Sep 20, 2017

An intentional action

As I was getting out of my car yesterday, I had a thought come into my heart and head that I knew wasn't my own.  How did I know it wasn't my own? Well, my mind was focused on many other *things*.  I had a physical list that I was checking off, and it was after noon and the list seemed longer than the hours left in the day. But, I also had a mental list that kept going on and on, too.  The little things that come to my mind, like: where to park, does that other car see me with my blinker on, what do I need to take from the car into the store, which item should I look for first on my list, which place to go to first - you get the idea.

There seems to always be thoughts going on in my head.

Can I get a witness?

Sometimes my to-do lists can wear me out.  The busy-ness of of life and routine is an every day reality.  How new items can add to the list with one phone call or text, or the opening of one piece of mail.  It seems to be a never ending cycle. Not a bad thing all together, my friends.  I mean life and activity are a blessing from The LORD.  I am so thankful to have health and mental and physical capabilities to go and do and function in everyday life.  So many blessings are mine.

But, as I was going into a store yesterday, a thought came to my mind that was not part of my lists or the thoughts or routines I'd been dwelling on at the time.  The thought seemed to float by.  And at that very moment, I realized that it was a good thought and acknowledged that it was good.  But in my busyness, I did not take the time, effort and energy to write it down and remember what the thought was because I was busy with my own thoughts and lists.

Sad to admit in these early morning hours, that I cannot even remember what the good thought was.  I've had a few instances lately where I've recognized that GOD is saying, or even doing something; but, truth be told, I've been too busy to fully experience the fullness of what I believe, looking back, are GOD thoughts or encounters.  And I just don't want to miss any more of them.

So, I want to be intentional.  I want to recognize and experience more of the holy in the everyday.  You just cannot manufacture a GOD thought or moment.  Hallelujah that I am aware of that fact.

I just don't want to miss any more of them.
I want to listen to, and fully experience, HIM.

What is my plan, now that I am aware?

Well, I'm so glad you asked! I almost always have my calendar and pen with me, or my phone with a notepad option. I am going to allow the awareness to become an action.  An intentional action.  For me, that is going to be the action of pausing to write it down.

Write it down.

What a relief.
I have a battle plan against the thief.

Just recognizing that he comes to steal, kill and destroy -
I am on to to you ole boy.

No more.
No more.
Will you steal from heaven's earthly store.
I'm on to you ole boy.

What relief.
A battle plan against the thief!

Together, we can gain back lost ground,
And enjoy the fullness of GOD all around.

Hallelujah!





Sep 18, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama - Pumpkin Cake


Good Monday morning! How are you today? I hope you had a great weekend! My weekend was busy with a conference at church.  

On Friday morning I made a pumpkin version of the Trim Healthy Mama Trimastic Cake.  Instead of using zucchini and chocolate as called for in the recipe, I used a can of pumpkin and one teaspoon of allspice and cinnamon and a half teaspoon of ginger.  

It is delicious!!!

The icing was made with cream cheese, butter, vanilla and Gentle Sweet (a Trim Healthy Mama sweetener).

The Salesman has not even tried it, which means, more for me! I will be making this cake again! And again. I store it covered and in the refrigerator.  It is categorized as a S dessert.

Happy Monday!

Sep 15, 2017

For The Love of Lamp Lights - Heritage Fellowship

Happy Friday, friends!  I pray that you've had a great week!

Last night a conference started at our church and I went to the opening session last night.  I believe that our church is a center for creativity.  We were asked to submit creative works that were in line with the conference theme,  to be displayed for the conference.  I was pleased when I saw one of my pieces right at the opening to the door underneath a lovely lamp light...  I had just written down what I felt like I heard from The LORD.  My mounting design was not my original - I copied my youngest daughters design for mounting it with yarn and brass nails. I then put the three pieces: paper, yarn and nails and mounted them on a piece of artwork that I bought from an Emerald Academy display at the Knoxville Museum of Art.

But look at the light around the piece...It looks like an angel...



Glory!!!

Look up!



Sep 13, 2017

Made New

Good morning!  How are you this morning?  I hope you are having a good week.  My thoughts and prayers are with those that have been impacted by the hurricanes.

