderfully for coring/slicing/chunking:
Add about 1/2 C water, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and maybe 1/3 cup of sugar.  It depends on your apples and your taste, but you can sweeten more after the apples are done.  Now, stir it all up a bit, put the lid on and cook on low all day or until the apples are soft. In about four hours your family will start sniffing and asking you what is that marvelous smell coming from the kitchen.  Mash it all up and taste.  (Don't burn your tongue.)  

Deeeelishus, the taste of autumn and home and love! Serve in a bowl, over pancakes, on biscuits, or on a Dutch baby. Your children will rise up and call you blessed, and your husband also. 

♥     ♥     ♥

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Coupon Chaos

Do you remember the old "I Love Lucy" episode in which Lucy and Ethel get jobs in a candy factory?  They are supposed to wrap chocolates as they come down the conveyor belt.  The women start out okay, but as the belt moves faster, Lucy and Ethel can't keep up!  

This is my experience with couponing!

You all know I had planned to start couponing, oh, last year maybe.  I see couponing as a wonderful way to "make" money from home, since the less I spend, the more we have in the bank. So Jane and I attended an extreme couponing class through our local community ed program.  I bought a box and a bunch of file cards to organize my coupons, and I got several copies of the inserts for a week or two...  (I say a week or two because I keep forgetting to pick up the newspaper!! argh!) The younger girls and I spent a while cutting those up and filing them.  Then I printed a bunch more and signed up for some coupon sites and others that let you know what the deals are. 

Oh dear, this is where I lost it.  I am still forgetting to get the newspaper.  But now I am getting coupons or emails from Coupon Mom, P&GeSAVER, Coupon Network, Passion for Savings, The Krazy Coupon Lady, Extreme Couponing, A Full Cup, Pocket Your Dollars, and others! My inbox is crammed with now-outdated coupon emails. Coupons are now stacked on top of my file box, not in it.  Ads are overflowing into my kitchen counter workspace.  I am way overwhelmed, even panicky!  

Time to go back to START and take this a bit at a time...

Here are Lucy and Ethel.  Have a laugh.  :) 

*   *   *   *   *

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.
Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Afraid of God's Will?

graphic from

In a recent conversation with a new friend, she asked, "Does it really matter to the Lord what I do for a job?"  She is afraid to ask God what he thinks.  Why?  Because she is afraid she might find out God's will requires a radical change in her life. 

When we first come to Jesus Christ for salvation, we come with repentance.  That means we are turning our back on our sins and on unbelief, and that now we are willing to change from our way to his way.  Or at least, we are willing to have him make us willing to change.  If I am afraid to learn that God wants something different from me, does that not mean that I am refusing to give up my will?  Hmm.  What happened to repentance?  Does it only go so far?

As my friend is a new Christian, I can understand her fear.  The problem is, she fears the wrong thing.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, the Bible says.  The fear of the Lord is what drives the Christian to understand his will.  As my friend learns to fear God and obey his direction, she will find that she will also trust him more; as she proves him, she will find that the result of submitting to God's will is better than any of her own plans could have turned out.  Truly, it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4)!  He is so gracious and kind.

I wrote a post on this topic several years ago, and it bears repeating:

Trusting God's Answers
“But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.”  Luke 9: 45

Have you ever been afraid to ask God about a particular passage of the scripture? I have. Soon after I was saved I began to hear preaching and to come across Bible literature about a lady’s wardrobe.  It wasn’t just about modesty, for if it had been, I would not have been bothered.  I thought I was modest. (It’s amazing how the Bible opens blinded eyes!) This stuff I was hearing and seeing had to do with women wearing pants, and how God designed women and men, and what the Bible has to say on the subject of a woman’s wardrobe.  For some weeks I pondered and wondered.  I searched the scriptures, looking for a verse that said my outward appearance didn’t matter. (It wasn’t there.) Then I began to argue with God.  While I didn’t want to be a rebel against the Lord, I also didn’t want to submit to his will if it meant giving up my pants.  What would my family and friends think? Wouldn’t people look at me strange if I only wore skirts?? How could I afford a new wardrobe?!

The whole question could have been solved much sooner for me, if I had just asked God the clear meaning of the passages I had read. But I was afraid to ask him! I think I already KNEW what God wanted me to do. So why was I afraid? Did I think submitting to his will was going to make me miserable?  Did I think God wanted me to feel conspicuous? Was he going to destroy my comfortable LIFE?  Did I think God just did not know what he was doing?  After all, in our culture, women wear pants. If I gave in to this, what else was he going to demand from me?  (Pants on ladies is not the subject of this post, so keep reading.)

Since that time, other similar issues have come up for me, issues that I was afraid to ask the Lord about -- how he wants me to act towards or react to the unloveables in my life, what he wants from me now that he owns me, what kind of missions offering does he want me to give? The Bible has the answers to all of those questions. Certainly I have not gotten the victory over every fear concerning what God might ask of me, but I do thank the Lord for this promise:

“For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:56

There is nothing that God could ask of me, that, if I obey him, will make my life miserable.  Oh, I might be afraid to give up this security blanket or to be put into that uncomfortable situation or to humble myself, but I know now that on the other side of obedience there is joy and a peaceful conviction that I am in the will of God.

