Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cupcake anyone?

What a couple months it has been-between back pain, fevers, headaches and anything else in between-hopefully we are at the end of it. The other night I had such severe heartburn as never before I couldn't even sleep. Is this the joy of aging???
The week before Valentine's Day I announced to the kids in Sunday School that we were going to have a party. They were excited, especially the older one because we would decorate cookies. We normally do that at Christmas, but this year we didn't have time. During the week I looked all over the internet for different heart projects to do where they would learn about God's love for them. Besides making cookies, I wanted to make some cupcakes. There are a ton of adorably decorated cupcakes out there and I found some printable cupcake wrappers to print and cut out. I also printed out pictures of the kids so their heart projects were a little more personal.

(these are the cute wrappers I found at Skip to My Lou)
Sunday morning I carefully finished putting all the cute wrappers around the cupcakes and topped them off with some sweet sprinkles. Who was more excited-me or the kids?!! I love doing things like this. (I think it's from serving in women's ministry in Vista with so many talented women and having great inspiration) It's a joy to me. I love to see the kids eyes sparkle in awe as they see things that are completely new to them. So into the car and onto church we go.................

While on the way, we get a call from one of the families-the flu has struck their family and they won't be able to make it. A little later another call came....and so it was that only 1 of 6 would be there that day. At first my heart just sank and the initial reaction was to think it was such a waste of time, energy and even enthusiasm- a huge letdown. Thankfully, the Lord didn't allow me to go there. Disappointed for a bit, yes, but making a choice to give it straight over to God won out. The enemy so wants to make us seem like our efforts are all in vain, unappreciated, and unnoticed. He wants to rob us of our joy in serving God-to give up because after all, what's the use!
It was a good reminder to me about who I serve and why I do the things I do. Keeping Jesus as the focus and purpose of all we do helps to ease the disappointments when they come. When our desire is to please Him then we know that nothing is in vain. We know that we have done what He put in our hearts to do and He is well pleased with our obedience. If we constantly try to please man and put God second, we will always be disappointed and frustrated. Man will always fail us-we will fail one another in some way or another at some point in our lives. God doesn't meausre success or failure the same way we do. Man is result oriented-seeing instantly with the eye the reward of his work. We won't always see the immediate result of our obedience to the Lord. Often times it will be His working something in our hearts, something perhaps that noone else sees but you and He. Is that enough? Does that make the effort worth it? It did for me that Sunday. There is a joy knowing that my Heavenly Father cared enough to teach me something new that day. He did an inward work through my outward work. I wouldn't want to trade it for anything.
Thankfully, the cookies could keep until the following Sunday and the kids were so excited that they didn't miss out on all the fun!
The big people ate some and then Jim and I forced ourselves to eat the rest during the week since they wouldn't freeze well :)

Monday, February 14, 2011


Just a short note today-I wanted to share with you how romantic my husband is. Yes, my sweet loving adorable hubby!!! He really is amazing!

A couple of years ago I made a Valentine card for him and sent it to him via email. He lovingly sent one back to me:

He is a creative genius I tell you!

I know some people loathe this day. It used to be sad in high school when they would sell roses for you to give to people you were "in love" with and you didn't have anyone "in love" with you. Well, my friends and I just sent them to each other and made everyone else curious as to who our secret admirers were! Yah, I am certain much sleep was lost that night as they tossed and turned trying to figure out that one!! LOL!Oh but we have our Jesus who loves us with an everlasting love. Love that never disappoints, never fails, never changes. God is love! It's not just a saying, it's reality. It's a precious promise from the One who never goes back on His Word! What more could we ask for :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Below the Surface