Our church starts a conference this week with the theme of "Made New" and the theme has been in the forefront my thoughts lately. I sat and wrote the following piece this last week. I don't know that it is right to say that I wrote it, because I feel like I just write down what I hear.  I feel more like a scribe than an author.

I pray that the new that Our LORD brings, is embraced by you:

Does defeat,
Ever draw close and take a seat?

Or fear,
Crouch down and stay near?

Does sorrow,
Seem to define your years?

May The Word,
Bring new life to you.

HE has plans an purposes here, and among the nations.
Embrace the new, in the events you are facing.

HE knows the heartache and pain you endure,
And in our One, Nail-Pierced Savior, is our cure.

Oh, HE brings beauty from the ash heap,
May HIS new flow into your soul and seep.

The chaos you go through,
HE desires to make new.

Allow, HIS refrain,
Through the tears and pain.

Oh, to see clearly,
HE loves you, dearly.

HE will use the darkness, the sorrow, and the pain
To bring glory, to HIS wonder-filled name.




Sep 11, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama - Cornbread Crusted Mexican Pie Review

Good Monday morning!  How are you?  Did you have a good weekend? I hope so!  I had a very relaxing weekend and it came at a good time with this being a very busy week for me.  

I have tried several new recipes this last week and am going to review the Trim Healthy Mama Cornbread Crusted Mexican Pie.  It is a satisfying (S) meal and is a family serve, which means for the Salesman and me, we have leftovers for a couple meals!  A family serve feeds 6-8 people. 

The Salesman bragged to our friends at a dinner party last week about how good my cornbread is,  and it got me to thinking about a THM version of cornbread.  Granted, this cornbread is atop a casserole; but it was pretty good.  

The recipe calls for ground meat of any kind and I used beef.  I have started ordering my meat from Zaycon and really like the quality and convenience of ordering from them.  Have you heard of them? The recipe also calls for cheese of any kind and I used Colby Jack.  It also calls for 2 tablespoons of frozen corn in the cornbread topping and I did not add corn to the topping.  

This is a good and filling meal. I served ours with a side salad of mixed greens and some fresh veggies.  I would make this again!



It is on page 132 of the THM cookbook! 

Enjoy!




Sep 8, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Lights - Sun Trust Building

Good morning, friends!  Happy Friday! Hope you have had a good week. 

While sitting and waiting for an appointment today, I spied these huge chandeliers!  At first, I snapped just a picture of one and then, decided that all three would be better.  Three is  better than one!



Look up!

Happy weekend!




Sep 6, 2017

Stumps

It is a new season! This theme of new seems to be everywhere I turn. And I love when I can see a good picture of a word.

Yesterday an arborist and his crew, started the process of removing some dead and leaning trees from our property. The rain and a storm set in and they had to get their big trucks off the lawn; but today I see two stumps remaining from yesterday's work as I click on the keys from my office window.  They are going to come back and remove the stumps and finish up when the lawn dries out.

Looking at remnants of the old is all that is left today. One pine tree they removed had been destroyed by bagworms and the other was leaning too much toward the street and The Salesman thought it was a liability, so it too, is gone.  There is a bit of sawdust that encircles the two stumps.

The whole process has me thinking of how The LORD can remove the old from our life; but if it not completely gone, we are going to focus on it and find ourselves missing out on the beauty of what The LORD has if we focus on the old instead of the new. And those stumps are just reminders of what was there.

It's a good picture for me though. With the diseased and leaning trees gone, there is so much more sunlight in the front yard!

With the old gone, the can be so much more Son Light.  Hallelujah.

You know, I'm ready for them to come back and completely remove the stumps.  Because the old can trip us up and leave us flat on our rump.

LORD, remove all my stumps:
Anything that is old,
And leaves me dark and cold.

I want the new.
Come remove what YOU need to.

Where diseased and leaning,
Give me hope and new meaning.

My heart is your stage,
Now, at my current age,
I want to see and experience the new.
Come, And completely do what YOU need to do.

Bring in the truck and equipment
And remove any resentment,
Remove what needs to go,
So I can experience the GOD show.

And, please, take the stumps,
I don't want to trip and be flat on my rump.

I want a complete work
No part of the old to shirk,
A complete work.

No stumps
That we take me back to the dump.
No stumps.




Sep 4, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama - Breakfast Casserole

Good morning!  Happy Monday!  I hope you had a relaxing weekend.

