Thursday, May 29, 2014

What I learned in May 2014

It’s already the end of the month of May.  End of the school year routine.  End of the comfortable, warm spring days.  Even as things come to an end, that also means it’s time for What I’ve learned in the month of May.  Joining in with Emily P. Freeman’s Chatting in the Sky for the monthly link up sharing what I’ve learned this past month.

Here it goes…

1. Humans of New York  Check out this Facebook page if you’d like: The About reads:

Hey there. My name is Brandon and I began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010, shortly after leaving my job in Finance. (OK, I actually got fired.) I started HONY because I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of New York City's inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. Somewhere along the way, I began to interview my subjects in addition to photographing them. And alongside their portraits, I'd include quotes and short stories from their lives.
Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. HONY now has over six million followers on social media, and provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets of New York City

There are some interesting and eclectic people he interviews for sure! 



Ok…that’s my new dream job.  I’m kind of serious. 

2.  There are 83.3 million dogs in the US.  Doggone…that’s a lot of dogs!  I think I heard that random fact on K-LOVE morning show. 

3.  Do you know what a “cousin once or twice removed” means?  I do now.  Our family had the privilege to get away for a weekend to go to my great aunt’s 90th birthday.  She still such a spunky lady.  That night after the party, out on the porch overlooking the lake, my extended family somehow got on the subject of who a cousin removed is.  Not removed from the family but one who is on the family tree.  Thanks to, we found the answer.


So maybe you leaned that like I did!

4.  You won’t get germs if you hold a owl pellet.  Yes, an owl pellet.  And it’s really not all that gross.  I chaperoned my daughter’s class when they went on a field trip to a huge outdoor classroom at Camp Caraway in NC.  It’s a great children's outdoor recreation and nature study program called ACORNS.  They got to do and learn all sorts of things about science through the great outdoors on that pretty spring day.  They even got to ride a zipline!  But the most interesting fact I learned was about all the things you can find in an owl pellet.  The instructor with his dry sense of humor did tell us beforehand that each pellet was sanitized…in an oven.  The kids tore them open and found all sorts of goodies including bones from other animals the owl ate and their fur. Yummy.


5.  I’m learning how to play the waiting game.  I’ll be honest: I don’t like to play the game called “Wait”.  But what if the purpose of the game is to teach you how to be still and while you do, learn to listen so you’ll know when to step into what’s unseen- a step of faith?  I’m still being taught this one because the word “wait” keeps appearing in many things I unintentionally read or hear almost every day.  Today in the car flipping through stations on the radio the song I Will Wait was on …have you ever thought of using those words as a prayer to God?

6.  Speaking of the radio, listening to the radio on the way to some extracurricular event for our children, we learned from John Tesh’s radio show that Granny apples have most nutrients over any other apple.  The Golden apples has the least nutrients.   The next time I went to the grocery story, I got some Granny apples. 

Here’s a recipe I’ve had for a while for the best apple crisp…and I’ve always used Granny’s!

Quick Apple Crisp

You need:  5 Granny apples, 1 package (9oz) yellow cake mix, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 cup butter or margarine (melted) 1/2 cup chopped nut (optional), vanilla ice cream

1.  Preheat the oven to 350*.  Peel, core and slice apples.  Cut apples in half crosswise.  Place apples in deep dish baker.

2.  Combine remaining ingredients, except ice cream.  Mix unti. crumbly.  Sprinkle mixture evenly over apples. 

3.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender.  Serve warm with ice cream. 



Until next time…

Monday, May 26, 2014

It’s going to be cray-zee!

“Though we wake up every morning on a fractured planet and though pieces of our brokenness still flake off every day, we have found in Christ a joy beyond all other joys, and we are prepared by His boundless grace to persevere to the very end....till our faith becomes sight, till we see Him face to face. Till we are completely changed.
God be praised.”~ Matt Chandler

I thank a sister through Christ for posting that quote on her Facebook page and it happening to be on my news feed last week.  I needed to read that.  Still do.

