Friday, January 30, 2009

One of those HUH? Moments...

I think I've seen it all.

A snow blower with headlights.

I think it was jimmy rigged.

Which sort of brings to mind the phrase...

"You might be a redneck if..."

Too bad I didn't get a picture of it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WFMW: Stomach Bug Hydration

Thanks to Shannon from Rocks in My Dryer for hosting the Works for Me Wednesday Tip Carnival -- you'll want to go HERE to get hundreds (literally) more tips!

So ... I have another totally non-spiritual post -- Hey! I'm on a roll here!

This is a tip I found MOST helpful while I was sick for SEVEN DAYS with the stomach virus that came straight from down below the earth's core where it is really hot and fiery. And molten lava.

On the 5th day, I had HAD it. I went to my doctor, and he prescribed an anti-nausea medication which was like nectar from the heavens. But, that's not the tip.

He proceeded to tell me to go straight to the hospital for some IV Fluid and some Electrolyte action. I asked him if he had fallen out of the crazy tree, hit every crazy branch on the way down, and forgot I had a three year old, and going to the hospital was not happening... because, no matter HOW hard my husband works at caring for my three year old, I couldn't do it to him.

Then, he (the doctor) gave me the two most profound tips (at that moment in time) that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

He said that 1) no matter how sick to your stomach you are, once you get fluids in your system you will really feel better ... but more importantly, 2) he gave me this code to live by when attacked with the stomach bug: Semi-solids IN, Semi-solids OUT ... Liquids IN, Liquids out. If you've had the stomach bug, you know what I'm referring to... if you haven't, I'll explain it off line. And as an FYI -- anything in a semi-frozen or pureed state (like applesauce) is what he's referring to.

ANYHOW ... on my way home, I stopped at the local Smoothie joint (ok, it was out of my way) and got a super-duper large mango smoothie with three-times extra electrolytes.

Remember what the doc said... semi solids in ... you know where I'm going.

I proceeded to sip slowly on that thick smoothie and guzzled naked Gatorade the rest of the day, forcing fluids into my body, and sure enough, I felt so, SO much better. Especially after the anti-nausea meds kicked in and I could actually HOLD something in.

Moral of this tip: If you are sick to your stomach (in either direction), eating applesauce is better than drinking apple juice. Burnt toast helps absorb acid (the carbon on the burned part). Smoothies made with electrolytes are heaven's answer to being sick.

Homemade Remedy: If you have been sick for a while, and are in need of electrolytes, try making a smoothie at home... Mind you, these are rough calculations -- try it out and master your own recipe. In a blender, mix about 8-10 ounces of Gatorade or pedialyte, 1 cup of ice, 2 scoops of sorbet (trust me on this one - don't cut the sorbet out and DO NOT substitute it with ice cream or yogurt or ANYTHING dairy -- just DON'T) and some frozen fruit. Blend until smooth and sip slowly through a straw. If you're having a problem with the smoothie sticking to the blades and freezing up, it needs more liquid (use Gatorade or pedialyte again). I personally love the combination of Mango Sorbet, Frozen Mango pieces -- yum. And when I'm not sick, we make this with some simple syrup or juice instead of the Gatorade.

Semi-solids, and electrolytes.

Works for me!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Slow Cooker Recipe Contest

Last week, while I lay on my death bed (stomach virus), I was watching Good Morning America -- and I saw that they are "searching for the best slow-cooker recipe in the nation." Emeril Lagasse is testing all the recipes and hosting the contest along with Good Morning America.

Now, I know that you ALL use your crockpot like a third arm ... so ... go searching in your recipe collection for an original, slow-cooker recipe that can be called "the best in the nation!"

I'm thinking of entering my own beef stew recipe, which simply melts in your mouth with deliciousness and goodness.

So, this is your chance to share your meal idea with the country. Send in your entry to "GMA" and Emeril as part of their Slow Cooker Showdown. Go HERE for all the rules and stuff.

One entry per person. Send your original slow cooker recipe, along with an essay of no more than 100 words stating why it is the best slow cooker recipe. If possible, include a photograph of the finished slow cooker recipe. Please be sure to include your name, address, all phone numbers and an e-mail address (if available). Recipe and personal information will not count toward the 100 word essay limit.