This week I made the breakfast casserole on page 238 of the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook for my grandma's 92nd birthday brunch.  It was a winner.  I came home with an empty dish!  The breakfast casserole is an S (satisfying) meal and was very good.

I used the cooked turkey sausage option instead of breakfast sausage links and regular bacon verses the turkey bacon, because both were items I had on hand. I also used Colby-Jack cheese because it was what I had. One family member asked if the casserole had broccoli in it, it did not! I would definitely make this recipe again.  The next time I make it, I will make it in a smaller pan so that the casserole is thicker.

The breakfast casserole recipe that I had made for years, called for making the recipe the night before and then baking the following morning.  I did the same thing for this recipe as well, and it turned out fine.  It seemed easier to do all the work the night before a party!  I packed all the other food on trays and packed the car and pulled the breakfast casserole from the oven, covered it and we headed to my grandma's house.  I served a salad and fruit and yogurt along with the casserole for the brunch.  Audra brought avocados.  My sweet grandma provided the party plates, napkins and cupcakes!  I believe The Salesman was the only one of our group that ate a cupcake!

We had such a good time.  My grandma is the best! She is truly a blessing to me and my family.  She has loved well. So thankful for the time to celebrate her and her 92 years.



Sep 1, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Lights - Perspective


This is one of the first pictures that I have on my laptop from back in 2011 and a trip we took with family to Ohio. I so enjoy pictures and have been so thankful to have recovered over 15,000 pictures from the laptop that I baptized, unintentionally, with a glass of water...

Usually, I say: look up; but today, I am comforted that HE is looking down on me, on my family, on my country, on Houston, on injustice, on pain and sorrow, on every path that winds away from HIM.

HE is there.

Hallelujah!

Take comfort that HE see us right where we are.  Perspective changes things. HE is looking down.

Have a blessed weekend.

Aug 30, 2017

A Land Behind Us; A People Ever Before Us

This last week I was looking at pictures of our trip to Uganda from back in 2015 and came across this picture with the village of Jinja, Uganda and lake Victoria in the background and had the thought:

A land behind us; but a people ever before us.


The impact of the trip and the people we met continues today. Just last night I got a text saying one of the pastors we met, and that The Salesman had a heart for his orphanage, is coming to the US next month, and our friends wanted to know if we wanted to have them stay at our home...Yes!

Back when we were on the trip, I hash tagged everything as #UgandaChronicles.  Little did I know the series of events that would be birthed from this one trip.  

It was two years ago that a man that we met in Uganda, named Moses Odihambo, visited the United States and stayed with us in our home.  He was the first houseguest to stay in what had been my dad's room at our home.  My dad passed on August 6, 2015 and Moses visited in September 2015.  One morning Moses shared how he sensed that the LORD wanted him to name the children's library at his orphanage after my dad!  Oh my!!!  A beautiful legacy in Africa!!! We had not even visited the orphanage that Moses runs; but my dad now has a library there named after him! Talk about a hope and a future!  I am amazed.

I think of our daily view from where we were lodging in Jinja and how the home directly outside us had no windows or roof.  There was a family living there.  I only meant to share the first picture; but so many people we met there have made a lasting impact on our lives. 


So I share pictures of some of the people that we met in Uganda that are ever before us:

Chriss:





David:

 Moses:

The children:


Joe:





Benter:


Baby Victoria:

Thank you for sharing in the impact this trip has made, and continues to make.  How about you? Have you ever had an experience like this where one trip, or event, has made a life changing impact on you? If so, please share, I'd love to hear about it!



Aug 28, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama - Raspberry Frosted Special Agent Cake

Good morning!

I hope you had a relaxing weekend! My weekend was so enjoyable.  I tried out for a play, again!!! Went to Knoxville for errands and shopping, had dinner with friends, church, gym, helped The Salesman organize his office and took some time to rest and connect with family.

To start the week off, I am going to review the Trim Healthy Mama Raspberry Frosted Special Agent Cake.

Who does not like chocolate cake?!? This cake is made without flour and sugar; but it does have a special ingredient that may make your face contort... 

You all, this cake is made with black beans!!!

Seriously, black beans. 

