28 November 2011


Isn't it a blessing to know that God meets us where we are? (And thankfully doesn't leave us there!) I don't know about you, but sometimes I struggle with knowing "how" to pray about something. You see, I want my prayer to be pleasing to God; but the problem is, many times, my heart is not.

So, I have to go back and ask Him to show me where my desires and ways of thinking are displeasing to Him. And, gently, but painfully, He answers that request. (It's always hard to see ourselves as we really are, isn't it?)

But, even still, I want my prayer to be pleasing to Him. So, again, how should I pray?

This morning, while reading Psalm 57 in my study Bible, God revealed a little gem to my structure-loving heart. Remember? He meets us where we are.

He knows I've been struggling with "how" to pray over a problem.

And He is the One that created me to love structure.

So, I "just happened" to read in my study Bible (which I use a few times a week, as opposed to my regular Bible) that Psalm 57 follows a certain structure - kind of like a sonnet. Of course my interested was piqued. And my structure-loving heart was pricked. Maybe this is how I should pray....

In Psalm 57, David's prayer begins with his PETITION and LAMENT. He presents his problem to God - a pretty big one, at that! Saul is seeking David's life and is smearing his reputation, to put it lightly. But David chooses to go to the One who can do something about it. He lays open his heart before God, with all its hurt, sadness, and fear.

But he doesn't stop there.

He then goes on to declare his TRUST in God. He believes that God will cause his enemies to fall due to their own schemes. "They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves." Remember, God is for us! (Ps. 56:9)

He also declares his THANKSGIVING for Who God is: ""For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds."

Believe it or not, God WANTS us to tell Him our problems. Others may not want to hear all our complaints or may not understand our particular burden. But God tells us over and over in Scripture to bring them to Him. (Phil. 4:6, I Pet. 5:6-7)

And then we must trust Him enough to leave it with Him - which means praying about it every time it starts to creep into our thoughts.

And then we must thank Him for Who He Is.

For His mercy and truth are great!

23 November 2011

Chocolate, of course...

It dawned on me the other day that there is only one recipe on this blog that contains chocolate. That is just wrong. A blog is supposed to represent the writer, present truth, provide a window into real life, blah, blah, blah.

So how could I leave out chocolate???

Please forgive me and enjoy these chocolate-y recipes!

Triple-Decker Brownies

1 box family-size brownies
1 container of cream cheese icing
1 cup chopped, lightly salted peanuts
3 cups rice krispies
1 cup creamy PB
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare the brownies according to package directions (13x9 size).
After they've cooled, spread the icing over the top, and sprinkle the peanuts over the icing.
In a medium saucepan, melt the PB and chocolate chips over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in the Rice Krispies.
Spread this mixture over the brownies. Refrigerate until firm, and then cut into squares.

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
1 cup sunflower kernels
1/2 (or more) cups chocolate chips
1/2 (or more) cups butterscotch chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 stick butter, melted (a healthier butter substitute works fine, too)

Line a small (8 x 10 ?) baking pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients together.
Spread granola onto foil and bake at 325 for 25 - 30 minutes, until slightly golden.
Let cool to room temp. and cut into bars.

*** I must warn you that the granola bars are addictive. However, they are a good source of protein and probably a great balance of carbs and proteins (which is why it is necessary that I eat one after getting home from the gym!).

01 November 2011

Fairy Stone

Our family enjoyed a really fun get-a-way for a couple days last week. We drove up to Fairy Stone National Park near Stuart, Virginia and stayed in a log cabin. As in an Abraham Lincoln-kind of log cabin. As in no phone service, no internet, no t.v. (except for the Netflix we sneaked in to watch on his laptop - as if it were contraband!). And let me just tell you, I am not complaining about being disconnected for a couple days! But there are a few things we learned while we were gone. Things like...

1. Husbands (the one of you that is out there, somewhere, reading this), take your cell phone with you when you decide to go on a three-hour hike with two little boys... in the drizzling weather....that's in the 40's. Even though it may not have service, you can at least can climb to the top of a mountain and call your wife if you get lost. Or you can call for help if you get a flat tire while driving to another trail. Not that any of those things happened, but your wife might worry that they ARE happening... while you are gone for three hours (near dark) in cold, rainy weather with two little boys.

Just take the phone.

2. Or, don't take the phone. Then when you come back with two little boys who are soaked from the shins down from crossing creeks by jumping from rock to rock, she won't fuss at you. She'll just be glad that you're alive! And then she can tell the park rangers that there's no need to keep all that descriptive information that she gave them. (When she and the toddler hitched a ride up to the ranger station to see if they had "heard" anything.)

No, I'm not making this up.

3. Moving on, Bluegrass will grow on you if you check out the Floyd Country Store Jamboree on a Friday night. Getting orange cream soda in a glass bottle and a bag of nickel candy was fun for us and the kids!

4. Read carefully. In the guest journal in the cabin, a prior guest wrote about a "skunk" living on the porch. She also said she saw several of them. A family of skunks living around the cabin seemed pretty doggone exciting! Well, that was enough for the kids and me to be at the door every time we heard the slightest creak outside. Daniel was bound and determined to get close to a skunk. I had to talk him down from making that happen. But upon re-reading her journal entry the next day, I saw that she had written "skink," as in a small lizard. Whoop-dee-do. She saw a lizard. Well, as I said, read carefully!

5. A couple of days away does wonders, doesn't it? Relaxing and having fun with the family is definitely worth the trouble of planning and saving!

Our view from the front porch

The Perfect Toasted Marshmallow that Thomas made for his Mommy