Friday, June 28, 2013

Fighting with the Lord

Photo courtesy of  HeartLight

Have you ever had one of those “God moments” where you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are called by the Lord to do something? Did you obey that calling or did you fight with the Lord?

I realized recently that for the past 1 ½ years I have been fighting with the Lord about my calling in life. I had one of those “God moments” and knew what I should do, but as time went by I started letting doubt and fear creep in and I started fighting what I was called to do.

Every time I heard God’s voice in this matter, I would say, “But…

·         I’m not qualified.
·         I don’t want to go back to school.
·         I’m tired of this.
·         How can I help others when I can’t even help myself?
·         The list of excuses could go on and on.

Or I would say…

·         Lord, I would much rather do _____.
·         Hey, Lord, wouldn’t this be a much better option for me?
·         Oh! I think it would so much more exciting to _______.

And the truth of the matter is

1.     I am not qualified, but He is.
·         “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” –John 15:4-5
·         “For with God nothing will be impossible.” –Luke 1:37
·         “I can of myself do nothing,”—John 5:30a

2.    If I love Him, I have to be obedient to the calling that He has placed on my life.
·         “If you love Me, keep my commandmants.” –John 14:15
·         “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”—John 15:10

3.    Even when I am tired, weak and worn, He will give me the strength to keep on moving forward.
·         “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”—Philippians 4:13
·         “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles; They shall run and not be weary; They shall walk and not faint.”—Isaiah 40:28-31

4.   I’m not supposed to help myself…My healing comes from Him. There is nothing I can do to make it better.
·         The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted…”—Isaiah 61:1a

5.    Yes, there might be things that look better on paper…but NOTHING is better for my life than the plans that He has for me.
·         “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give you.”—John 15:16
·         “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”—Jeremiah 29:11
·         “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”—Ephesians 2:10

So do I keep fighting or do I surrender to the call that He has placed on my life?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Jennifer by Dee Henderson

Jennifer O’Malley is the youngest of the O’Malleys (a group of children who adopted each other and changed their last names to O’Malley when they turned 18). She is a pediatric general practitioner who works with children who are critically ill. Tom Peterson is a surgeon at the hospital where Jennifer works. They meet and fall in love.

Tom introduces Jennifer to Jesus too. And she falls in love with Him also. But her faith is quickly tested in an unexpected way. Will she still cling to the One who gave His life for her? What will happen to her relationship with Tom? And how will she ever explain to her family all that has changed in her life?

I have to admit that while I have heard of Dee Henderson, I had never read any of her books until now. I fell in love with Jennifer and Tom to the point that I was disappointed with the end of the story, and immediately went and downloaded The Negotiator (which has been free on Amazon Kindle lately). Dee Henderson is a gripping writer, and Jennifer is not your typical love story and leaves you longing for more. I recommend adding it to your summer reading list.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

25 Christian Pick Up Lines to Make You Smile

I have found these pick up lines around the web, on, on, and on a couple of blogs like I hope that you get at least a smile out of them.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Worry: The Thief of Trust

About a year and a half ago, I was having a lot of health issues. I wasn’t sleeping at night. I wasn’t eating. I lost about 20 lbs in 6 weeks. I was working 50+ hours a week at my place of employment. I was working an additional 30+ hours a week at home to finish what I couldn’t get done at work. When I was at work I was busy from the moment that I walked in the door until the moment I left. The only down time I had was when I was driving to and from work. I was stressed out and worried.

I was worried about my job, and I was worried about my health. I was so stressed out and worried that I went to the doctor afraid that I had something horrible and was dying. All of the tests came back clear.

About 6 months later, I started taking a series of training workshops on working with children who have been traumatized.  In the first session, they described the symptoms of compassion fatigue (also called secondary post traumatic stress disorder). I had every single one of the symptoms that they listed. 

The reason why I have compassion fatigue?

I was so busy trying to control everything that I wasn’t trusting anybody, and most importantly I wasn’t trusting God.

Worry and stress comes when we try to control everything and trying to do everything for ourselves.

So how do you stop worrying? How do you learn to trust?

1)     Pray: Ask the Lord to help you relax and let go. Ask Him to teach you to trust. Next time something happens that you can’t control pray. Give to Him right then. Don’t hang on to it.

2)   Opposite action: I learned about this in the workshops. In opposite action, you do the opposite of what your initial reaction is. For example, if you are like me and you are a people pleaser, when someone asks you to do something you usually say yes even if you don’t have time or don’t want to do it. Well, next time, say “no”.

3)   Let go. I know that it is easier said than done, but you are not God. You can’t control everybody and everything.

4)   Take time for you.  Spend time each day doing something you love. Exercise, Eat right. Read a book. Take care of YOU because if you don’t you won’t be able to take care of others.

5)   Turn your focus to Christ. This last one is probably the most important. If you are focused on Christ, then you know that He can handle it and that He will give you what you need.

“Therefore I tell you, don not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on, is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
~Matthew 6:25

God Bless You


Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Secrets to a Happy Life

Do you long to be happy? Not just a temporary feeling of happiness, but a deep down feeling of joy that never leaves?