And even if you don't like beans, I think you might like this cake. I liked the cake; but for some reason, I did not like the icing.  Next time, I think I will try a different recipe for the icing.  If you are a fan of a cream cheese based icing, you will probably like the icing recipe.  In my opinion, I'll make the Trimtastic Chocolate Zucchini Cake before making this one again. The Salesman thought it was ok and Victoria Leigh was home, and tried a piece, and gave the same comment as her dad.  I did not share the secret ingredient with them...

The recipe is on page 308 of the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook. I used 0% Greek yogurt and did not use the Stevia that was optional.  It is a pretty cake and I thought about garnishing it with fresh berries and chocolate shavings; but sliced it to sample first!





Enjoy!

Aug 25, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Lights Dining Room Edition

Happy Friday friends!  The process of getting a new light in the dining room has been an experience in trying my patience.  Numerous setback with the light itself, to painting and re-painting the ceiling, to having the light installed and then having to have the electrician come back for a total of three times for this one light; but, I am happy to report:

The chandelier is up and working and complete in the dining room!!! I took many pictures tonight...


The mirror still needs to be hung up... But that is ok... A friend is coming to help me hang it up...


And here is a picture of what it looked like before any crystals were hung on the crown...


 Lovely...


The design on the ceiling is delightful...


It is beautiful...And I love the reflection in the mirror...


A view from sitting at the table...


 Have a wonder filled weekend!

Look up!



Aug 23, 2017

A Treasure


Victoria is home today for a visit and I am so excited to spend time with her!  I searched my drafts and found this treasure to share.  May the word "Treasure" minister to you as it ministered to me when this was written in January 2015.  I was thinking of and praying for a particular friend when I wrote this piece.  The enemy is up to nothing new. And the Word brings life. Hallelujah!





"G - a -  r -  b -  a -  g -  e"

The word is carefully strung on the bow and the fingers of evil pull back the arrow and send it twirling toward its intended, specific target: the heart, the soul, the very core of her being, her belief system and rips the tattered barrier with such force as it again pierces the bulls eye.

There was a time, long ago now, that the word would have made her cry out in wails and shrieks; but, those days are gone.  The word can not deflate her beyond flat and lifeless.  The litter of her soul is like a battlefield of wounded waiting for a nurse. So fierce is the battle. So many are injured. Stretcher upon stretcher, wounded and weary.

Then another word came floating by. She'd grown numb at the sound of words. So much destruction had already been delivered. But this word had been kindly and truly and carefully knitted together by fingers of love and stitched with such intention that it reverberated:

"T r e a s u r e"

"T r e a s u r e"

Did you hear that? She turns her head immediately to the side, not even willing to believe that this word is intended for her.  The target of her being has been ripped wide open by the arrows of the evil one and, in a battle she no longer fights, she shields no attacks from her core. Can the mangled target even be made out to anyone now? She believes that she is the target and just as the opposition begins to start the victory party, she recalls the gentle word she heard:

"T r e a s u r e"

"If only you could see yourself from My perspective," and then the word so foreign to her ears, floats by again:

"Treasure"

The Nurse has arrived.  Help, healing, Truth. And like water to the weary soul, she drinks in the word to her being, to her now ripped open and exposed core:

"Treasure."


Lord,
You see me
For who YOU intended me to be,
Not the left-for-dead
In the enemy's stead.
Darkness, evil - it painted a target on me
Your loving Word and words set me free.
You heal -
It is Your will -
You heal.
Your Word speaks balm.
Your Spirit brings calm.
Your Son takes His hand in mine.
You, God, are divine.
You tend to the wounded on the battlefield
You are my hope, my life source, my shield.
You tend to the wounded on the battlefield.
Amen. And amen.


Aug 21, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama - Glosted Raspberry Muffins

Good morning, friends! And happy eclipse day!  Is everyone planning to safely view the eclipse today? Be sure to wear your glasses! We will have 98.5% totality here.  Here's to moon pies, sun chips, and starburst parties! I've heard of all sorts of clever snacks for eclipse parties.  I'm thinking almost everything will be shut down in our town due to the eclipse.

This week I wanted to share a review of the Trim Healthy Mama Glosted Raspberry Muffins.  The recipe is found on page 285 of the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. It makes 12 medium muffins and I was glad that the recipe suggested using liners for ease in removing the muffins from the tins.  You may notice that my muffins have no glosting on them... I made the glosting; however, I did not add the ingredients in the order they suggested and mine was a bit clumpy. So, I've made a note in my cookbook to follow the specific direction next time. 

