Monday, August 31, 2009

The Things I Would Miss

If "They" Were Taken Away

"Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give me one thing more, a grateful heart:
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
as if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise!"
--George Herbert


Messy bibs tossed over a highchair,

Crumbs on the dining room table after it has been freshly wiped,

Tiny clothes folded on a little girl's dresser,

Stuffed animals piled high in a closet,

Dirty diapers,

Toys spilled over in a bathtub,

Hearts, ABC's, and rainbows written all over a
sidewalk and driveway,

Walking hand-in-hand into church as a family,

A smiley boy bouncing higher than Tigger in
his jumparoo,

My husband's dirty boots left on a clean floor,

Wadded up toilet paper 'decorating' a bathroom floor,

Wilting, yellow grass where a kiddy pool once was,

Little arms wrapped tightly around my neck,

Being woken up out of a dead sleep by a little girl who
had a bad dream,

Watching my daughter build a tower out of Legos
with her Daddy,

Having someone to share a warm bed with; that
truly adores me with his whole heart,

A Husband that loves sports,

Being able to give my children a bath; and
watch them splash all over,

Family time in the evening; grilling, laughing,
and eating together around a table,

Toy bins to organize and re-organize,

Play Dough glued to the table,

Crayon on the wall,

Butterfly - catchers and a swing set,


It won't be your job,
or even your ministry
that will flash through your mind at
your God-appointed time of death,

It will be those under your own roof!

Counting the Blessings of Family
today over at Ann's Blog.

My COUNTDOWN of 1,000 Gifts
with the Gratitude Community:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Some of my favorite recipes

1 lb Pork Sausage
8 eggs
10 slices of bread (I always use the fluffy, potato bread)
3 cups of Milk
2 cups of Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I always flop in a LOT little more cheese)
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp Dry Mustard
2 tbsp Flour
2 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Salt
***Brown sausage and drain. Beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon into greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover. Refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered @ 350 F for 60-70 minutes until set.
#2 Yummo Onion Dip
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 cup mayo/miracle whip
small onion chopped
3 tsp beef bullion powder mixed well with a small amount of HOT water

***Blend all in your favorite blender until whipped***
#3 Slumber Party Pizza
1 prebaked pizza shell (or if you are a crazy woman Betty Crocker, you can make your own!
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1-2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1-2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

***Place crust on 14" pizza pan. Combine chicken and barbecue sauce; (if you have time, let the chicken sit and marinade in your fridge for a couple hours)

Spread over crust. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake @ 450 for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.***



#4 EASY~Scrumptious Cheese Ball2 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1- 1 ounce package of ranch dressing mix (dry packet)
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I like to use flat almond pieces)

***Mix together first 3 ingredients WELL; form into cheese ball; then roll into the chopped nuts; serve your FOAMING AT THE MOUTH eager guests***


#5 QUICK, EASY, Garlic Shrimp & Pasta Dish!
8 oz Fettuccine or linguine, uncooked
2 cups broccoli florets
1 lb cleaned, medium shrimp, cooked (I use a larger bag of small)
1/2 cup prepared GOOD SEASONS Garlic and Herb Dressing Mix
1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Parmesan Cheese

***Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the cooking water for the last 2 minutes of the pasta cooking time; drain. PLACE pasta mixture in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly. SERVE hot. Or, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve***

#6 Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

1 Yellow Cake Mix
2 1/2 Cups quick oats
1 1/2 sticks REAL BUTTER (it works the best) melted
1 cup (I use 12 oz jar) Raspberry Jam/Jelly (or favorite flavor)
1 Tbsp Water

***Combine dry cake mix, oats, and melted butter and mix until crumbly. Press half of the mixture onto the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Combine jam and water; mix until smooth. Spread over crumb mixture already in pan. Then sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over jam filling and bake @ 350 for 18-23 minutes. Let cool, and then cut into squares.... TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS!!***


