Welcome to my blog! To get an idea of what this blog is about you might want to read the "About Me and My Family" page as a starting point. You can browse through the archives or head over to the "Articles" page to read on specific topics I've written on over the years. Keep checking back because I'll be posting new articals from time to time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Sound of Christmas

Have you ever wished you could find a Christmas CD that didn’t sing only of Santa Clause and Rudolf? A CD that glorifies God and his sons’ birth? The Rochester’s CD called Heaven’s Gift is just what my family has been looking for the past year or two. It includes Away in the Manger, The Greatest Christmas Tree, The First Noel, What Child is This and more. It is filled with great songs to put you in the Christmas spirit and get your mind on the true meaning of this fun holiday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Do you consider yourself impatient? Most Americans are impatient. Just consider how many drivers speed, simply because they want to be where they are supposed to be . . . right now! No one wants to wait 30-45 minutes on supper anymore. Most people put their food in the microwave and are eating 10 minutes later. Everyone wants instant gratification.

I’m usually not very impatient, but I do have my moments. Especially now that I am working again. After working all morning and doing my school in the afternoon, I feel like I hardly have time to do anything else.

Today when I got home, I turned on my computer to see if my teacher had e-mailed me back. Every day when I turn my computer on, a system starts scanning my computer for any unwanted bugs or such. As soon as it started I pressed the pause button. I don’t have time for that right now. While I could still hear the computer “grinding” trying to get everything going, I clicked on my outbox not wanting to wait 2 minutes. After a few seconds a message came up that said, “Program is not responding. The program might respond if you wait.” I’m not joking! That’s exactly what it said! I couldn’t help but chuckle. My own computer was telling me to wait and be patient! Maybe I should listen . . .

Monday, November 26, 2007

Home Comforts

Comfort is . . .

  • Being home with my family,

  • Taking a stroll when the weather is pleasant,

  • Reading a good book beside the fire place,

  • Listening to classical music while a scented candle burns,

  • Eating supper with the whole family,

  • Drinking an early morning cup of freshly brewed coffee,

  • Smelling cookies as they bake in the oven (and then eating them),

  • Having a long conversation with my mom,

  • Watching our animals do the silly things God created them to do,

  • And feeling loved by everyone around you.

    Okay, now I need to apply some kind of meaning to this that everyone can benefit from. The message is this: Home should be a comfortable place to live in. It should be a refuge from this wicked, rat race of a world. It should be a place where we can be at ease and feel free of all our distress. Even if you do not run your home, you can add to its happiness by helping everything run smoothly, doing kind things for your parents or siblings, and by being considerate of everyone in your household. May we all try to make our home as stress free as possible.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Enjoying the Holidays!

Today we made pies for Thanksgiving! It is something we look forward to every year. We made two pumpkins, one fudge, one chocolate chip, and a lemon. The first time I made the lemon pie I messed up pretty big! I burnt the filling, and forgot to pre-bake the crust. I had to do everything over again! I think that is a good reason for me to start cooking a little more!We also made Grandma's home made stuffing, fresh squeezed orange juice, a 40 foot string of popcorn for our Christmas tree, and apple sauce. (We got the idea for the apple sauce from Lindsey.)

It was definitely a fun day in the kitchen! I thought I'd post a few pictures tonight since I won't be on here for a few days.

This is the first year we put popcorn strings on our tree.
I think it looks so pretty!

My sister Bethany made the apple sauce.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Working Towards Love

Every morning I have been reading through Psalms along with another book of the Bible. This morning I came to Psalms 119. I’ve read it before, but this morning I saw it in a different light. I was struck at how much this man loved the Lord through the way he declared his obedience to God throughout the whole chapter. “With my whole heart I have sought thee,” “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” “I will run the way of thy commandments,” “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.” ” I forsook not thy precepts.” “Teach me the, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.” This man sought God with diligence!

