Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why I Love Taking Pictures

I hold out camera and set it to focus; hoping to capture the greens and blues and sparkling eyes.  Future tenderness in cherished memories, now held in form of digital glory.  I want to stop time, maybe?  Let the fun, smiles, and dancing hearts freeze in one shuttered click. 

My lens seems to find the good in life.  I don't tend to take pictures of temper tantrums, piles of smelly garbage, or loneliness.  What about after the cover darkens the lens and camera is put on dusty shelf?  After pictures are taken, time doesn't ever freeze.  It keeps on going.  Happy times give way to hurt, once again.  There are tears, and fears, and all the ugliness that a life can find on its front stoop.

I always want to prevent chaos and hurt.  I want to paint cheerful smiles on my children's faces.  I want to take hold of their little hearts and make them obedient and joyful.  But life goes on, and I have no control in such things.  When I am hurt, I am tempted to put my life-camera away.  But, I will continue to look for the bountifulness in God's faithfulness...

His creation

His gift of new life

His goodness and love

His grace and mercy

His compassion

His sovereignty... it really comes down to His sovereignty.  Do I truly believe that God is in control of everything?  My mouth says yes, but sometimes my heart begs to stomp my feet.
I know that buckets full of rain will fall.  That there will be days that bring deep heartache; deep hurts.  But I choose to look for the good and beautiful and hopeful, in each new day.  If I don't make this choice, am I truly living? 

Have you been hurt in life?  Don't let it keep you for looking for the beauty of today.  It's a new day!  Capture some new, beautiful memories, today.  Love deeply.  Give freely.  Live.  Look to the horizon ahead!

(Feel free to share this article by posting it on facebook.  If you want to stay up to date with Ordinary Inspirations, visit me here


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Carson Gets A Big Boy Haircut

All I have to say is, those curls better return when his hair grows back!
Carson, you are getting to be such a big boy!  It seems like yesterday I was holding you in the hospital!  

You are a blessing and our Little Miracle!


I Went Running

 That is NOT me.  I tend to avoid the fog effect.  
Actually, I avoid anything that draws attention to myself while running.

I did go for a run this morning though.  When I say run, I really mean jogLike the pace of a fast walk that looks like running.  I'm no runner.  Yet.

My friend put the fear of God into me.  She is back from college and asked if I wanted to run with her.  "Yeah, sure (I'm always up for a challenge)... but I can maybe run a mile without stopping."

Her sister giggled.  "Tell her how much you run."  

"7-8 miles," she humbly mumbled.  

But I gotta tell you, after I got home and recovered from catching my breath and wiping the dripping sweat, I felt amazing!  I did not run 7 miles, but I did run a good mile and a half. (Note to self: don't kiss your husband goodbye at the front door before wiping away the sweat; it will taste like salt to him and he will smile and bluntly say, "Ewww")

I felt:  Strong.  Energized.  Motivated for the day.  I even had grandiose ideas of running a marathon.  Maybe.  Someday.  Like the land of Far Far Away.  I can almost hear Donkey saying, "Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?"

What is it that gives you strength and motivation for your day?  Here are some of mine:

1) Crack open God's Word.  Linger there.  Meditate.  Pray.

2) Bodily exercise.  It doesn't profit as much, but it does profit!  Your mind and your body.

3) Drink enough water.  It flushes out those nasty fat cells and keeps you full longer. Sick of cold water? Why not try heating up some water in the microwave... then squirt some lemon in it.  Sounds weird, but it is surprisingly relaxing and good!

4) Avoid sugar and gluten.  I believe our bodies are ridden with too much gluten!  Did you know that gluten can be linked to depression? 

5) Don't eat late at night.

6) Get enough sleep.  

7) Don't sweat it!  Stress can add years to your life.

8) Get a yearly physical examination and blood work up.  I had, like most busy moms, put this on the back burner for way too long.  Come to find out, I was severely deficient in Vitamin D.  

9) Play with your kids.  If you don't have any, beg for and borrow some.  You actually won't even need to beg.  They will hand them over to you before you even finish your sentence!  They will keep you energized, for sure!  