Mail entries to:
Emeril's Slow Cooker Showdown
Ansonia Station
P. O. Box 234081
New York, NY 10023-9412

Or enter online at the Good Morning America contest page at

Entries must be in by February 27.

Now... doesn't that sound like fun?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WFMW: "Kill The Mouse Dead" Mouse Trap Tip

Each week, Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer hosts the weekly "Works For Me" carnival, where hundreds of people can share their wonderful, tried and true tips and ideas. Shannon just had a mouse die in her walls. This happened too a while back, so in honor of Shannon, I bring you my "Kill The Mouse Dead" Mouse Trap Tip. I'm sure PETA will swarm all over me, but try living with mice in your house.

Back to the "Kill The Mouse Dead" Mouse Trap Tip. Here's my experience and qualifications in killing mice dead: We used to live in a house that was old and out in the country-ish -- originally built in the late 1890's, it burned down, and part of it was rebuilt in the 1920's. It was remodeled in the late 1990's after the owner passed quietly in her reclining chair (still makes me shiver -- they were cat-loving-pack-rats, too -- a bad combo for reasons you will never imagine) ... and did I mention that it was drafty, un-insulated, and had thousands of places for mice to squeeze in through (like in the kitchen around the piping for the faucet if it is on an exterior wall, powder rooms, laundry rooms, etc.)? It was a lovely little cottagie-style home in an historic area, surrounded by a white picket fence, and lots of land and trees -- I adored it.

I did not, however, adore the mice mommas and all their babies that liked to cohabitate (or whatever) with us in our cold and uninsulated, yet cozy little cottagie-like home.

Ewwwwww -- I still shudder. Especially when I think of the mouse-momma that squeezed her tiny babies under one of our bookshelves and went off to get some food for them, only NOT to come back at all because we SNAPPED her in our mouse trap. We found the dead babies when we moved, and it was so disgusting, and ... well ... never mind.

ANYHOW -- First, you need to go through the inside of your house and look at all your exterior walls (under cabinets, behind radiators, etc.) and SEAL any cracks (no matter how tiny they are) with expanding foam -- because believe me -- you would be SHOCKED at how tiny of an entry these little mice need to welcome themselves into your home.

THEN -- ah, yes... then you put out mouse traps. Not just any ol' mouse trap ... the only one that we found to work, and caught TONS of mice with is... the Snap-E Mouse Trap. Did you hear the heavenly beings sing a chorus of hallelujahs?


Seriously -- this mouse trap ROCKS over any other mouse trap because it has a special platform that holds a little cup of food. The only way the mouse can get the food is to step up on the platform that automatically releases the arm and ... well, it's curtains for the little mouse before it even figures out what hit it - heh heh. Plus, it flips up a bar that you release the mouse with, never coming in contact with dead mice, or contaminated mice-trap parts. I'm ordering them right now for the mice in my garage -- shudder again. (see testimonials and more pictures HERE)

In all the years we lived in this house, we NEVER had a mouse eat the food out of this trap and get away alive. Ever. We have, on the other hand, had a mouse die in our walls (so this is in honor of Shannon) and the coffee grounds did the trick in removing the odor -- after a few weeks. Oh, my -- we discovered this on the day I was having a girl's Christmas party. Nothing says "Merry Christmas y'all!" like the smell of dead mouse lingering in the air. And to put Shannon at ease, the stink does not come back in the hot months, Praise the Lord! One more thing... You do NOT want to burn candles -- especially the ones you really like, because the smell of Cinnamon-orange-fruited-dead-mouse will never leave your head, and the candle will never smell the same to you again. And it will turn your stomach each time someone lights it. I'm just lovingly speaking from experience.

Finally, to close out this whole WFMW segment graciously, I'll tell you what DOESN'T work AT ALL --

1) chasing after the mouse with a slipper in the middle of the night while your wife is screaming in the middle of your bed;

2) the old fashioned wooden mouse traps (Victor);

3) cats (we had several wild cats living in the barn and they were NO GOOD to us, I tell you -- and I'm deathly allergic, too);

4) the electronic rodent repellent/deterrents (for the love of Pete -- don't even waste your money to experiment -- they just do NOT work)

One of these days, I'll have to tell you about the dead cat the neighbors found while cleaning up the house after the previous pack-rat-owner died (way before the house was gutted out, remodeled, and cleaned up, and WAY BEFORE we owned it).