Obeying God is not always the easiest thing to do. Our flesh wants to do what pleases us, and it is hard not to give in. We say we love God, but we don’t obey his every command. We say we love Him more than anyone else in the world, yet we don’t meditate on him “all the day.” The reason we are not as close to God as this man in Psalms, is because a close relationship with God requires hard work. It requires us to give up our own desires and do as God directs. It means doing things we don’t want to do. We have to diligently seek him, and no one wants to do anything that asks us to work hard.

To have a love for God that is strong and faithful, we have to be determined that we are not going to quit. We may fall, but we have to get up again! Even this man fell in his stride toward God. (“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.”) Proverbs 24:17 says, “For a just man falleth seven times and riseth up again.”

It is hard to obey God’s every command and resist the flesh, but the rewards are abundant. When we read this chapter it is clear to see that this man’s life is filled with joy. Joy that only God can give to those who love him! It is worth it! All the hard work, all the times we have to do things we would rather not do, all the times we have to make ourselves obey God in the toughest situations . . . it’s all worth it! Nothing can be more satisfying then having a close relationship with God. Go for it! For “thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.”

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In the Pages of a Journal

As you have probably already guessed, I love to write! There is just something amazing to me about putting my thoughts on paper for me or someone else to read. From the time I was little I liked to write in school and mama encouraged me greatly. I believe she is the one who helped me become an avid writer by telling me and others that I wrote well. If she had not of said anything, I may of never discovered the joy of writing.

When I was 11 I started my first diary. Mama had made me a pretty bound book with bee material on it with paper covered with daisies on the inside. I was so excited to start a real diary so I waited till January 1 to write my first entry. I wanted it to be a special day. Since then I have completed 11 journals detailing my life and hope to finish many more.

In the pages of a journal you can find stories of God’s love, victory over trials, fun times with family, holiday traditions, and many fond memories. Journals are a great way to see how you have matured and grown in the Lord. Numerous times I have skimmed through my diaries when I was board, and saw that I had slacked in my service to God or didn’t praise him as much as I use to. I was saddened when I read of the wonderful fellowship I had with God, and remembered that it had been a while since I had gotten such joy from being with my savior. My journals have proven to be good wake up calls or instruments to set my focus aright.

Another benefit is evident when I am upset, angry, or sad. By writing my feelings down on paper I am relieved of some of my stress and am able to think with a clearer mind. There is just something helpful about seeing the facts on paper that seem to bring me to reality. I suppose it is because I have to slow down and really think about what I am going to write, so I have time to see things like they really are. Journaling is great therapy!

And of course there’s always the thought that someday I will be able to let my daughters read the account of my life and tell her, “You see, I was once a girl just like you and I had the same feelings and emotions.” It will be so much fun being able to laugh with my daughters at the silly things I did or thought. I may also need to go through them time and time again to remind myself of how teenagers think so that I will know how to deal with my children!

To me, journals seem like a good thing all the way around. They are not just for little girls who want to write about their crushes, but for people of all ages who want to see where they are going in life, where they have come from, and be able to look back and see God’s goodness recorded . . . in the pages of a journal.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cluttered Areas

Right now as I sit at my computer to type this post I am reminded of how much I need to clean my desk. There is a stack of untidy papers that need to be put away, bobby pins and hair clips that belong on my dresser, a newspaper that I don't even read, a school book that I haven't used in two days, and pens scattered everywhere even though I have a jar just for storing my pins in. I'm surprised that I can find anything on my cluttered desk!

The rest of my room, however, generally stays clean. My bed is always made, my clothes put away, and everything is where it should be. I just have a little trouble keeping my desk organized. Isn't that how our life is sometimes? We stay right on top of some areas such as reading our Bible, praying, being kind to others, and supporting missionaries. But when it comes to gossipping and witnessing to our co-workers we kind of shy away and try to forget about it. Just like I try to forget about my cluttered desk.

Of course, your cluttered areas may not be gossipping or witnessing; we all have different "weak spots." But I'm sure there is something in your life that you are hesitant about cleaning. So for today, I'll leave the blog post short and simple. Instead of spending my time on writing I believe I will start cleaning my desk . . . and other areas. Maybe you should do the same!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Lies Within My Hope Chest

Here's a poem I wrote in 2006. Enjoy!