My husband knows a man who thinks maybe the Lord is calling him to be a preacher.  This man is afraid to ask the Lord about it, because he is afraid of the answer. A call to preach would mean EVERYTHING that his family is comfortable with would change.  They would have to move away, take a very serious pay-cut, and move into the spotlight as a preacher’s family. He would have to learn to speak in front of people on a very regular basis (oooh!), and come up with messages that he is convinced are from the Lord, to feed his church. The burden to pray would be great.  The burdens of his church family would add to the burdens of his own family. His wife would be a preacher’s wife, and his children would become PK’s.  His dreams and aspirations for this life would go up in a puff of smoke! Now that’s scary! Is God set out to destroy this man’s life and that of his family?  No.  God wants to save his life.  God may be giving this man an opportunity to serve him right in the center of His perfect will. What an opportunity!  What peace can be found when God’s answer is known AND acted upon. 

What does God want for your future or your career (or lack thereof)? What does he want you to look like, and how does he wish for you to spend your free time?  Are you afraid to ask him? If you are God's child, he has a wonderful plan for you. His plan for you is better than any of your own plans. Go his way.  It may take a leap of faith to ask him what it is, but you won’t regret following him in it. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tip of the Day: How to Fix Night-Time Leg Cramps

Welcome to my first tip-of-the-day post.  There may not be a second one, but this is so good I have to share it.

If you suffer from night-time leg cramps, give this a try.  It sounds crazy, but it works.  Before you go to sleep, put an unwrapped bar of soap, any brand, under the sheets.  And then, go to sleep.  If something wakes you in the night, it won't be a muscle cramp.

That's all.  

Wasn't that easy?

*   *   *   *   *

The legs of the lame are not equal: 
so is a parable in the mouth of fools.  
Proverbs 26:7

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Diamonds in the Country

That's what we are becoming.  The Lord sure is giving us a lot of opportunities to live like country folk, in spite of the fact that we dwell in a townhouse. Does this mean he is preparing us a home outside of town?  If so, he is also preparing for us a mower and a plow and something to push that plow... and lots of gas for many trips into town.  :)  I'm kind of liking the idea, although I have to confess that for the past forty-some years I have not been trained to keep up the work ethic that is needed for country life.  It's never too late to change, and miracles do happen.  I am looking forward to a miracle in my character.

So far we have been on a hay ride, weeded a big garden, harvested carrots, potatoes, and corn, and enjoyed a nice outdoor campfire and meal.  That's country-ish, don't you think?

Last weekend we added apple-juicing to our list of countrified activities.  We learned how apples go from this

and this

and this

to this!

First we gather the apples.

Then we separate the good apples from the bad.  The pigs get the bad ones.  It's their dessert.  :)

Next we wash the apples and cut out the bad parts.

Then comes the fun part.  The apples go into the grinder,

and from the grinder into the press:
And from the press into the cup/jug/mouth. 


We'll be adding raking leaves, shoveling snow, and milking a cow to our list of experiences.  Stay tuned!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just a Little Lefse

As we now live in the land of Scandihoovia (not to be confused with Outer Slobovia), we thought it was time we made some lefse.  Two people here think it is just the most wonderful stuff.  I guess it's kind of like pickled herring or lutefisk, two other Swedish/Norwegian delights.  Either you love it or you can leave it.  The lefse lovers here eat it with butter and jam on it.  To me that tastes like mashed potatoes with jam... not that I would ever top my mashed potatoes that way.  (Blech!)

The Lefse Song (sing to the tune of Camptown Ladies)

Norsky ladies sing dis song...Uff Da! Uff Da.
Bake dat lefse all day long...all da Uff Da day.
Bake it till it's almost brown...Uff Da! Uff Da.
Makes you yump yust like a clown...all da Uff Da Day.

Gonna bake all night...gonna bake all day
I'll spend my money on potatoes and flour...
To have me an Uff Da day.

Vent down town for some lutefisk...Uff Da! Uff Da!
De vedder vas so cold and brisk, all da Uff Da day.
Used my lefse for a Mackinaw...Uff Da...Uff Da
Greatest yacket I ever saw...Lefse saved da day.

Vent to town in my Model T...Uff Da...Uff Da.
Tire vent flat and I said "poor me." Vas an Uff Da day
Used dat lefse for a patch...Uff Da...Uff Da!
Now I gotta bake me anodder batch...Oh da Uff Da day.

For you non-Scandihoovians, lefse is a lot like a flour tortilla, but it's made with potatoes.

Here is my lovely lefse baker, who thinks it would be nice if we made ALL of our bready items by hand.

I think this girl is going to grow up to be a coffee-shop owner and resident baker and soup-maker. She will have a little store built on to the side of her pretty house, and the outside will be decked with bright flowers.  :)  Go, Betsy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Emily Post

As I was browsing thru my recent photos for some blog fodder, I noticed the sole subject of my photos seems to be my youngest daughter.  Wonder how that happened?

In a nutshell, here's a special post on Emily.

Emily is a very easily influenced child.  When big sister had what was possibly a contagious stomach bug a couple of weeks ago, the power of suggestion was too much for this one.  Her complaint of a tummy ache resulted in her missing her piano lessons. :(  Next time she won't be so quick to imagine herself ill!

Friends from church had a hayride and potluck dinner last weekend.  Emily loved their miniature horses and thinks we need one!  As well as a goat, a donkey, a cow, and some chickens... Ah, I am blessed to live in a townhome.

One of the fun things about getting together with families who have lots of little kids is that a seven-year-old discovers she is one of the "big kids".

A while ago I received a nice gift bag full of lovely things from the sweet ladies at one of our supporting churches.  Down in the bottom of it were these two battery-operated, lighted zipper pulls.  I had to laugh at that, wondering what the targeted market is for lighted zipper pulls.  I discovered the answer this evening.  The market is seven year old little girls! 

I love this little kid.  This evening we took a short hand-in-hand walk.  She was full of love and affection for me.  :) 

It's so nice to be a mom. 
~ ♥ ~

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