In Secrets to a Happy Life, Bill Giovannetti takes us on a journey through the life of Joseph to teach the secrets that made Joseph a happy and resilient person. Mr. Giovannetti is honest in his book about what he believes and about the fact that while he can teach you the secrets to happiness it is up to you to take the journey.
He teaches 11 secrets to happiness and practical ways to apply them to your life. Hopefully as you read the book you will learn to see how God is working for your joy, learn to let go of what is holding you back, and how to find your own happiness.

My copy of the book has highlights and notes on every page. Mr. Giovanetti packs a lot of information into less than 200 pages which I think is great. I now look at Joseph’s life in a way that I hadn’t before and I am starting to look at my own life in a way that I haven’t before.  His writing is direct and to the point with examples from Joseph’s life and other Biblical examples.  I strongly recommend reading this book if you are ready to begin your journey to happiness

Friday, June 21, 2013

The BarnPrincess

The BarnPrincess

The BarnPrincess by thebarnprincess on Polyvore

This week I have been taking a course called the Creative Courage Workshop. The class is an online class taught by Amanda Aitken. It is a 5 day course designed to help you build a brand or learn the basics about graphic design. Through the class I learned how to choose fonts, color palettes, and put together simple designs using Pixlr and Polyvore.

I created the vision board above as part of the class.

Interested in the class? Visit The Creative Courage Campaign

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Have an Abundant Life

I have always thought that the way to have an abundant life was to live the American dream…

To get married, have a couple of children, a good career, and a nice house…

But lately I have decided that I was wrong.

I have been thinking, “What if having an abundant life isn’t about having more but about giving more?”

This morning I was reading Ann Voskamp’s blog ( that thought came back to me this morning…especially when I read:

“Be concerned for the poor.”


“We’re all hungry for uncomfortable because we are hungry for God—and He is outside our comfort zone.”

What if having an abundant life isn’t about having more but about giving more?

What if having an abundant life isn’t about having more for ourselves but about helping others to have more?

What if having an abundant life is about being so grateful for what we have that we long to give it away to others?

What if having an abundant life is about being hungry for God?

What if having an abundant life is about getting out of comfort zones and serving others?

To truly have an abundant life we have to give more, love more, and serve more.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Greed, The Thief of Generosity

Last year I was dating someone, and one day when we were at my house he said something about disliking the clutter in my living room.

The funny thing to me was when he talked about clutter he wasn’t talking about the pile of papers sitting on my desk, he was talking about my collection of horse figurines and the pictures on my walls.

But he really got my attention when he told me that he thought I was too attached to my decorative things and that he didn’t think that I wouldn’t be able to sell them.

What he said has really stayed with me. God has been using it powerfully in my life. It has made me start noticing things about myself that I didn’t really like. I started noticing that I have can be materialistic and greedy, that there are times in my life when I think I need more…more yarn, more books, more clothes, more shoes, more bags…more, more, more.

As this year has passed, God has been opening my eyes to other things such as when I want more I give less. The more I have, the more I think I have to have, the less I give to others.

I have started looking around now, and I have begun to notice those who have less than I do. As I notice them, I start looking for what I can do to help them. What can I give up?

In the past year, I have sold a lot of my things…I’m not perfect. I still have a ways to go on cleaning out and paring down to the necessities, but I am getting better.  I also still have moments where I think I need something that I really don’t, but I am learning to ask myself why I want something. I am also learning to look at my things with new eyes…

I have asking myself how I would feel if lost everything…

or if a friend saw something and really liked it would I be able to offer it to them.

Having more is necessarily wrong, but as Christians, we are sojourners. This world is not our home, and when our attachment to things becomes greater than our attachment to God or to others, we need to check ourselves. That is what the past year has taught me.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

All Joanna Robbins wants for her birthday is…a preacher. She has been praying that the Lord would send her a preacher to help her win her unsaved father for Christ. She never dreamed that when she told her father that a preacher is what she wanted for her birthday that he would go and get her one.

Crockett Archer was on his way to his future as a preacher in Brenham, TX when an unexpected detour happens. He is KIDNAPPED! What happens next is not what he is expecting, but with the Lord taking the lead he has to follow.

I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t sleep until I finished it. Karen Witemeyer has written a delightful romance about what can happen when we let the Lord lead and direct us in His path, not our own.  The character of Crockett is a rough and tumble cowboy and not what you typically think of when you think of a preacher. The character of Joanna Robbins is a shy and awkward young woman but one who has strength of character and love for her father and her Lord that shines through. Both are written in a way that makes you feel as if you know them. Witemeyer writes in such a way that you feel like you are there. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fishing with Dad

When I was little, my dad would take me fishing. We had this big pond in our backyard, and he placed some big flat rocks (sandstone, I believe) along one edge of the pond. We would go down to the pond and fish, and we almost always fished with worms.

We would go out to the garden and dig up a can of worms and throw some dirt on top of them. Then we would head down to the pond. At the pond, Dad would set down his fishing gear, next to the stool he had made and kept down at the pond. Then he would walk with me over to one of the big rocks, far enough away that our lines wouldn’t tangle but close enough that he could get there quickly if something happened. Then he would help me put the bobber on my line and a worm on my hook before he would go back to his stool.