I would make these again and glad eat them again.  They are an S (satisfying) food.
  



This was what The Salesman returned to me after a few bites of the muffin top.  He thought they should have a sugary crumb topping in order to qualify as a breakfast muffin!



Another friend thought they were fantastic.  I may make them again this week!  Have a great week friends!

Aug 18, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Lights - Breakfast Room

Good morning friends!!! Happy Friday!!!

I was hoping to post the big reveal of the new dining room chandelier; but, it can't be revealed because: there was another problem when the electrician came...

Patience must be the trait I am to learn...

However, I am going to share another new lamp light from here at the house...from the breakfast room... One of my favorites...

Drum roll and ta-da:


What do I like about this lamp light, you might ask? So, for you inquiring minds, I will share what I like:

The elegant design
The gilded iron with wax
The life-like look of the candle sticks
There is no glass 
The size of the fixture
The shape of the lantern
It makes an architectural statement to me
It is stylish, fashionable and functional
The reflection of the lines and design on the ceiling and walls
The company that makes this light is called Visual Comfort - I think I would agree that this lamp light is a visual comfort.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Look up!





Aug 16, 2017

Unwrapped

So, you know I have this delight in lamp lights.  I truly enjoy seeing lamp lights and appreciating their beauty, style, light and reflections.  And a couple weeks ago, I ordered a favorite chandelier that I'd been eyeing for quite some time.  I even showed you a picture of the box here because I was so excited about it arriving.

And some of you may say: get a life lady.  Well, remember please, I am in the empty nest stage and The Salesman works all.the.time and some of my best friends do not like social media or even (gasp) have social media, so I don't share what we do - to honor them.  So there you have it. I am delighting in my everyday activities.

I believe the LORD must be teaching me patience though in regard to this new light...

The electricians came last week to install the chandelier and were not able to complete the installation because a repair to my ceiling needed to be done after taking the old chandelier down.  So today, now that the repair has been done, and the ceiling repainted,  the electricians will come and connect the wires and finish the installation.

Well, I started unwrapping all the crystals that go one the chandelier and it seemed to stir HOLY SPIRIT thoughts in me.  The crystals cannot be added to the chandelier until it is fully installed, so I unwrapped each one carefully and put them on towel lined trays until the chandelier is securely in place and I can safely attach the crystals. But, as I unwrapped each of the 554 crystals that were individually wrapped and taped, I had many thoughts.  I started thinking how I, how we, are individually made, package and prepared for a beautiful destiny and future.

But what if I never unwrapped the crystals and never hung them on the chandelier?  It would not be a reflection of any light without the crystals.  These single crystals are designed to be unwrapped and hung in unison with other crystals to reflect the light.


And it got me thinking:

What if we never unwrapped the gifts we've been given?
What if we weren't really living?

What if the darkness that wants to overwhelm
Became the captain of our helm?

What if we settled for not knowing "How Much More"
Our Abba GOD, has in HIS heavenly stores?

What if we were content to sit on the bench
And fill our nostrils with a lazy stench?

Never wanting to get in the Kingdom game
And go forth, with boldness In HIS NAME?

What if the "What If's" held us back
The enemy winning every attack?

Don't leave your gifts unwrapped
Seek HIM, Live fully, Don't go back.

We are intended to function in unity
Reflecting HIM together, you and me.

Together we can reflect HIS light
Give up the selfish battles to win the fight -
We all need to reflect HIS light.

I felt HE said to me:

Be a reflection of Light
As you hear and write,
Be a reflection of Light.

You have gifts tucked deep inside,
Do not fear, do not stay in the box - don't hide.

Amen. And hallelujah!

Aug 14, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama Trim Mac Salad

Good morning!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Do you ever have a hankering for fast food? Well, if you are a fan of the Golden Arches and want a healthy version of the Big Mac, I recommend the Trim Healthy Mama Trim Mac Salad.  It is an S (satisfying) meal and requires no special ingredients!  It's like having the burger without the bun, and it was yum! I would definitely make this one again!  The Trim Mac salad, including their version of the Special Sauce, is a healthy alternative to the Big Mac. You will find the recipe on page 181 of the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook.