Nah. That'll gross you out too much.

Have a mouse-free day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What is WRONG with the World today?

Well... if you're wondering, here's a great sermon jam to watch... It will clue you in on what's wrong with the world today. My IRL (in real life) friend "Wretched Sinner" created this, and I think he did a great, GREAT!!

What is a sermon jam??? Well, basically, someone takes parts of a sermon that spoke to them, and puts it to music with graphics. This particular sermon jam is a sermon by Voddie Baucham -- I think you'll enjoy it, and really, it needs no further comment from me.

"What is wrong with the world?" - Voddie Baucham Sermon Jam from Wretched Sinner on Vimeo.

Friday, January 16, 2009


In diet and lifestyle ...

Yes, a "healthier us" is in progress. Please excuse me while I blab about it on my blog.

We've (and by "we" I mean "he") started Step 1 (lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure) towards a healthier husband. But there is so much more... so I present you with Step 2...

Step 2 towards a healthier us: Reducing on meal per week to a meat-less meal. Ugh. I can't tell you how hard this will be for me. I am totally all about beef. And now, I need to be totally about ... lentils, beans, legumes, tofu.... UGH. Fortunately, it is only for one or two meals a week.
Actually, in all fairness, I can mix pasta in with all that healthy meatless stuff... so I'm okay with that. Anything with Pasta is okay with me!!! And Parmesan cheese, of course, which is a hard cheese, therefore better for the diet!

Much to my husband's "joy," I'll be making a ratatouille over spaghetti this Sunday, and I'm hoping it will blow our socks off. Really, really hoping.

Next weekend, I'll be trying my hand at a really delectable vegetarian spaghetti sauce with lentils. No ground chicken. Just ... lentils. Joy. But, HEY! It's HEALTHY! And that's what my husband (and really, ALL of us) need.

In retrospect, we eat fairly healthy meals at home, but that's not always the case when we go out. It is hard to control the sodium levels in restaurants (hence the SuperShots), and all the delicious sauces are tempting at best. Another thing I'll really have to curb is baking. I love to bake, and while I do bake a lot with Splenda for baking, not all things turn out as tasty with applesauce or Splenda as they do with real sugar and real oil. And sadly, I have a sweet tooth... something I'll have to come to terms with on my own.

So ... Anyone out there have any healthy meat-less dishes they like (outside of chili, of course!)?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WFMW: Lower Cholesterol AND High Blood Pressure

Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer hosts the weekly "Works For Me Wednesday... go check her out and all the other awesome tips!

This is totally the easiest way to take a step toward healthier living in 2009! As many of you may have read in a previous post of mine, we had a heart scare with my husband. He is now under strict orders to

So... change his life we shall! One step at a time. We eat fairly healthy anyway (well, at least in the home), but there are some extra changes we need to make, and one came in a fairly easy form.

Promise Healthy Heart (the Promise butter spread people) offers several heart-friendly products that actually help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure without major or drastic changes in your diet. Actually, ALL of their products are heart-friendly. One of the products is called "SuperShots" -- which is a "drink" that tastes like a weak yogurt, and while yogurt is a very BAD option for you if you have high cholesterol, this drink has NO cholesterol content.

Each Cholesterol reducing drink contains enough plant sterols to help remove cholesterol from your body (so do all their spreads!).

They also have a SuperShots for reducing high blood pressure, loaded with potassium which flushes sodium (causes high blood pressure) from the body (because "salt happens")!

So -- How easy is it? You drink one of each per day. ONE. That's it! They cost around $4.50 for a pack of 4 (WalMart carries them, as do most grocery stores). I'm willing to pay $30-40 a month for a healthy alternative to prescription drugs!!!

Why do I say this works? Because my brother-in-law started taking the Cholesterol reducing SuperShot, and his cholesterol went down 30-some points in one month. He continues to drink them and has maintained low cholesterol readings. I think he said something like... "it's the easiest way to change your lifestyle, reduce your cholesterol, without really doing a lot of "changing" and hard work" (of course there are other healthy changes you need to make, and he has too... but this is a great and easy start!).

As for the high-blood pressure SuperShot, my husband started taking them on Christmas Eve. On January 2, he had a 4 hour stress test, and at the beginning of the test (a resting state) his BP was 110 over 80. That's GREAT in comparison to what it had been!!!