The school year is about to end and now’s when I need the last push of adrenaline for the next two weeks.  It’s going to be CRAY-ZEE!  It needs to be a big push so I can see the finish line.  So I cry out…

God, I want to live the next two weeks with enthusiasm, with joy, with some quietness in between the chaos.  With revelations, with lessons learned, with seeing Your story in the midst of busyness. Daily tell me what You want me to do.  Show me where to see You.

Help me to see where You want me to go.

to see what I need to surrender.

to see what I say “yes” and “no” to. 

to see my next step and direction.

to see my faith manifest

to see names to reach to.

          to see Your glory and goodness.

I want to rest in the thousands of unseen works God is doing around me and through me….today, tomorrow and “till I see You face to face.’


Praying that prayer for not only me, but for you – moms with children in school about to end and also needing that prayer.

In that quote Chandler says, “we have found in Christ a joy beyond all other joys…”  Speaking of joy, here’s my most recent joys I’m counting and thanking God for…


#2056  my rose bushes first blooms and putting them in a vase to enjoy

#2057  the strong fragrance of the red rose

#2058  seeing a bright, blue indigo bunting on our bird feeder.  Haven’t seen one in years

#2059  the text a sister thru Christ sent me giving me Jesus’ Calling reading.

#2060  hearing the sound of baby birds now knowing where they are

#2061  discovering chickadees built a nest in our bird house


#2062  baby birds calling out to their parents

#2063  lunch at Wendy’s with V and new friend C

#2064  Hearing C’s calling deep inside…first time I meet her…skipping the weather and where you’re from.

#2065  the Mother’s Day card my daughter made me

#2066  new wall hang as Mother’s Day gift


#2067  back to the most relaxing place…friends’ lake house

#2068  our friends who always open their lake house door

#2069  the wind chimes on the porch at the lake house

#2070  beautiful, spring, warm day at the lake


#2071  reuniting with family…close and distant.

#2072  Gran laughing on the dock


#2073  celebrating great aunt’s 90th birthday


#2074  joy of watching the joy on faces of nieces and nephew on extreme


#2075  riding extreme with my sis

#2076  a blanket of clouds being pulled back showing stars and the bright moonshining on the lake at 12:30am

#2077  God placing Colossians 2:6-7 (MSG) on my heart at midnight on the deck.

#2078  “My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.”

#2079  in silence hearing the gentle rhythm of geese wings flap overhead


#2080  stopping on the side of the road to take a picture of a field filled with yellow flowers


#2081  the post-in on the screen.  Extraordinary! – open your eyes so you’ll see the way God sees you!  From Andy Stanley study Right in the Eye

#2082  Wednesday morning bible study the past several years

#2083  our fearless and faithful leader

#2084  Seeing other’s realizing their calling and then doing it!

#2085  heart to heart with JV

#2086  a billboard on the side of the road that read “Dream with your eyes open” (I wish I could’ve gotten a picture of that!)

#2087  Random lines from a song you hadn’t heard in years but you know really hear:  Flashdance: What a Feeling:  “Take you passion and make it happen”.

#2088  Sunday afternoon conversation about gifts, childhood, dreams with a new friend CT on the 2nd floor porch as the sun sets

#2089  realizing how untapped your gift is

#2090  son recognized as 8th grade soccer player


#2091  able to volunteer on the field trip to ACORN on a beautiful spring day with daughter’s class




#2092  seeing daughter zipline for the first time

#2093  throwing a baby shower for a neighbor


#2094  thankful for all those who have served in the military for my freedom

#2095  spontaneous double date night for ice cream with friends

#2096  dancing at the pool

#2097  Game night with old and new friends

#2098  laughter while taking pictures of a friend‘s selfie for a blog…and mine too.



#2099  We’re going to have a new nephew and cousin!!!!!!

#2100  My sister and her family bought airplane tickets to go bring home their new 4 year old son in China!!!  Overflowing joy!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

How do you know?

