Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just wanted to check in...

...and let y'all know I'm okay. I haven't fallen off the hill! (okay, it would probably help if I let y'all know we live on top of a hill and that was my attempt at a joke, har har) I know I haven't posted anything in a while, but what do you post when you don't really have anything new? I missed church Sunday morning and evening because of a bad stomach and I think it's kind of thrown me out of routine. I just don't like missing church. So I am seriously looking forward to tomorrow evening and choir practice. I love being in the choir. How can you not? It's an opportunity for me to get up there and sing to my King! I get to stand there and sing AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS praises to my Father! The ONE WHO SAVED ME! The One Who's comin' back for me someday! My God! My Lord! Sometimes I take that for granted. God gave me a gift, a love, a passion for praising Him. I absolutely L.O.V.E. doing it for Him. And what really burns my biscuits is to be up there, trying to give Him my best and to look down into the congregation and see complacency. You might as well be reading War and Peace (no offense to those who love that book. I've never read it personally, but it's a big book!) without showing any pictures. They look bored! Now, I realize and completely understand that people worship differently. Some people raise their hands in praise to Him. Some people close their eyes, some might sway back and forth, from one foot to the other, and some are very still and very quiet with their worship, they are very reverent. But to see people just stand there, sometimes having conversations, just like they've got something else better to do. WHERE IS THE RESPECT??! This is your Creator we're singing to! What gives? What's it going to take? Does everyone have to get to the very bottom of life before they see they've got something to be thankful for? Am I overreacting? I get very frustrated at what appears to be a lack of concern.

And I recently saw something on another blog; it was a quote by a Rev. Spurgeon, I believe, and it's got me thinking about some things. It goes like this: “The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them...providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church...the need is for Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt that it sets men aflame.” I can't help but think about myself. How many times have I gotten up there in front of the congregation to sing a song of my choosing, having chosen that song because it "suited" me. I do occasionally share a "special" song, and I try to make it a point to pick something that ties in with my own testimony, my own journey. I try to choose something that will convey something God has spoken to me about. But now I am wondering if that is what is received. I wonder if I'm trying to take that opportunity to do my own little "sermon" with some popular contemporary song that sounds good. That's part of the reason I've become more and more turned off by mainstream Christian music. So much glitter in it. Really nice clothes. Really perfect hair. Aesthetically pleasing, for sure. Easy to listen to. I know there are songs that have really spoken to me, so it's hard to make blanket statements. But when I see artists come out with yet another cd of hymns done "their way", it bothers me. I can't help but wonder, what are they really in it for? Who are they trying to glorify? Why do we need another cd of that? I sound like a party-pooper, but really, c'mon. Just something else for me to over-think, I guess.

I think I've done enough damage for today :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Father's Love Letter

Father's Love Letter

My Child ~
You may not know me, but I know everything about you ~ Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up ~ Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways ~ Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered ~ Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image ~ Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being ~ Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring ~ Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived ~ Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation ~ Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book ~ Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live ~ Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made ~ Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb ~ Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born ~ Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me ~ John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love ~ 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you ~ 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your father ~ 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could ~ Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father ~ Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand ~ James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs ~ Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love ~ Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore ~ Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing ~ Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you ~ Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession ~ Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul ~ Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things ~ Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me ~ Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart ~ Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires ~ Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine ~ Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you ~ Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart ~ Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes ~ Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth ~ Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus ~ John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed ~ John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being ~ Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you ~ Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you ~ 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love ~ Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me ~ 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again ~ Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen ~ Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father ~ Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is ~ Will you be my child? ~ John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you ~ Luke 15:11-32
Love, Your Dad, Almighty God

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

*sigh* How can I say thank you enough? I really am not a fan of myself exposing all this for anyone to see. Then I can't really control what others think of me, right? :) I've had this blog for about a month and already I've had two pity parties. Christians aren't supposed to have break-downs on a regular basis, we're supposed to be stronger than that, right? At least not the really good ones.

"I need Thee, oh I need Thee, every hour I need Thee..."

And I just want to make sure I say this at least once, I'm not "trying" to be a drama queen. That is not my intention of having this blog, but I do think these things out to be a good place to let things out. Part of being honest with myself is being honest with others. Or at least putting it down somewhere that I can reflect on it later (and I'm a much faster typist than writer).

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the concerned comments, the encouraging words that have been share with me. I was going to use this as a reply to the comments I had received, but I knew this was going to be a long one. I am getting better now :) I tend to get like that around "that time", I guess because I spend alot of time hoping in the month before "she" gets here, that maybe this month will be the month. I spend alot of time praying, maybe I am praying for the wrong things. I am moved by the love and concern expressed in your comments. You people don't even know me! And still you take the time to show you care. May God bless you all for your compassion. I'd give y'all a big ol' hug if I could!!