As the years passed, he taught me to place the worm on my hook, and how to get a fish off of the hook on my own.

He was patient and I know that for a few years he probably spent more time helping  me untangle lines, and put worms on hooks, and getting fish off of the hooks than he did actually fishing himself.

I also know that there were times when I was done fishing that he would send me back up to the house and continue fishing in peace.

Fishing with my dad is one of my most treasured memories. My dad used fishing to teach me patience and a can-do attitude. (Sometimes I don’t think either one of those lessons have stuck well, but he did try. J) think either one of those lessons have stuck well, but he did try. :-)shing to teach me patience and a can-do attitude. (Somet

Fishing with my dad taught me to appreciate the beauty that God has blessed us with. Even the parts we don’t like (such as snakes) have a reason and a purpose.

I thank God for being able to fish with my dad. Many children don’t have fathers who can take them fishing. Many children don’t have fathers who spend any time with them.

Fathers are an important part of children’s lives.

Fathers, make the time to spend with your children. Make memories with your children. You are not promised tomorrow so take the time today.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

12 Great Gifts for Dad

I love my dad, but when it comes to buying or making gifts for him, it can be difficult. I know some guys who are easy to buy for...a bottle of wine or Jack, golf balls, stuff for the grill, a new tie, but that stuff won't work for my dad. For one, he doesn't drink and doesn't golf. He only grills occasionally. Normally he lights the grill and then I do the actual grilling. He doesn't wear a suit and tie unless there is a funeral. 

He is into sports and fishing. He works with his hands so tools can be a good thing, but usually he just goes and buys them himself. He enjoys working outside and landscaping. He likes playing games, but after 30 some years it sometimes feels like we have bought him every game (indoor & outdoor) imaginable. So we have to get creative when thinking of things to buy or make Dad for gifts. Here are a few of the things that I have found on Pinterest or around the web that I think Dad would like and are not your typical gifts.

1)  The Best Dad Gets Promoted to Grandpa

Now I'm single and I don't have any children, but my sister has two children. I also have a friend whose children call my dad "Papa" also so I think this makes a perfect gift for my dad even if I am not the one to give it to him.

Okay! I know that this book is actually for young children to give to their fathers, but what a great idea! As an adult, you could insert photos of you and your father together through out the years and write down some of your favorite memories of your father.

What dad can resist cookies made for him?

Can I say that I think that this is my favorite? You can fill it with anything...cookies, candies, nuts, fishing gear, tools, whatever Dad loves!

What game-lovin' outdoorsy guy wouldn't love his own horseshoe pit?

This post was originally for a wedding, but when your Dad loves working in the garden and loves playing games, don't you think that he would love a sign for the garden listing the games that he loves?

I think that is one garden game that my father doesn't have. Does anyone have some 2 x 4's that I can use?

I think this such a great idea. Can't you imagine all the ways that you can decorate the tin?

My dad is a fantastic scrabble player. I don't know very many people who can beat him. When I saw these I immediately thought of him for his new "man cave." BTW, this link is another one for a wedding site.

Once again, I saw these and thought of my dad and his new "man cave."

This is a link for ordering the strawberries from Red Envelope, but if you like working with chocolate or decorating cakes, they shouldn't be that difficult to make yourself.

Once again, I love this one because it is so adaptable! She put gummy fish in the can, but just think about what else you can fill it with! Fishing tackle, gummy worms...

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Tribute to My Dad

With Father's Day on this coming Sunday, I thought it only fitting to make this week a tribute to Fathers, Daddies, Dads, Das, Papas, Grandpas, Pappies, and all those wonderful men out there who love their children and want to be the best Dad's that they can.

As a single woman, I have to say that I have been spoiled by the men I am closest to in my life. I would be very blessed if I could find a man like my dad or like my brother-in-law. They are both wonderful Godly men who love their families.

My dad has done his best to teach me and my sister to walk closely with Jesus. He is not a perfect man by any means, but he loves the Lord and does his best to live as the Bible teaches us.

Anyway, these videos remind of him, and I just want to say "Thank you, Dad!"

Friday, June 7, 2013

Grandma Mills' Barbecued Beefburgers

I realized recently that I haven't posted a recipe for a while. As I was trying to decide which recipe to use, I remembered this recipe. It is a recipe that I found in my great-grandmother's recipe notebook.

The original recipe turned out a little vinegary to me so I adjusted the recipe by adding 1 teaspoon of brown sugar.


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ketchup
6 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons minced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce

Add 1 tsp salt to 1 1/2 lbs beef. Form it into 6 patties. Heat skillet over medium heat. Arrange beefburgers in it. Sauté them until golden brown on underside; then turn and brown on other side.

While the meat is browning, stir together in a 2-cup measuring cup or a bowl, ketchup, vinegar, onion, and Worchestershire sauce. Drain all fat from skillet; then add this barbecued sauce to browned meat.

After adding the sauce, cover the skillet and let the beefburgers simmer over lo heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until of desired rareness, basting meat occasionally. When done arrange beefburgers on a hot platter with sauce poured over and around them.