In my bedroom you will find,
A Hope Chest made of wood,
Within I place house hold trinkets, nick-knacks,
And living room furniture if I could.

This chest is not just filled,
With pots, and pictures of kitchen themes,
But with many hopes, great desires,
And cherished life long dreams.

Hopes of a beautiful, cozy home,
Where all feel welcome and warm,
Where my family that I will love so much,
Will be safe from the storm.

My desire is that one day I’ll,
Be blessed with a husband of my own,
With whom I’ll share my joys and sorrows,
And not be left alone.

I dream of having many children,
Who’ll fill our house with noise,
A joyful place where girls can be girls,
And boys can just be boys.

But as for now I’m truly not, yet,
The wife and mother I long to be,
No home or family of my own,
As you can clearly see.

So to my Hope Chest I’ll faithfully go,
With table cloths and home decor,
And fill it with such earthly things,
Till it can hold no more.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

As in the Days of Noah

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37-39

This is an interesting verse. Usually when I think of the time before the flood I think of violence, hatred and unholy marriage, but never as “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” What’s so wrong about that? If we don’t eat and drink we will die and if we don’t get married and have children the population would quickly go down! So why does Jesus bring these two things up?

Eating and Drinking. There is nothing wrong with eating. What is wrong is living to eat. Think about it. Have you ever seen a generation so consumed with food? Every time you turn on the TV you see advertisement of restaurants, grocery stores, and cooking shows. Fun and food seem to go hand in hand now. Every social event is bound to have refreshments and if there are none, some would see no purpose in going.

Food is so easily accessible in this day and age! There are countless stores and restaurants in town where you can buy something and be eating a second later. I really doubt people use to eat so much in days of old because it took time to prepare the food. If they wanted to bake a cake they had to grind and sift the wheat. Then they had to heat the wood burning stove which would use up their wood supply pretty quickly if they baked extra food a lot. I’m sure cleaning up wasn’t so easy either. They didn’t have paper plates or dishwashers so all the plates and bowls had to be cleaned by hand. (Don’t forget that most families back then were usually large. They had more than just four plates to clean up.) Do you think they had time for this? There were probably more important jobs that kept them so busy they didn’t have time to bake or cook extra goodies whenever they wanted. This world lives for food.

Marrying and giving in marriage. The desire to get married is natural, placed there by God. It is not wrong to get married, but it is when our life goal is to be a wife or husband. Marriage isn’t taken seriously any more by most people. All they know is that they want it. Couples are getting married (or sinfully “shacking up”) right and left without giving it much thought. It is so awful when young adults get so eager to get married that they leap at the first opportunity they get instead of waiting for God’s timing.

What Jesus was saying in Matt. 24.37-39 is that in the time before the return of the Lord we will be so wrapped up in our lives (particularly eating and marrying)that we will not even be thinking about Christ and his return. We have made these two things more important than serving God. It reminds me of 2 Timothy 2:4. “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” This verse is not telling us to have no life. It is saying that we shouldn’t get so tangled up in the affairs of this world that we choose our friends or materialistic things over serving God.

I wish I could say this verse is only referring to the lost world, but I’m afraid even Christians have become entangled with our own life and have forgot that our focus should be on Christ. Maybe we should evaluate our life and see where our priorities lie.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Life is full of seasons. Things constantly change, whether it’s a new job, a new church, new friends, or a change in the way we do things. I’ve learned that some good things only last for a short while. It makes me wonder, do we enjoy every season of our life as much as we possibly can? Or do we instead, dream of what we want in the future, or long for the past?

God sends these changes for a reason. I believe we should live our best in the season we are in and soak up every moment. If we are constantly longing for and reliving memories of the past or dreaming about our future, we will miss the present blessings. Yes, it is good to relive fond memories and dream a little, but there is a certain point where it needs to stop. If we are constantly wishing we were back at our old church, it may prevent us from being blessed at where God has us now. Or if all we do is long to be married to the man of our dream, we may not see what God wants us to do while we are single.