My back pain is much better now-thank you for praying! I am back to the normal pain caused by the herniated disk that I have had over 20 yrs now. Thankful that the mid back pain has gone away. We switched computer chairs so hopefully that is what was the cause of the problem.
I love when my dear husband shows great concern over my well being. He is always telling me to "be sure to rest your back" "don't overdo it honey". Of course it is usually followed by "When are you going to get to the ironing?" Today was my housecleaning day. I try to do a bit each day and then Friday the major things like vacuuming and bathrooms get done. Darling husband has given me a sabatical on cleaning his bathroom for the last couple months. (Yes, it was in the contract we signed when we moved into this place that since we finally had 2 usuable bathrooms, I would have my own) I began getting all the wonderful chemicals out of the cupboard to assist in my cleaning and happen to notice said bathroom needed cleaning. As I am cleaning I asked a question and was quickly told that I didn't need to clean his shower because he just cleaned it. Oh really?????????
At first glance, it did look passable for clean. Upon closer look it began to dawn on me that this shower was in desperate need of help. I went to wipe down the tiles in there and there wasn't that shiny slippery feel that was supposed to be there. Instead it was caked on hard water scummy muck! That meant socks off and into shower for major overhaul of these tiles. Scrubbing away, inserting a little groan here and there in hopes that Mr Lovey might appear and ask what is the problem-didn't work-he was playing guitar with his earphones on!! Scrubbing away, I found myself talking to the Lord and figured since I had to exert all this energy on a 'clean' shower maybe He could give me a little bible lesson while we scrubbed. Of course He did friends!
I started thinking about what lies below the surface. At first glance things might appear wonderful and shiny but underneath some grime has built up. Compromises, little things that we let in our lives after a while, guards that we no longer keep up to ensure that we don't cross certain lines or let certain things come in contact with us. It's so easy for these things to creep in and just sit there unnoticed. It's even easier when we start to compare ourselves with other Christians and think that we are doing well because we seem to have it more together than they do. It's good to go before the Lord as David did-in Psalm 139 where he asks the Lord to search him and see if any unclean thing is found in him. We need to do that often.
When I cleaned the shower today I wore gloves to protect my hands, I rolled up my sweats so they wouldn't get all messy and I had to lean in and scrub hard! I had to spray strong chemicals on the tiles to help get all the scum off. I had to bend down to be sure to get each tile.
We have the most beautiful example of our sweet Jesus cleaning-stooping down low, rolled up his garment and grabbed a towel. Jesus didn't put on gloves-He used His very hands-the hands that would soon take a nail through them. He wasn't afraid of the dirt. He didn't need to use harsh or strong chemicals-His blood would be enough to cleanse completely. He wants to get below the surface of our lives so that we are completely cleansed day by day. He wants us to be shining for Him! He doesn't want the ways of this world to infiltrate our lives in such a way hinders us from complete surrender to Him.
Later in the day I was baking some cookies for Sunday and started singing the song by Keith Green-O Lord You're Beautiful. As I was singing the words "replace the lamp of my first love that burned with holy fear" I thought it went along with what the Lord had taught me while cleaning the shower. That holy fear of doing anything or allowing anything in my life that might cause a build up of grime in my heart. I don't want it there. I want to be that vessel of honor, a vessel that is fit for my Master's use.
Praise the Lord that He is so gentle with us, that He cleanses us from all uncleaness when we confess our sins to Him. What a merciful Savior!! What a wonderful God!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

oh my aching back

Well, feeling better was short lived! For the past few days the only way I can find relief for my back it to lay in bed. It's been horrible! Last night the pain was so bad it made me sick to my stomache!
Please pray for complete healing in my back. Since July I get pain in the mid section off and on but it also makes breathing difficult because it is where the rib cage is. We are thinking it could be the chair I have been using at my desk. We switched out the chairs today so we will see if it makes any difference. Hopefully this will go away quickly!
I asked Jim to make dinner tonight. He's great at it so it was no problem....except for the fact that I wanted rice for dinner. He joyfully obliged and about a half hour later there was an entire pot full of cooked rice!!!!! He made the entire pound (there abouts in metric) Oh my...we will be eating rice till the cows come home. It tasted yummy though with some butter and grated parmesan cheese!
ok-that's it for today. Hopefully in the next day or two I will have more energy and will write more.
thanks for praying!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Privilege

I have been reading The Privilege by Kay Smith in the past weeks. It is an amazing read. I was so blessed to go to the pastor's wives conference in Murrietta this past October and this book was one of the things that sweetly graced our table setting one evening. The cover itself captivates you and immediately draws you in.
We have grown up with the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover' but in this case I think we can.