#7 Cranberry Pot Roast!!! I give it 10 + Stars1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (3 lb) beef chuck roast
1 (16 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
2 TBSP melted butter
2 TBSP Flour

***PLACE onion soup mix in the bottom of a slow cooker; THEN place the roast in the slow cooker, and top with the jellied cranberry sauce. COVER, and let cook 8 hours on LOW. REMOVE roast, and set aside. Whisk together butter and flour, and slowly mix into the liquid remaining in the slow cooker to create a yummy gravy! Serve with roast***

My friend that gave me this recipes says, "this roast is good with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans and yummy yeast rolls. Sparkling Apple Cider is a nice touch for a "romantic dinner for 2!"


Friday, August 28, 2009

Does What You Wear Encourage Men To Stumble?

Matthew 5:28
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust

after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

I have to be careful not to use this blog as a Soapbox; or wait,

is that what a blog is?

I have a big problem with immodesty. Not the kind that makes me judge, but the kind that makes my Spirit cringe.

I understand the world feeling the need to dress the way they want, wear that flirtatious mini skirt, showoff that cleavage, but Christian Women?

Is Modesty a thing of the past?

It makes my soul do summer salts.; I get uncomfortable. Things run through my mind:

There are grown men in this room,

The only man you should try to impress is your OWN husband,
in the privacy of your own home,

Do you know we are at church?

I feel like running over to them, and tucking a napkin into the top of their shirt (kind of joking, but not really).

How do I say something without sounding like I'm judging? Or should I really be concerned about that part of it?

What are your thoughts? Do you have a similar situation?

Check out my "Modest Clothing Links" in the sidebar to the right ----->

Click Below For A Modesty Checklist
(Remember that this is just a checklist, and the ultimate check is between you and the Lord)

Jocelyn says,
Your shirts should be tight enough to show
you’re a woman, but loose enough to show you’re a lady.

modesty checklist

Some Other Posts About Modesty:

Amy, @ They Call Me Mommy (Interviewed her Husband)

Sarah Mae @ Like A Warm Cup of Coffee (Closet Clean out)

Proverbs 7 (The Whole Chapter)

Romans 14:13
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
Isaiah 5:21
Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
Job 31:1
I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
Proverbs 11:22
As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Raising A Thankful Child

My parents made me ride with them. Like getting up for church wasn't hard enough for a young, pre-teen girl, I had to get up 2 hours earlier!

It was our church's bus ministry. We went down into the heart of Rochester; some might say the very core; the innermost part. The places that people avoided going to at all costs.

I hated it. I sat there, arms crossed in front of me, glancing out the window with a searing look that could cut through steel. I needed to let everyone know where I stood; and that I did!

These kids don't even care, I argued with myself.

Look how "unappreciative" they are;

how misbehaved they are being...

It wasn't a quick change. I wore that proud, smug look for what seemed like months.



These children began to capture my soul like nothing I'd ever experienced before. I began to go on visitation with my parents and youth leaders every Saturday morning.

I saw where they lived; and heard the gunshots in their backyard.

I saw how little they had; bare mattresses strewn across the floor. Maybe a gallon of milk left in the fridge.

I saw how much they desperately just wanted to be loved with a true, unconditional love.

I began to love them; talk with them; listen to them; no matter what. When they would be rude and crude, I continued to love them. I stood my ground, this time with a purposeful heart of compassion.
A miraculous thing occurred!

They began to melt like a pool of mush! Their hard exteriors began to shrivel open, inviting me in with open arms. They saw the love of Christ being lived out, through me, a sinner saved by grace.
I was being changed; reshaped; made new because of "them", but more importantly, because of HIS WORK, in me.

So won't you teach your little ones, to have a compassionate heart? Teach them to love the "unlovely", the hurting, the lonely; for this is TRUE RELIGION!

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this,

To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

James 1:27

But we don't have a rundown old school bus to send them on, you say?

Get them involved in service; something bigger than themselves. Teach them that life isn't all about them. Have them experience what Christ came to do.

Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."