Father, help me. Teach me how to be content and thankful for the place I am in right now. Show me how to just be. I'm afraid I'm not as good at it as I thought I was. Forgive me for the doubt I have sometimes, help me to really believe You have got this all under control and it will go as YOU plan, not me. Help me to believe that truly, not just "know" it. Help me to live it. Everyday. Every hour and ever minute. I give thanks to You for saving me. I give thanks to You for my sisters (and maybe brothers) out there who are praying for me. I give thanks to You for Your Son, who died so I might live, who didn't have to but loved us all so much He willing did so. I thank you for the songbirds outside my window that help me to remember that Spring is coming, You are coming. There is Light at the end of the tunnel, and it's You. For everything in life, there is You. Thank You, Thank You, Thank YOU.

And for anyone who would like to email me, for whatever reason (I can be a good shoulder too :), I would like to offer it to you: amy_celeste_@hotmail.com

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Freedom of Choice Act aka Freedom to Kill Act

I would like to share with you a post from a blog that I enjoy visiting. She has wonderful things that she shares, so if you get time, I highly recommend exploring her blog. Today is a really big day for many Americans. For me, I will not lie, I am a little anxious. I know in my mind and in my heart God is in control of everything, regardless of who is "running" this country. But I also believe America is going to have to pay for her disobedience to His Word one day. Who knows when. I will not be surprised if it is sooner than we think. Our youngest are already paying for us. Please pray.

Visionary Womanhood

"... Remember that with God all things are possible and the power of prayer is undeniable. If you are against the killing of defenseless children then the time is now to do something about it!

"The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do." -- Senator Barack Obama, speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, July 17, 2007..."

Monday, January 19, 2009

I need me some springtime

I'm starting to wonder if I'm okay. I'm feeling so incredibly bummed right now. I just feel like crying. So begins yet another month of being a "mommy-wannabe". It's been one year and four month since I quit birth control and handed my fertility back to God. I know He has His own timetable. He opens and closes the womb. I know this. Why am I so impatient? I just want a little one so badly, it hurts. Why do I feel such an urgency? Why do I seem to be the only one who truly wants this? DH isn't really concerned. He believes things will happen when they happen. I wish I was so laid back. DH's parents are wonderful people, but they act almost scared when I say anything referring to babies. His father swears he had my husband "fixed" at birth. His mother acts like it's the end of the world for a cousin who is married and pregnant at 19 years old. It breaks my heart.

Is there something wrong with me? I feel so imbalanced. Maybe I just need some sleep.
I'm going to go try that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yummy goodness :)

It is so cold here. I mean, it makes my toes hurt. In a couple of days it's gonna be "stupid cold"! Okay, so I do live in Tennessee and 'round these parts we tend to be "winter weenies". We're such big sissies that folks were complaining when it dropped below 45 degrees in December. Big babies. I mean totally mean that in a loving way! :D (can you tell I'm feeling better?)

But a big plus to the cold weather certainly has to be cold-weather food! I love soups and warm, spicy dinners but. let's face it, who wants chili in the middle of summer? Not I! But, oh do I love it in the middle of January :) Tonight I fixed us up some 3 Bean Chili, one that is definitely a favorite of ours. We had some num-nummy cornbread to accompany the chili. I don't have any pictures of dinner to share, but I do have recipes!! Yay!


(makes 8 cups)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (I used 1 tsp of dried minced garlic)
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 sweet bell peppers, cored and diced
1 medium-sized zucchini, trimmed and diced (I left this out, dh doesn't like alot fo veggies)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) no salt-added tomato sauce
1/4 Cup ketchup
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) small white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans
Grated cheddar cheese (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and chili powder and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Add peppers and zucchini and continue to cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup and oregano. Cook 8 minutes.

4. Gently stir in the beans. Cover the pot and continue to cook 3 minutes. Serve with grated cheese, if desired.

Nutritional info per cup: 203 calories; 4 g fat; 11 g protein; 39 g carbohydrate; 12 g fiber; 678 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol

Good Old Fashioned Cornbread

2 Cups cornmeal
1 1/2 Cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp sugar (optional)
3 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp oil or Crisco for skillet
2 Cups milk
1/4 Cup melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put oil in skillet & skillet into the oven.

2. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, soda, baking powder, and sugar,

3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk & butter. Combine with dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened.

4. Take skillet out of the oven and make sure your skillet is coated well with oil and pour your mixture into the skillet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.


An Update!

Hey y'all! I figured it was time for an update on my little green friend.

There have been a few days that I could set the little guy in the window so it could get some warm rays, which I'm sure it really appreciated. I know I would! :)

This was from one day last week, I don't remember which day.

And here's a shot from today. I'm not sure if you can tell much difference, but it appears that a few of the smaller leaves are growing just a bit. They seem more noticeable to me than before.