Next step: Have one meat-free meal per week, working towards two.

This totally works for us!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Worship - Part 2

So -- picking up from yesterday's post... you might be thinking "worship just isn't my thing." Well – let me share with you it says in Revelations. Now, when most people hear Revelations, their eyes glaze over, and quite possibly, roll to the back of their heads. Yes, the book is hard and intimidating, but it is also very beautiful and prophetic, and Revelations 5 is all about Worship and what will be going on in heaven, and quite frankly, we can consider worship hear on earth mere practice for what we'll be doing in Heaven!

In John's vision of Heaven, he says: "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" [Revelation 5:13] Every single creature that existed giving God the glory during worship - for ever... and ever!

It’s amazing that once we get to heaven, we will be worshipping, worshipping, worshipping – constantly! We will be lifting our "golden bowls full of incense" (v.8 -- prayers and praises of the saints) and at the mere sight of Christ we will fall down before him and praise him! And not just some people ... everyone! (v.13)! All creatures, angels, man – we will praise him together!

How awesome will THAT be?

Now, I will be honest. As I mentioned yesterday in my closing, I do have a personal preference for worship. I don't care if it is fast, slow, contemporary or traditional. However... I do prefer "personal worship songs" (my sister in law has a good name for it from her SIL, but I can’t remember it) over "testimony" songs ... many traditional hymns are testimonies of what God did in the author’s life, and while I love the rich heritage we have in hymns, I simply adore the songs (choruses, hymns, contemporary music, etc) that take me to the throne in an intimate and personal way, many times even reciting scripture verbatim.

I find that when I’m singing a song to Jesus as opposed to a song about Jesus, I slip into deep worship, and feel that I am truly blessing Jesus with my worship. As a result, I end up being blessed in return – sort of like a rubber ball bouncing off of a wall – I throw it out to God, and it comes right back to me. I don't start out worshipping God to get a blessing – it just happens!

Here's an example of what I’m trying to explain and am floundering at finding the right words ...

Look at the words of a simple chorus that we sing "I love you lord, and I lift my voice. To worship you, oh my God, rejoice. Take joy my king in what you see. Let it be a sweet, sweet song to your ears."

Now, look at the words of a favorite hymn of many of the saints in our church (which I love too): "I'm so glad, I'm a part, of the family of God. I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by his blood. Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod. For I'm part of the family, the family of God."

Yes. I have been washed in the fountain. I've been cleansed by his blood. I am a part of the family of God. But I can’t use those words in worship! Where as, I can say... I LOVE you Lord!! I lift my voice to YOU! I want to WORSHIP you! I ADORE you! Let what I'm saying (or singing) BLESS you!

Did that make sense?

So the questions I leave with you today are... Are you truly worshipping God with reckless abandon? Is your worship coming from your heart? Do you really feel it? How do you feel more comfortable worshipping?

One more Spurgeon quote:

"Depend upon it, my hearer, you never will go to heaven unless you are prepared to worship Jesus Christ as God. They are all doing it there: you will have to come to it, and if you entertain the notion that he is a mere man, or that he is anything less than God, I am afraid you will have to begin at the beginning and learn what true religion means. You have a poor foundation to rest upon. I could not trust my soul with a mere man, or believe in an atonement made by a mere man: I must see God himself putting his hand to so gigantic a work." (Spurgeon)

There you have it. What are your thoughts?

Edited to add: I agree with what my friend Donnetta said -- "worship, in and of itself, is so much more than music. Music is just one way we worship God." Absolutely. I completely agree. I was just focusing on one part of worship with regards to Rev. 5 that I had studied the night before.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Worship - Part 1

Last night, I took Hunter to his Awana class, which by the way, is not at my own home church. While I was waiting on him, I sat in on the adult Bible class. They are studying Revelations, and the lesson of the evening (Revelations 5) really resonated with me, because it was about worship. I simply love to worship... I love to sing, raise my hands, clap, sway (oh, yeah!), and I love to make proclamations of God’s goodness, praising him with my heart.