It’s Five Minute Friday – a kind of writing flash mob where bloggers (and anyone else!) all have the same prompt word and write freehand for 5 minutes. It’s been a while since I’ve joined in but it got to the point where I needed to.  Need as an outlet, need for the space, need to breathe.  Just for the enjoyment.  Today’s word is CLOSE.


It’s one of those moments that you don’t get very often.  A time to sit and be still.  Even when there’s so much to do on my list, I have to take these moments to sit and breathe or I might not be an enjoyable person to be around. 

I close my eyes, hear birds so talkative this morning and the breeze of the Holy Spirit blowing through this screen on the back porch. 

There’s so many things in my life right now that I have to do, volunteered to do along with heart and soul dreams I want to do but I guess am having to wait.

Or do I?  How do you know when to wait verses when to take the step of faith onto the water?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring picture counts

Sometimes I just can’t find the perfect words to describe the true beauty of God. Especially in the spring.  So, to count my joys this week, I’m counting my joys with pictures I’ve taken this spring to try to capture the beauty that’s found by slowing down (or stopping), be still, look closely, snap a shot, give thanks, and enjoy the moment. 
I hope you’ll be refreshed as you take this moment to SEE the beauty of the Unseen.
photos and quotes - Page 060
Joys #2056 – #2073
photos and quotes - Page 063
photos and quotes - Page 066
photos and quotes - Page 061
photos and quotes - Page 065
photos and quotes - Page 068
photos and quotes - Page 067

Monday, May 5, 2014

For those who have a crazy-busy life this spring


The plastic eggs in the Easter baskets are empty.  The remains of pastel colored candy wrappers are nestled in the fake grass.  Cars have a yellow blanket of pollen over them.  Spring break is over for schools and the count down until the last day of school are on the boards.  All those confirm that life just shifted into high gear and it’s going to be a little crazy the next month.

Final projects, preparing for end of year tests, dance recitals, ending spring sports games and starting summer practices.  Making summer vacation and summer camp reservations and plans.  End of school year parties to plan, banquets to coordinate, Mother’s Day gifts and Teacher Appreciation week gifts to make and buy along with end of year gifts. 

Sometimes I think this time of year is busier than the month of December before Christmas. 

Embedded in all those responsibilities knots of stress, frustration, aggravation and weariness can form and grow quickly like the tall, fuzzy, dandy lions standing high amongst the blades of grass that also needs to be mowed.


Now don’t get me wrong.  I love the new life of spring.  Looking outside one day and you see a hint of green on the trees and the next thing you know they’re full of beautiful leaves.  Flowers’ colors brilliantly sing out loud along with the birds welcoming in the warmer weather.  There’s so much more enthusiasm in our kids who can finally come out of hibernation and roll in the grass, look for caterpillars, ride their bikes and play tag outside. 

Yes, that’s right.  Enthusiasm! That is what new life is all about!   And maybe that’s why Easter is celebrated in the spring.  New life!  Resurrection!  Claiming victory of making it though another cold and lifeless winter season in our lives.

The other day I was reading  1 Cor. 15:57-58 (NLT)

“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”

Geez, I know I’m going to need this reminder.  I think I need to write that one on a post-it and put it on my bathroom mirror and read it every day especially the next month or so.  Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

When I think about it, I ask myself, “Are all these things I’ve signed up for, been asked to do, (didn’t say “no” to) and really have no choice of the matter worth it?”  

But work enthusiastically because nothing your do for the Lord is useless.

In all things we do, it should be with joy.  In all things we do it should bring God joy.  When we honor God while working, He won’t allow it to be useless.

So, when you’re hosing the pollen off your deck while you sneeze, signing your name on a empty space to volunteer, making plans for the next few months, do it with enthusiasm!  The Spirit can teach you and speak to you though those responsibilities.  He can work through you as you are an example of Jesus to the people you’ll be with during those days ahead. 

That’s what it boils down to…for others to see holy, enthusiastic joy in the midst of all the things you do in your crazy-busy life.

Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.