And here's a peek at one of my littlest friends! God has a purpose for us all, even if we live in the dirt :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

hosted by Peggy

FOR TODAY, January 11, 2009

Outside my window...
the frost is still blanketing the ground, though it is already 9:30

I am thinking...
I sure do miss Spring time

I am thankful for...
God's forgiveness and mercy

From the learning rooms...
I'm still studying for my class, currently learning about computers

From the kitchen...
I think I may fix up Almond Date Biscotti later

I am wearing...
pajamas, still

I am creating...
ideas in my mind for springtime projects, plants

I am going...
likely nowhere today, just holed up where it's warm :)

I am reading...
about Joshua in the Bible, trying to go through the His word, front to back.

I am hoping...
for a fruitful day

I am hearing...
not much, however the washing machine did just beep at me (I'm done! I'm done!)

Around the house...
Oh me...I kinda slacked this past week, lots of things to keep me busy this week!!

One of my favorite things...
is visiting this blog, he's giving me ideas and the beautiful pictures help me to look forward to warm days ahead :)

A few plans for the rest of the week:
cleaning, studying, working to eat healthy, praising and learning about my Lord

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Resurrection Day, 2008

Ahhhh, spring...how I pine for thee!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful. I really can't say it any better than that. No matter how gloomy I may feel on the inside, I am still thankful.

I am thankful that the Lord has promised this storm too shall pass. I am thankful that He reminds me that this is not all there is, not all this life is about. Though it is an important issue, if I will put Him first all this other stuff will fall in line. But I know I need to be conscious of Him and choose to, strive, fight to keep Him in my day, all day. That can be a hard task, but He has promised me His Strength. And at the end, His Rest.

I am thankful for the breath in my lungs and the sun on my skin and His Word on paper. I am thankful I can read the love letter He has written to my soul, without fear of imprisonment. I am thankful for the ability to read, so many are illiterate. I cannot imagine life without being able to read. Words can be such a balm to my soul, especially from sister and brothers in His blood, life would be such a dark place for me if I could not share in this.

I am thankful for so much, I truly cannot express it. I wish I could. But it appears these blogs don't come with a "shout" feature :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Random thoughts...I get *alot* of those...

I am seriously bummed. I tend to get like this every now and then...I guess that's what they call a "valley"? I'm not feeling very fond of myself. I'm overweight and I feel pretty much repulsive. I feel like that person that others talk about...you know the one...her clothes are just a little too tight. I can barely stand to see myself in the mirror. Just a whole lotta "yuck". I don't think it would feel so bad if I hadn't been doing so good before. I lost this weight about 2 years ago and then POOF! Here I am again. Feeling nasty. But I'll be okay in a couple of days. Or until I seriously see some weight-loss.

I've been mulling over a garden this summer. I would love to have one, and enough come from that I could do some canning. I feel like it would help save us money, and I get great satisfaction from that sort of labor. Seeing something I did (with God's blessings, of course) that is helping our family. I'm thinking of raised beds, maybe just a couple, of the veggies I know DH will eat (corn, beans) and then some that I love and that we use even if it isn't raw. I've been reading that several plants, like peppers and tomatoes and cucumbers, do very well in pots. Something I'm definitely considering.

I remember having chickens and rabbits growing up. I've wanted one or both ever since we started talking about buying the house. And with the stuff they pump into the poor animals anymore, I'm getting to where I feel bad buying meat, but we have no other option right now. And fresh eggs....man, I really miss that.

I have been praying for a while that God would bless us with a child. I know His timing is perfect and all things are best when we accept His way of things. But I long for a child so much it hurts sometimes. I am getting better though. I'm not so obsessed over it anymore. Sometimes I feel like Hannah, but He opens and closes in His time. Not mine. But I still pray. God, please help me.

I am trying.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Hosted by Peggy

FOR TODAY, 1/5/2009...

Outside my window...

things are pretty wet and quite chilly

I am thinking...
there has to be some way to not be so hard to wake up in the mornings...
wish I could figure that out

I am thankful for...
my church family. We're not perfect, but I truly feel a desire to love God there

From the learning rooms...
back to studying

From the kitchen...

maybe some bread later, but only breakfast thus far

I am wearing...
my pajamas

I am creating...
started on a cross stitch project I've had since DH and I married 3 years ago.

I am going...
to exercise after this

I am reading...
nothing in particular, other than the Bible

I am hoping...
to get a chance to finish getting the leaves up out of the yard sometime this week

I am hearing...
not much, it's pretty calm

Around the house...
I need to do some tidying up

One of my favorite things...

my bed. It's so soft and comfy and warm...

A few plans for the rest of the week:

studying, going to the bank tomorrow, getting back on schedule

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Our God is an awesome God

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Nag, nag, nag!