I served my salad over a variety of greens and served The Salesman his over iceberg lettuce, because, that is what he likes.  It is a family serve recipe, so it makes 6-8 servings.  The Salesman did like it when I first served it; but decided not to eat the leftovers, which meant more for me!  A friend is bringing some tomatoes by today and they should be a delicious addition to the salad.

Happy Monday!




Aug 11, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Lights - Knoxville


There is such beauty all around us! Gas lamp lights are among my favorites and this one nestled among the greenery and flowers and on the stacked stone was picturesque to me.

I do hope you have a wonder filled weekend!


Aug 9, 2017

The Anniversary of A Day

Sunday was the anniversary of my father's death.  It had been two years... All the memories associated with the day seemed to resurface days before the actual anniversary.  I found myself missing my dad; but also replaying the events of the day: remembering everything we did that day and the details of minutia about him and what was said and done on August was 6th, 2015.

For two years before my dad went to live with JESUS, Dad lived in our home and we cared for him. Hospice had been serving him here at our home for about nine months.  When my father was 45, he had a severe stroke that left him weak on his left side. My mother cared for him until she passed; and he was able to gain a sense of independence thanks to her planning for him and the LORD's great grace.  However, as the years progressed, his balance became worse and the need for him to live with my brother (who lived in the same town as my dad) became evident. When my brother and his family could no longer care for him, The Salesman welcomed my dad into our home.  The timing seemed perfect.  Victoria had just entered college...  Dad was a great patient; but the care was demanding and I have a whole new respect for caregivers.  The years he was with us were full and busy and challenging.  However, his earthly journey ended and a new life began for him on August 6, 2015, not long after breakfast, while he was sipping his coffee.  It was as if he took one sip of coffee and then a sip of eternity.  GOD was so gracious.  My dad's body was tired.

It was my second experience with being the first to notice that someone dear to me had departed their earthly body.  I will not forget the experiences.

This year, the date fell on Sunday and while I was getting ready for church, I found myself in methodical memories and missing him much. The morning seemed a blur to me two years ago; but the details and the heartache seemed and seem so real.

While churning the thoughts and memories in my mind, I felt the LORD speak to me and grabbed my pen and journal and wrote this down while drying my hair:

There is A Power, A Source,
That steadies me on life's course.

As I navigate the good and bad,
The happy and oh, so sad.

I struggle with the memories attached to this day:
So many haunt me, in various ways.

Can I let go and have peace
And feel my Savior's sweet release?

Will I allow HIM to turn my mourning to dance,
Or will the sad, I relive and enhance?

Sorrow comes knocking at my door,
I will not answer any more.

I'm putting my dancing shoes on,
My ears attune to a new song.

Hallelujah!

I'm totally believing that GOD can bring me victoriously through this process of grieving and help me hold on to HIM and all the good memories I have of my dad.





Aug 7, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama - Butterfly Wings Cake


Good morning! Hope you had a lovely weekend! 

The Butterfly Wings Cake is the Trim Healthy Mama version of an angel food cake. And since angel food cake was my dad's favorite, and I've had him on my mind much this last week, I decided to share it today.  My sweet daddy has been in heaven now for two years, and I miss him. 

This cake has six ingredients and is easy to make. It is a fuel pull recipe; however, it is pictured here as an S dessert, because this is how The Salesman likes his!  The whipped cream makes is an S dessert, S for satisfying.  If you want to keep it in fuel pull mode, just top with fresh berries or an all fruit jelly.

I have served this one to friends and they have enjoyed it too!  I would definitely recommend this Trim Healthy Mama recipe.

Happy Monday!




Aug 4, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Lights - It's in the box - or maybe hidden under a bushel


Good morning, lovelies! I hope you have had a wonder filled week.  It's been a good week here. I have much to be thankful to our LORD for today.  Happy Friday!!!

So, this for the love of lamp lights, is a little bit different than most...I have decided to share a picture of a big box holding the new chandelier for our dining room! 

Ta-da!!!!

Seriously, I am so excited about this chandelier. The fact that I have wanted it for quite a while, the fact that when it went on sale and I got $490 off the price just made it like icing on the cake for me! It is so beautiful. However, you won't know that today, because it's proverbially hidden under a bushel. My chandelier light is out of the box now and separated into glass drop shapes and parts and chain and cords. There are 554 crystals... Oh my, for the love of lamp lights.  But until my electrician comes, it's hidden.  Wow.  That speaks to me and I immediately think of the song: This Little Light of Mine...