Find out 17 ways to stay on track with your fitness goals here.  Wanna lose 10 lbs?  Check out my simple tips here.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

When Something Is Missing From Life

Thump thump echos as pavement meets feet.  A chorus of chirping circles above me.  It's my best time to pray.  To think.  To be alone.  

As I went for my early morning walk today (with an occasional, short-lived burst of run), I was reminded of something.

I look around at all the stuff.  I see houses with toys; the adult kind.  Boats, campers, jet skis, pools, and I wonder; are they happy?  

Stuff doesn't make me happy.  I can have stuff and still love Jesus, but the stuff doesn't make me love Him more.  

When I feel like something is missing from my life, when I crave more... it is always more of Jesus.  A time of quiet with Red Letter Scripture open in hand.  It's about reading the Living.  Making time to glean from the Eternal, not the fleeting temporal.

Are you missing something in your life today?  It just might be some quality alone time with you and your bible.  He misses you.  He loves you deeply.

 "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever." Isaiah 40:8

I realized something after looking around at all the stuff... looking UP is far more beautiful!

(Feel free to share this article by posting it on facebook.  If you want to stay up to date with Ordinary Inspirations, visit me here)  


Saturday, June 26, 2010

And We Have A Winner... 10 Of Them!

 Time to unwrap your gifts!
Monday I posted a HUGE Giveaway to celebrate my 1 year blogging anniversary.  There were 96 comments entered for this giveaway. chose 10 winners!

#1)  Comment 93 (Missy) wins the Vintage Pearl G.C
#2)  Comment 3 (Alisha) wins the Lisa Leonard G.C
#3)  Comment 77 (Christy) wins the October Belle G.C
#4)  Comment 87 (Soulsforchrist17) wins the Marie Madeline apron
#5)  Comment 8 (Melanie) wins the List PlanIt membership
#6)  Comment 6 (Homemakerhoney) wins the GUSSY G.C
#7)  Comment 72 (Julia) wins the pink beanie w/ white flower
#8)  Comment 13 (Leslic) wins one set of the Red Letter Words cards
#9)  Comment 65 (Heather) wins one set of the Red Letter Words cards
#10) Comment 1 (Sheri) wins Angie's book, I Will Carry Your

Please contact me by email:  curly2880(at)yahoo(dot)com and let me know what you won.  I will forward your contact information to the proper sponsor to get you your prize!  Thanks for playing and celebrating with me!

Don't forget to check out Strawberry Heaven!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Strawberry Heaven

Some treats we enjoyed after toiling in sun-kissed fields of Strawberry Heaven (recipes @ end):

It was a girl's day, Mommy and Daughter style:

 She ate more than she picked . . . 
but can you blame her?

In life, there will always be a few set backs (like having the handle to your strawberry box break and spill all your hard work onto the dirty ground), but as I told Riley "we just have to pick them back up and keep moving on."  

We did, and made these goodies-

Strawberry Ice Cream Pie (special thanks to my sister):

1 3 oz pkg Jell-O brand Strawberry jello
1 1/4 cup water
2 cups strawberry or vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 baked pie shell (I especially LOVE graham cracker pie crust, found in your local bakery isle- easy and DELISH!) 

Dissolve jello in boiling water.  Gradually add ice cream, stirring till melted.  Chill until thickened, but not set (about 15-20 min).  Fold in strawberries (no juice) and pour into pastry shell.  Chill till firm and garnish with whipped cream.

Strawberry Muffins (special thanks to Sarah Mae, from Like A Warm Cup of Coffee):

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease muffin tin.  

Sift:  2 C flour

2/3 C supar
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Cut in: 1/3 C soft butter

Stir in: zest from 1 lemon

Mix together: 3/4 C milk

1 t. vanilla
1 egg (slightly beaten)

Chop: 1 C strawberries

Combine: dry and wet ingredients until just mixed.  Fold in strawberries.

Bake:  15-18 min. @ 400 degrees.  Let sit 5 minutes to cool before turning onto rack.