J. O. Fraser put it all into perspective very well. “Have we any right to be so dissatisfied with our present condition, which God has ordained for us, that we should hanker after something in the future? I can hardly see that we have.” When you think of it as God ordained then it does seem wrong to wish for something better. Even though it is so hard sometimes not to let your mind wander, it can be done. Maybe it would be easier if we all keep Paul as our example. He said in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” That should be our goal.

How the Cross Became Commonplace

The Cross.

How do those words make you feel? Do they make you cringe at the remembrance of what Christ went through for you, or do those words seem commonplace . . . to no affect? If you are a Christian, bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, they should greatly affect you. They should make you feel grateful for the GREAT sacrifice Jesus paid so that you could go to heaven and be saved from the torture of hells’ everlasting fire.

Christ paid the Ultimate Sacrifice. He was beaten until he was unrecognizable, whipped severely, speared in the side, had thorns drove into his head, mocked, and nailed to the cross to die . . . just for us! Because of the cross we are able to talk to Jesus any time we want without going having to go through a priest. Because of the cross we do not have to sacrifice animals as atonement for our sins. The cross has changed our life forever. Never has there ever been such a great sacrifice made for us.

So why is the cross so commonplace? Why does it not bring tears to our eyes every time we hear the words? The cross is no longer treated as something sacred or holy. I’ve seen women dressed in very immodest clothes, showing their bosom, yet they hang a cross around their neck. To them it is just a symbol. I think that is very disrespectful. In no way am I trying to imply that we should worship the cross, but I do believe that we should respect it. The death of Christ is no little matter and we shouldn't treat it as such. If that is so, why are Christians not moved when they hear about Jesus’ crucifixion?

People don’t want to face the gruesome facts. The crucifixion is not a pretty picture. It is not easy to hear the account of his death, even for me. It is bloody, painful, and unpleasant. The picture you see on this post does not show just how bloody he was. When I hear all that he went through I feel deeply ashamed. Ashamed for not thanking him enough and for not doing everything he asks of me. The cross makes people see their selfishness. None of that is fun. Everyone would rather hear the stories of the great miracles he performed or the story of victory in the time of Moses. So we put aside the greatest story in the Bible.

It is not talked about any more. The cross is not preached near as much as it should be. Preachers may mention it in their messages, but how often do they preach solely on Jesus’ crucifixion? Sadly, I can count the times I remember hearing sermons that dealt with the gruesome details of his death on one hand. (I know I have heard more since I was raised in church all my life, but I only remember the ones preached within the last few years.) I can’t begin to count the sermons I’ve heard on prayer and grace. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” It must be important if Paul said that he didn’t care to deal with anything but Christ’s crucifixion!

But we can’t just point our finger at the preachers. We are just as guilty. How often do we talk of what Jesus did for us? I think most of us aren’t even as thankful as we should be. The least we can do is meditate and give thanks for his great sacrifice. By keeping it on our mind we will be more apt to bring it into our conversations.

The message is this. There is nothing commonplace about the cross. When Christians don’t take time to consider this life saving truth, we have lost our focus. It should always be on our mind. If my brother or dad were to die such a horrible death I don’t think I could ever treat the matter as something of little importance.

Jesus gave his all for us! When was the last time we genuinely thanked him?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What I Have Been Reading

Ugh! Have my fingers ever typed so slow and sporadic? I need a break from my keyboarding class and I wasn’t getting anywhere anyway. So I thought I would post a paragraph or two.

Recently I’ve been reading 15 Minute Home and Family Organizer by Emilie Barnes. It is a good book to help anyone get started at becoming organized. Here are a few quotes:

“I label the meaning of a goal as a dream with a deadline.”

There are two very important parts to goal-setting. Goals must include: A statement of quality (how much) and A date to complete (deadline).”

“Every request that comes your way doesn’t have to be answered YES. It’s okay to say NO. You need to control your schedule and not let others plan it for you.”