I hope dear friends, that your light shines this weekend.  In the good, the bad, the busy, the boring, shine!

Look up!


Aug 2, 2017

How do you handle disappointment?

This thought came to me in a quiet moment here at home:

How do you handle disappointment?

I don't know that I had an immediate answer when the question floated by my consciousness like a cloud in a blue sky being watched from a quilt in the yard.  You know, the question was there and as I directed my thoughts to consider an answer...the cloud had moved on and morphed into another shape in the clear sky.  But the question has lingered and I find myself at the keyboard not knowing where this is going; but trusting The One from whom I believe, asked the question.

There have been times and seasons in my life that I've felt that I could sing the line, "disappointment is my closest friend..." from the song Higher and Higher.

As a verb, handle means (according to my Google search):
to manage a situation or problem.

And the definition of disappointment was:
the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of ones hope's or expectations.

I feel that these are responses to how disappointment should be handled:

1. Accept or Deny - The reality of life is that problems come. When they do come, I can either accept or deny them. Sometimes, denying is easier.  I mean, hey, if you don't admit that you have a situation or problem, you don't have to do anything. But I believe that is not the way to handle disappointments. I believe acknowledging and accepting that I have a disappointment is the best way to navigate life.  Denial can lead to an increase in problems.  Acceptance does not mean the path will be easy; but, it does mean that the situation can be dealt with, released and processed.

2. Talk it out - Now, communication skills were not stressed when I was growing up, so I am learning much in this area.  When faced with these "nonfulfillment" in life, it is good to share and process with a friend, family member, mentor or counselor.  If you have none of these options, there is always One Person that will always listen.  Hallelujah!  Speak it out. Tell HIM all the details.  I remember getting into my vehicle one evening and talking out loud to The LORD about a problem from the time I got in, until I was almost home.  Oh, the relief that came from releasing every detail of the burden from my shoulders. It is ok to say how we feel.  It is ok to admit that we don't know what to do.  It is ok to ask for wisdom and knowledge and understanding and discernment.

3. Spend time listening - If you have spent time sharing your thoughts and asking The LORD for wisdom, I believe that it will come. I am learning the fact that if I am busy yakking, it is not as likely to be heard, because my nature would be to rehearse my disappointment.  But, I find that if I listen, I can many times hear, sometimes from the most unsuspecting sources, just the encouragement that I need.  Maybe it is a bank teller that shares something with you, maybe it is a person at the grocery store, or a friend or relative that will say a wise word that applies to your situation.  This evening, I really wanted to speak my mind and share a disappointment with a friend after I'd shared it with The LORD. Thank goodness, I heeded that still small voice that said to me: "Don't go there." Shew.  Hours later, I am so glad that I didn't. But I wanted to at the time.  I don't know if it's just me; but sometimes I feel like I should be so justified to just put out there my version of the truth to my situation or disappointment.  Well, tonight, I listened to a friend and just marveled at the goodness of GOD in keeping my mouth shut.  In reflection, my words would have caused more disappointment.  Hello, nobody has time for more of that. Not me.  Not you.

4. Focus on thanksgiving - In times of disappointment, there is a joy and peace that can come from rehearsing blessings.  Though the disappointment may be all I see at the moment, if I recount the blessings of life, I will see that they outweigh my current affliction.  Hallelujah!

5. Wait - on The LORD for specific instruction.

6. Be fervent in prayer.

7. Look up!

Jul 31, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama - Treeces

Good morning, lovely ones! I hope you had a relaxing weekend. I'm not sure that mine could be described as relaxing; but it was full, fun and productive! And I made a new Trim Healthu Mama recipe: Treeces. It is their version of a Reece's peanut butter cup. It was one The Salesman thought he'd try. He took one bite and gave it back and told me he did not care for dark chocolate...

These were easy to make as it combined Skinny Chocolate with a peanut butter mixture. I've started making the Skinny Chocolate regularly and enjoy eating it, too. The Treeces were tasty! They have the look of a Reece's peanut butter cup and are a satisfying substitute.

The tops of mine were not as smooth as the picture in the cookbook. And for some odd reason, I'm having trouble posting my picture of them, so I will come back and edit the post to add a visual later. . My friend Lisa, brought fresh sweet corn by the house Friday morning and tried them and really liked them.