But there are many people that simply struggle to get through an hour or an hour and a half of worship time each week, which to me is a sad (but true) statement. I have heard many different reasons why: "the worship leader doesn't speak to me." (Well, is that really their job?) How about "the music is too contemporary." (Compared to what? A traditional hymn like Crown Him with Many Crowns? Which, by the way, was considered “over the top contemporary” when they came out with it? Or maybe you’re referring to newer hymns than that, like the Gaither movement? Which again, were styled even more contemporary than the previously mentioned hymn, and received much negative feedback when first introduced in the ‘60s!) Or how about this one: "all I hear is loud instruments. Why can’t we just sing with our voices?" Well, you can. And it is beautiful! But you won’t be once you’re in heaven, so why not get used to it now?

So why do you worship? Is it out of tradition? Because you were taught to do it when you were younger? Really, what is the whole point of worship?

For me, the purpose of worship is to glorify, adore, honor, praise, exalt, extol, and please God. It is freely giving God love! He made us to worship him! This isn't a silent act, but rather a vocal act! You can even throw in a raised arm or clapped hand every now and then, and it will put a big ol' smile on God’s face! Trust me! It really will!

Charles H. Spurgeon said "God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation." Amazing! You may not like it, but ... first we need to praise God with our voices... out of obedience, whether we feel like it or not. Then, our hearts will follow because what begins out of holy obedience ends in holy blessing. You may not like the worship style at your church, or your worship leader (I love mine!), or the instruments they use ... but you aren't worshipping THEM, and if we worship out of obedience, if we really humble ourselves in worship, God comes and meets us. I can't imagine a greater reward for the simple act of obedience!

There have been a lot of times that I didn't "feel like worshipping." Either I felt sick, or I was going through a trial I didn't want to go through, or I might have felt "empty" or maybe I just felt rebellious. But I have learned that when I close my eyes, tune out all distractions, and make my worship a sacrifice ... in other words, surrender myself to the Lord, force myself to praise him and get in tune with Him, he comes and fills my heart with joy and meets me where I'm at.

Okay -- to make this a shorter post, and to maintain your attention... this will be continued tomorrow! Please leave your comments on why YOU worship. What does it mean to you? What style of worship do you prefer? Tomorrow, I’ll share what kind of worship I prefer and why!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

This Year Was The Year Of My Undoing!

As I am writing this post, I am looking out the window and I see a snow flurry outside. Big fat, flaky, pure white, beautiful snowflakes floating all around that remind me of God’s cleansing love and grace. Praise God that He is faithful!

Any way… I know that many people use the phrase in my title lightly, with sarcasm and humor, but in my case, this year REALLY WAS the year of my undoing. And I brought it upon myself.

As usual, I committed myself to far more than anyone that has a full time job and a family can humanly handle. My intentions were wonderful – save money, make money (a craft fair), make memorable gifts, and warm people’s hearts while having fun in the process. Fun projects! Fun baking! Fun fabrics! Fun papers! Fun beads! Fun, fun, fun!

Instead, my heart ended up cold and frustrated. I spent close to seven weeks … LITERALLY … sick. I missed weekends where I was laid up in bed miserably sick. It put a real kink in my self-imposed schedule, and put myself behind enough that it affected my entire holiday spirit. There were even days in the months of November and December that I couldn't remember if I even put deodorant on, or if I was wearing the same thing to work twice in a row! I scrapped several projects I wanted to do, missed blogging (which I love dearly), sent my Christmas cards out AFTER Christmas, what a mess!

Then, to top everything off, I got a call at work on Christmas Eve morning (yep, I had to work until 2 pm) from my sweet, wonderful husband and to make a really long story short, we ended up at the emergency room for most of the day because his heart was racing, and he was short of breath. He was diagnosed with Arterial Fibrillation. Instead of a comfortable 70-110 heart beats per minute at a rest, his was fluctuating wildly between 110-160 beats per minute. They ran numerous tests, took a chest x-ray, did a cat scan, and were ultimately able to regulate his heart beat with medication, and we were on our way a mere 5 hours later. Quite a rude wake up call, if you ask me -- and furthermore, I'm pretty certain my husband won't forgive me easily now that I've "outed" him. I could have lost my husband (I know that’s quite a stretch), and what sweet Christmas memories would I have to look back on? Me -- sewing frantically in the middle of the night while my boys are tucked away in bed. For two solid months. I don’t think so.