That's all my head has felt today: a nagging headache. I think it's probably a sinus headache, because it's primarily been behind my eyes and I can feel it in my nasal area. But it did migrate to the back of my head earlier. I haven't accomplished much at all today, and I'm kinda disappointed. I was hoping to finish getting up the leaf piles that have been in our yard since before Thanksgiving; I started yesterday and was looking forward to finishing it up today, but that didn't happen. I did manage to make the bed and help my wonderful husband put up the wooden curtain rod we bought for the living room.

Speaking of my wonderful husband, I love him. He's awesome. He's wonderful. I'm so thankful Father blessed me with such a sensitive, gentle-heart of a man. And he's incredibly handsome. He let me lay down and try to sleep some of this headache off (it hasn't hurt like this since my drinking days...) and then he cooked supper. The man can make some mean hamburger steaks! I didn't even know he knew how to make those. We had our steaks, white beans, and some cornbread we had left over from last night. And then, instead of digging in like he usually does, he offered up prayer for meal, and a prayer for me. ****Awwwwwwww**** I had to try really hard to keep from tearing up, let me tell ya. Why did this make my day? He never offers to pray. I usually have to ask him, and then feel kinda awkward because I feel like I'm pressuring him. But he just did it tonight. I've been praying for this for a while, that God would put a desire to lead more in his heart, and maybe He's answering that prayer now. In His time. Well, whatever the reason, I am so thankful. God is so good!!
I don't know what I could have ever done to deserve the love I have, from my husband, and my Savior. Thank You, thank You, thank You, thank You.

And now I have a question. At Christmas, my uncle gave me a branch(?), or a cutting, a piece of a plant my grandmother has in her kitchen. The only thing is, I have no clue what it is! It's been in a glass of water in my kitchen and yesterday I put it into an old herb pot I have with some topsoil. Do you think this thing will live? All I know about it is that it's supposed to have orange blooms?

Also, how much room does a worm need? As I was raking up leaves yesterday, I found several of those little guys squirming around under the wet leaves. So I thought, "Maybe one or two will help my little plant-thingy". So, I have two living in my herb pot now. Do you think they'll be okay? Okay, I think that'll do it for this post. I hope everyone had a beautiful Saturday, and may you all have a blessed Sunday!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolutions for 2009


Okay, I know it’s practically a given that people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions. However, I have Christ on my side, and we all know how things go when He gets involved *wink*

So, I will share them here, as they come to me, and with the Grace of God, I will achieve my goals and hopefully God will glorified through it.

~ Get my weight back down. I won’t lie; there is a superficial layer to this. I want to be as attractive physically as I was 2 years ago. I want to be visually pleasing to my husband so that he can really enjoy the wife of his youth, not just be dazzled by my charming wit and beautiful spirit (just a bit a sarcasm there *wink*) But also, I know I am not as healthy as I can and have been. My lax attitude toward what I put into this temple and gluttony has not been a wise one and it’s rearing its ugly head in more ways than one. But this time I aim to get back into a healthy lifestyle for the right reasons and in the right ways. Not to turn heads.

~ To be a woman of Proverbs 31
That I may be a woman my husband’s heart safely trusts in. That I may do him good and not evil. That I may rise early with a heart and mind set to taking care of what God entrusts me with and what my husband needs of me, in all aspects of life. That when I speak, my words will reflect a heart that God has made wise, and that my heart will reflect a spirit of gentleness and not vain or hasty words. That I may allow God to make me a wife worthy of praise.

~ Finish my online classes, and soon. My husband wishes this of me most. I hope I can keep my nose to the grindstone and make him proud.

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13


Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful for so many things in my life, so many experiences He's brought me out of and so many things that He continues to deliver me from...His grace is so amazing and sufficient, it baffles my simple mind sometimes. But just a few things that come to mind this evening...

~ I am thankful for family.
Even if they can be dysfunctional at times and just as imperfect as I am,
God saw fit to bless me with them and maybe I can be
a blessing to them as well.

~I am thankful for the newness of each day.
Especially the hope a new year brings. Hopes and dreams that I can
truly be the woman and child God calls me to be,
for my family, for my husband, for my church, and for my community.

~I am thankful that God has promised me Himself when I need Him,
which is every day, every moment. That He has promised me
an eternity to understand Him, to worship Him, to love Him, to adore Him,
and that each day I get to see, in some small way, a little piece of what those promises
hold, of what that eternity might hold.

~I am thankful for the blessings that my sisters-in-Christ are to me,
even though we may never meet this side of Heaven. I am thankful for the
lessons and encouragement they are to me, even when I feel
most awkward and even though I worry about
silly things, like what others may think as they read my heart here.

I really have too many things to list here right now without going on and on and on...like I seem to be so good at. I gotta learn how to make things "short(er) and sweet"! If you'd like to see more thankfulness, you can follow the link: http://www.eph2810.com

Maybe one day I'll figure out how to make the links prettier :)