Inside is years of wisdom from Kay flowing from one page to the next.

The title itself is something that really struck me. It completely causes you to think of the blessing it is to be a pastor's wife. At times it is difficult to look at it like that-sadly, at times I looked at it as a burden, one more thing I have probably failed at and not lived up to people's expectations of me. Too often it's easy to look at the negative part of it and not remember that it really is a privilege. It really is a privilege to be able to be used by God in such a way.

I am not finished reading this but what I have read has made such an impact in my thinking. Kay has a special gift of exhorting with love, not mincing words and really challenging us to live up to the calling God has for us. You just can't skim through the chapters, finish the book and then put it neatly back on your shelf. Well, I suppose you could, but then you would be missing out on so much. For me, it is good to be challenged. To have someone say, "Listen, you need to be doing this and that" is good for me! Kay's words don't leave you feeling condemned-convicted at times in certain areas, encouraged that someone understands the hurts and discouragement you have gone through, but always with the exhortation to look at it from the Word of God.

I really encourage you to get this book if you don't have it already. It's not just for pastor's wives but, as it says on the back of the book, "If you are a pastor's wife, mother, Sunday School teacher or ministry leader" get this book and let the Lord speak to your heart through it. I believe it will be so beneficial. There are so many gold nuggets in this book and I am only half way through.

A little snippit-At times, we find ourselves standing in a field we didn't choose for ourselves, tending to a task we never wanted. But when the call to that field-and the sheep it contains-comes from God Himself, then you've just been given a privilege. (this is from the back cover)
For many of us, our husbands weren't pastors when we married them and their call impacted our lives -but God knew all along and He has promised to equip the called. He will equip us for every work He puts in front of us. Don't be afraid of what or where God may be calling you or has already called you. Let Him pour into you so that you are able to pour in to others. Look to Him-let Him be your motivation, the One you desire to please. There is much freedom in that!

If you have listened to Kay's teachings before, you will truly feel like she is right there on the couch with you telling you these things. I often find myself smiling as I read certain portions because I can hear her voice and the way she would be saying it.

I thank God that He has given me this privilege!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A little browsing

I find myself ever so grateful to be living overseas in such a time as this. Technology is amazing. Yes, there are those that use it in bad ways, but there are many others that share their thoughts, talents, recipes and even fun craft ideas with the world of bloggers and readers. It's not easy to go to your nearest Christian bookstore and pick up the latest CD, book or Christian art in these parts of the world. Thankfully, I have been able to find some really neat blogs from ladies who share their pretty artwork with the rest of us.
Today, I thought I would share a few links with you so you can join in the fun. I know many of you who read here are on the mission field too so I pray you have a printer and paper and can enjoy some fun finds to put around your house.
I found this one:(just click and it brings you to their blog)
She has some really neat printables. I was able to print out a few of them and change them out according to the season. Ikea has some good prices on frames so you can have some nice pictures for a little money. You can also print them out whatever size you want. I have Photoshop Elements so I am able to change the color of things if I want to match something in particular.
This next site I enjoy browsing through because she always has the neatest pictures that make me want to have all kinds of little parties with my granddaughter, my friends and anyone else who would come over and visit! So much pink and floral and all kinds of lovliness on this blog:
A Little Lovliness
If you are looking for some really adorable Valentine printables you MUST go check these out. I am thinking we are going to have a party in Sunday School just so I can use these cute things!
You can find them at:
Catch My Party
The next one caught my eye just because the cookies were decorated so beautifully and I sat here and imagined it was me that decorated them and everyone oohed and aahed and told me how wonderfully creative I am!!
Glorious Treats
Ok-less I cause you to stumble and spend too much time going from site to site and following one link to another link and then your kids come home and ask you what is for dinner and you just kind of look at them with that blank stare and hubby arrives home and you still have your houserobe on you ramble on and on about how you couldn't help it but you found yourself captivated by all these wonderful online things, I will stop here. There are other links but I will save them for another time.