So all-in-all, my Christmas was chaotic, hectic, un-enjoyed. Yes, I enjoyed the 30 minutes of opening presents and gift giving. I did not, however, enjoy being unprepared, behind schedule, and ultimately robbing time from my family in the months prior to Christmas. In fact, I’m pretty sure my husband didn't enjoy it either, but fortunately, Hunter is too young to notice that things weren't like normal. I missed all-important traditions for my family, like the Jesse Tree, tucking Hunter into bed at nights, reading stories to him, and even cooking a special breakfast with my traditional sticky buns on Christmas morning. That made me very sad. No, we don’t need sticky buns… but the point is – I was either too busy or sick in the weeks leading up to Christmas, or too tired on Christmas morning to do it.

I pretty much crashed and burned by New Year’s, and I clearly remember sitting on the floor with Hunter while looking wearily around my chaotic home wondering how I was going to pull it all together after the holidays.

This past Sunday, our Pastorman preached a great sermon, and shared two scriptures that screamed out to me in particular. One was about King Solomon. He chased everything “under the sun” – he enjoyed everything and denied himself nothing. And while he was enjoying life, he also did great things: he built houses, planted vineyards, designed gardens and parks and planted fruit trees in them, he bought slaves, acquired large herds and flocks, piled up silver and gold… anything he wanted, he did. And many of the things he did were good things… not just selfish things.

But when he looked at everything he’d done, he saw nothing. It was all meaningless. And when I look back at all I did – all the projects I sewed, all the items I beaded, all the crafts I made, all the gifts I created – yes, they brought joy to others, but for me? They were all meaningless in comparison to the time robbed from God and my family.

The Pastorman also shared another scripture that ties all this together… and truly, this one was like a dagger to my heart.

Revelation 2 talks about the church in Ephesus, and how they work hard, refuse to quite, hate evil and pretenders, and are courageous and persistent and do all kinds of Godly things. BUT – even though they do all those wonderful good things, they still managed to walk away from their first love – God!!

And then… our Pastorman went there… He said, it doesn't matter what practices, procedures, or traditions you do… if you do Godly stuff just to be doing it, and have lost the reason why you’re doing it… well, you've forsaken your first love and need to go back and iron it out. And in fact, I realized that I had been doing “practices, procedures and traditions” and being busy for the sake of just doing it… not to glorify God and the birth of his son, because honestly, what once started out as a labor of love had turned into an albatross around my neck with no joy at all!

So. I did what he suggested. I reviewed my last few months and really saw things from a different perspective. While there are many good things I have done, and while I have worked hard and refused to quit, and while there are many things I enjoy to do and achieve, I really allowed Christ to slip away from my focus, and allowed busyness to become the main focus.

I can see how I easily became overwhelmed, consumed, out of control, cluttered, disorganized, and exhausted. God had stopped being a part of my whole equation. My first love had slipped from my list of priorities. In fact, my first, second and third loves had slipped – the Lord, my husband, and my son.

In Matthew 22:37, Jesus tells us that we should love God first and love others as ourselves. When we put God first, he ministers to us where and when we need it, and prepares our hearts to “bubble forth” his love to others. His wonderful grace in our lives compares to NOTHING around us, and when we are in tune with him, he prepares us and readies us to minister to others. It’s a beautiful think how that works!

Furthermore, I feel that when we focus on truly loving God first in our lives, and others second, then God comes and fills us with a peace and joy that we can only experience when we abide in him. Two things that totally escaped me this Christmas season as I hurried around trying to love others first.

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40

So... this year, I'm doing things differently.

I'm changing my life around, reprioritizing things, placing God first in everything, focusing on my family, and working towards bringing health back into my home by refocusing on good eating habits, and hey, by the way… if loosing weight is a benefit from that, then right on!

Christmas of 2009 WILL BE DIFFERENT. I'm NOT killing myself to make or find the "just right and perfect gift" for ANYONE unless I stumble on it (except for my husband and son, of course). I may even begin purchasing gift cards in the spring so that by the fall, I'll have either a nice stash of cards to give out, or a nice stash of cards to go shopping with. I will NOT stress out over MAKING a gazillion things this year. Instead, I will focus on the important things in my life – my relationship with Christ, my devotions, my family... my studies... a few [read: not every single gift I make – just a FEW] really special homemade gifts for my dear friends and family, etc.

I hope that you too will examine your life and reprioritize!

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6