I would recommend this Trim Healthy Mama candy. Yum!

Jul 28, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Lights - Paramount Theater

Happy Friday! Hope you have had a great week!

I had the pleasure of going to a performance at the Bristol Paramount Theater this last week with friends. It was a fun time being together! The Art Deco style of the theater was beautiful and, of course, I loved the lamp lights. I was told this first one, located in the hallway outside the theater, was an original Tiffany.



The last two pictures are from inside the theater



The ladies sitting room was absolutely gorgeous; but *someone* was out of storage space on her phone and has no pictures to share...

If you are interested in reading more about the history of the theater, this link is for you:  Theater History

Happy weekend friends!

Look up!


Jul 26, 2017

To Fill Her Shoes

There seems to be a juxtaposition to life. Sometimes life feels like a dream.  The lovely daydreams intertwined with the reality of life.  The good. The bad. The happy. The hard.

I've been thinking much of my mother lately and her legacy and how very much I miss her even though it was twenty eight years ago today that she went to live with Jesus. I am thankful for her life and influence and I am thankful for the memories.  But no thing or no one can seem to fill the void of a mother's presence or love.

Nobody can seem to fill a mother's shoes.

Over the years, there have been people interwoven into the tapestry of my life that have influenced me and touched my heart in a motherly way. I want to share an encounter that touched my Spirit.  Last week, at a business meeting, a lady I met and visited with briefly, made an impact on my life.  Does that sound cheesy? I mean, we met at the spinach artichoke dip at a business meet and greet and did not talk a lick of business.  We talked children and family and life. We clicked and connected and conversation was easy and enjoyable. When the meeting started, I found out that she was in charge of the meeting...Talk about an impressive presentation... Anyway, when we left the meeting, she came over to me on our way out of the room and drew my head close to hers and shared how glad she was to have met me and how much she enjoyed our conversation...

It was a moment in time for me. A moment that today, as I remember my mother and would love to feel the touch of her hand drawing me toward her and speaking kind words, means much. A gesture of love and acceptance and approval.

We have such power to bless with our words and our actions. There are so many days that I mull over words that have been spoken to me and I struggle. I wonder why some words were spoken. I wonder what some words or actions mean. Not all words and actions are as lovely as the kind lady who drew my head to hers and spoke words of appreciation and approval.

I want to be that kind of lady that blesses with my words. One of my mother's favorite verses was Proverbs 25:11:

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."

Just this morning, I texted a friend to ask for forgiveness because I didn't feel like my words were fitly spoken. I want to think more before I speak. I want to speak words that bless and encourage. I want my actions to draw others in, not push them away. I want to be intentional with my words. I want to listen to others and keep some thoughts to myself. I want wisdom and knowledge and understanding.  I want many good things.

I miss you, Mom, and I am thankful for you.

I am so thankful for the memories of you that I hold dear.
I am blessed today because of you, and wish you were near.
I want to have a mothering heart,
In each encounter, from the very start,
To love and see in others their best
And let all dissension rest,
Yes, to love and see in others their best.

Let my words and my actions bless,
And keep me from making a mess.
Please let my words be fitly spoken,
And not flinging any that are broken.
Let my words be fitly spoken,
Mend and heal all that is broken.

Thank You, LORD for sweet memories,
From my dear family tree.
My mother's love and life,
Has deeply impacted me.

Amen.


Jul 24, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama Wise Shepherd's Pie



Good morning, lovely friends!

The Wise Shepherd's Pie is a must make recipe! It is in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook on page 134 and it is an S meal.  S is for satisfying.  And indeed it is!  This recipe is made in a 9 x 13 pan (considered a family serve) and even though there are only two of us at home, the first time I make a recipe from the cookbook, I am trying to make it just as it is in the cookbook, and then based on how we like it, change the size, if needed. This recipe is Salesman approved! I will be making it again in the family serve portion.

The salesman did notice that the topping was not the normal shepherd's pie potatoes and asked what it was as he was asking for a second serving.  I wish you could've seen his face when I told him fotatoes!

I recommend this recipe. There were a few options listed with the recipe, and I chose beef over lamb and venison and green beans over peas and used the beef broth instead of the chicken broth.

Yum!