If you do that,
If they listen and obey the Spirit's leading,

They will be changed!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What excites you?

What excites you?

You know, the things that make
you rush into church to tell anyone who will listen to your
muttered, panting speech,
ramble on and on about that new recipe, weight-loss secret,
that cool thing that your baby did, that no one TRULY gets excited about,
(at least as much as YOU are)!

When you can hardly wait for your friend to finish their thought,
while your OWN, more important thoughts, swirl around in your head to share...

The things that have always ignited a fire of passion within me
are accomplishments.

Visual accomplishments;
a clean house,
things in order,
a to-do list checked off,
a winning score on the softball field,
seeing numbers drop on a scale,

a great, new post.... hehum....

a happy, well-behaved child in the grocery store,
(that's right, she belongs to me),

a fun, new project completed,

Freshly-washed dishes stacked high
(sometimes I even leave them drying, just a little longer,
because it makes me "feel good" to see such a beautiful sight),

fresh towels, folded neatly on a dresser,
a nice pat-on-the-back for a job well done. . .

But to sit, stop, and pray...

In the quiet,
behind closed doors,
out of my praise-worthy friend's view,
when nobody sees,
when it won't be 'talked about'
at the next "get - together"

Is that why I don't stop more often
to talk with my Lord?

My Lord, who gave everything for me ...
His Love
His Blood
His Sweat
His Tears

His Prayers for ME, and for YOU!

If that is the case,
I am more selfish,
more spotted,
more proud,

than I thought.

I make an idol out of 'self',
and must think my accomplishments,
than spending time with Him!

Sandra said,
Silence is not prayer. Silence is disobedience, faithlessness, arrogance, and ignorance. And I refuse to live there anymore.

No Traci, you are a good person, don't beat yourself up... no one is perfect...
you might say?

But we are ALL hopelessly flawed! I am hopelessly flawed...

We are selfish,
we want what we want,
and we wanted it yesterday for goodness sake!

May I stop making an idol out of my wants,
and seek His heart and desires for me!

Seek those things that are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of the Father.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:1-2

What are you setting your affection on?

Let's get excited about Prayer, about seeking His Heart...

Won't you set your AFFECTION on Him today?

holy experience

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

You call it Chalk?

You call it chalk?

I call it Girly War Paint!

Having fun on a glorious, Summer day. . . dry warm heat, and a gentle cool breeze!

"This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

Psalm 118:24

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Life-Giving Spring

I'm choosing to be a life-giving spring!

"Thankful people are refreshing, life-giving springs, while unthankful people pull others down with them into the stagnant pools of their selfish, demanding, miserable ways."
~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Continuing my COUNTDOWN of 1,000 Gifts with the Gratitude Community:

#22 ~ #49

For a Heavenly Father who bids me come ; come to His throne.
Not a hard, uninviting throne; but a big, soft, cushy one!

Our children laughing.

A Husband who loves to splash and play in the lake with his daughter.

Grass-stained shirts; because it meant watching my daughter
have fun whipping down her slippery slide, belly first.

The smell of my baby's warm breath as I nuzzle my nose against his cheek.

Fresh, brewing coffee; the 'Dunkin' kind.

Smooching babies' feet;
over and over.

A child's dancing eyes,
filled to the brim with innocent hopes and dreams.

Chopped wood, piled high against the house;
remembering the strong arms, and sweaty brow it took to prepare it.

Catching a glimpse of a tender moment between my son and his Grandpa.

Freshly cut grass and the lingering sound of lawn mowers
on a lazy, Saturday morning.

Seeing things 'anew' through our children's eyes...
being excited about the simple things;
airplanes flying overhead and baby birdies pecking at the ground.

Being able to appreciate the sound of silence,
now that I am a Mom.

A timely breeze on a thick,humid day.

The strong, dirty hands my husband brings home;
because it meant he worked hard to provide for our family.

Re-visiting special memories,
evoked by a familiar fragrance.

The simple joy of sharing a meal together
as a family around the dining room table.