She also wrote a book called The 15 Minute Meal Planner. That book is next on my list to read!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wisdom From Mama

"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:26

This morning mama and I talked for a while on the back porch. She told me about things God has shown her through church, books she's been reading, and people she has come in contact with. I let her do most of the talking because I know she is a lot wiser than me and I would benefit more from listening. What she was saying wasn't exactly easy to hear. At times I caught myself wanting to take ooffence and defend the way I believed or what I was doing, but I didn't let it show. I know she is right about a lot of things and being prideful isn't going to help me. The best thing for me to do is humble myself and admit that there is a lot I don't know about living a life completely sold out to Christ . . . and keep listening to mama's wisdom.

It's hard for me o admit that I've got off track - that I have lost my focus. When was the last time I asked God to put someone in my life for me to share God's love with? Has my focus been on God, or has it been on church and what "I'm doing for the Lord"?

Within the past year and a half I have been swayed into living a feel good Christian life. They people I was around focused more on heaven, prayer, and God's grace, with only an occasional reference to God's judgment and His anger towards sin. I sang in church, was active with the youth, sang in the chior, played the piano for the offertory, and helped out in the children's program. But would all that I was doing help bring souls to Christ? Was the time I spent doing these "services" to the Lord, wasted? Because now I'm not so sure if God wanted me to spend most of my time on those things.

Now I am back around people who have their focus on really serving God and following Him, not anybody else. I'm finding it kind of hard, but slowly I feel like God is drawing me back to the old ways. Was I backslid the past year and a half? I don't believe so. Rather, I would describe it as going in circles, not accomplishing anything. Now I'm ready to get off of the hamster wheel and start following God.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Out in the country, where animals and trees are plentiful, and gardens fill many yards, there lies five beautiful acres we call home. When we bought the land it was nothing but thick woods and briers with a thin creek running through the brush. Over the past 6 years we have cleared a lot of it, with only a few corners that need cleaning up. It has been so neat to see how much we have accomplished. Because we put so much hard work into it, we feel like we are a part of this place.
Out here “in the woods” we have been able to see God’s beauty and amazing things about nature that we never took time to noticed before. It was so much fun the first time the guys built a blue bird house for the beautiful creatures to live in right in our front yard. Year after year we would watch them come and go along with their new little ones. The humming birds were always a sight to behold as well. We found out what kind of flowers they like so that they would have a source of food right at our front porch where we could watch them hover over the plants. We all marveled at how fast they would move their wings!

All around our double-wide trailer are fields (as we like to call them) with animals roaming about in them. Our little farm is complete with goats, a cow, two cats and two kittens, dogs, chickens, and a pig. As you can guess, there is always excitement in every corner! Our animals are always finding ways to escape their pens only to be chased right back in. Having animals is very educational as well. We have seen all our animals bring forth offspring except for our cow and chickens. So it is not an uncommon thing to have little piglets or kids (baby goats) running after their mama on our farm. Baby animals are always fun to watch!

But overall, our little place in this world is very peaceful. Being away from the noise of the city, leaves our part of town pretty quiet with only an occasional noise from tractors or the hungry animals at feeding time. To me, it is the most wonderful place on earth! A place where I plan on staying . . . until I get married of course!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dirty Joes and Potato Chowder

Tonight I cooked supper, something that I've been trying to do more often. I decided to try a new Sloppy Joe recipe since we haven't had them in years. So I found a recipe that sounded delicious and got busy cooking the hamburger meat and my favorite soup, Potato Chowder. Later, my little sister Amy asked mama, "Have we ever had Dirty Joes?" I laughed and though, "Poor Amy. She doesn't remember eating Sloppy Joes, one of kids favorite meals."

The whole meal was very delicious and we all think that the "Dirty Joes" recipe is a keeper.

Sloppy Joes

1 teaspoon mustard
2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sause
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
2 small onions, chopped
2 8oz. cans tomato sause
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar

Brown ground beef and onion; drain. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 10-15 minutes.
Note: You can use 1/2 tablespoon of dried onions in place of chopped onion.