Our family of 4, holding hands together
to pray at a restaurant;
and not being ashamed.

My little man falling asleep, sitting up.

Being able to get rid of clothes because they are 'too big'.

Morning sunlight streaming through window panes.

Breathing in the glorious smell of freshly washed clothes;
holding that warm towel against my cheek for some extra coziness.

A nice hot shower raining over my weary head;
looking up with eyes squinted shut,
letting the water wash the tiredness from my eyes.

A lavender sachet.

A song that, seemingly, is meant just for me
at just the right moment,
to lift my spirits.

Looking over old letters and cards;
remembering, pondering,
eyes welling up with thankful tears.

An infant with an ear infection;
not grateful for the sickness,
but the extra cuddle time rocking my little boy to sleep.

As I rock him, I see my reflection fade in his dark pupils,
as he loses the fight to keep them open,
his body becomes limp and heavy.
Ever so often I get another gift~
a little smile peaking up at me behind his suckling Nuk.

holy experience

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Need a Sunday Laugh?


“Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life.”
Author Unknown

Proverbs 17:22
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Let Your Heart Be Sprinkled And Your Body Washed

By the weekend, do you ever feel like this?

Completely 'spent' . . .

I encourage you to feast long and late on the richest of bounty!

By Ann Voskamp

May God give you of the dew of heaven,
and of the fatness of the earth,
and an abundance of grain and new wine."
Genesis 27:28

May all your weekend wanderings, kind friends, drink thirstily of dew of heaven,
and may you get wildly soul-fat on the God-land,
and may you feast long and late on the richest of bounty,
The Lamb, The Vine, The Bread,
The Christ...

I encourage you to get 'plugged-in' at your own local church this weekend.
Serve one another in love, and feast long on the bread of life!

Hebrews 10:22,24&25

Let us
draw near
with a True Heart in Full Assurance of faith,
Sprinkled from an evil conscience,
and our bodies washed with pure water...

Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works...

Not forsaking
the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another;
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Lost "5" on the first week of Friday's Five!

So, my first week after starting "Friday's Five"

I LOST 5 lbs!

Very fitting don't you think?

(please hold your applause. . .

well, at least until I lose all the weight ~ hehe)

If you don't know what Friday's Five is, please click link below:

5 Things That Worked:
  1. Trying my best not to eat after 7 PM. If I did, I 'treated' myself to a sugar-free jello.
  2. I drank a lot more water.
  3. I ate a larger breakfast/lunch, and a smaller dinner.
  4. I tried not to eat very many "carb-filled" foods. No bread ( just low carb wrap), lots of fruits and veggies, and lean meat.
  5. I joined a small support group of other woman to stay accountable.

5 Motivational Reminders:
(Given to me by a friend ~ Thanks Edie!)
  1. Each pound you loose is equal to 4 sticks of butter and every ten pounds lost, like dropping a bowling ball.
  2. Park the furthest away when going shopping, make extra trips wherever you can while doing house work (try not to carry everything at once just because you don't feel like making extra trips.
  3. Drink 64oz or more of water per day.
  4. Try not to eat past 8:00PM.
  5. Get some good sleep.

Come on, you know you want to join in on the fun!

Create your very own weight loss toolbar
and watch the fat melt away from you!

Try this website ladies: Fit Today

It's a free online journal and calorie counter. It helps you construct a plan for you personally, and has thousands of foods and calorie/nutritional breakdowns in its database. (Thanks Leslie)!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Scavenging For God's Creation

Take your child on a scavenger hunt today...

Ask them to pick something that God created that is white...

and yellow (minus the bee)

... purple...

Orange and Brown . . .

Have them collect their 'findings' in a bag . . .

So sorry, it must fit in the bag . . .
(so we broke off a piece)

Lay out all the wonderful things you found together.
Talk about how God created each item with such intricate care.

Have them tape or glue stick the items onto a piece of construction paper. . .

Post it on the refrigerator as a reminder of all that God created!

Happy Scavenging to
you and your little ones!