Monthly Archives: November 2010

The 48 Hour Attack on Thanksgiving

This year my daughter, Bethany, volunteered to cook Thanksgiving dinner.
Her forte is 
 procrastinated organization.
She didn’t do anything until 48 hours prior to the holiday.
On Tuesday she wrote out her menu plan and shopping list, shopped,
and made three pies, two pumpkin, one sweet potato.
Wednesday evening she prepared the side dishes, roasted potatoes,
green bean casserole,dill carrots, and sweet potatoes,
and put them in disposable aluminum foil pans with lids in the fridge.
She rolled out previously frozen homemade bread dough,
 and put in little balls in a circular foil pan and put in the fridge.
Thursday morning while she drank Holiday Roast coffee,
she pulled out the bread to raise, started the turkey in electric roasting pan,
and put the prime rib roast in the crock pot, leaving the oven free
for everything else later in the morning.
I set the table, greatly enjoying the fact that I was able to spend
a lot of time on frivolous details like rolling my napkins perfectly,
 tucking a little  floral spray into each napkin ring,
and lighting every candle in the house.
I planned for months for my end, sewing, decorating and crafting,
and she planned for two days.
She was calm, peaceful, cheerful and very efficient.
It was amazing to watch her in action.
The tables were turned, I was learning from her.
Over the years, I realized you don’t have to  master a skill
before you teach it to your children, you just give them opportunities
 to learn, grow and succeed.

She pulled together the final preparations,
heating up the side dishes,making relish trays, setting out the butter dishes,
 and finding serving dishes and spoons.
Her younger sister, Grace, started at the sink
utilizing the Clean As You Go (CAYG) method we love.
Minutes away from serving…
…Dad carving the turkey, of course.
It was truly an amazing meal, both in the orchestration from the maestro,
Bethany, to the variety of flavors, and the perfect timing of all the foods.
I realized it wasn’t really procrastination,
she didn’t need to make lists upon lists for months upon months.
She has confidence and the ability to pull together a big meal in 48 hours.
There wasn’t a better compliment than the one my MIL
frequently said, “Everything was just perfect.”
Psalms 69:30
I will praise the name of God with a song,
and will magnify Him with thanksgiving…
for our wonderful Thanksgiving.



Keeping Christ in Christmas

This is usually a self-righteous slogan
 we Christians fume when we see someone write
Xmas
instead of Christmas
or see more Santa
than Savior.
In all honesty,
 in the midst of the Christmas Chaos,
shopping,
wrapping,
baking,
decorating,
crafting,
sewing and
cooking,
we need to remind ourselves first.
We need to set the example,
of keeping
Christ
in
Christmas.
We are taught to pray about everything in our lives.
Have we ever thought about praying about presents?
Have we ever thought that the Lord might use us
to provide a need in another’s life?
Have we ever thought that Christmas might be the perfect time
to encourage believers in their Christian walk?
Gifts of Christian biographies,
 study books and commentaries,
or inspirational Christian music,
might be a nice way to keep
Christ
in
Christmas.
Giving a Gospel tract or booklet with our baked goodies
or in our Christmas cards,
would be a great way to keep
Christ
in
Christmas.
Not getting cranky when we are overwhelmed,
would probably be a great,
and probably the hardest way,
to keep
Christ
in
Christmas.
Our tree arranging went something like this episode of
Brady Bunch, but I didn’t have laryngitis.
Maybe I should have been inflicted.
It would have helped me keep
Christ
in
Christmas
We have a small living room,
we’ll have a lot of company over the holidays,
and needed all the furniture to remain in the room.
We moved the tree to every possible spot,
moving the couch and the loveseat
over 
and over
and over,
before we put everything back in the original spot.
We simply moved my sewing cabinet to the other side of the fireplace,
and tucked the tree into the corner of the room.
The Thanksgiving episode ended with my apology,
 and this Christmas episode ended with my apology,
because the more you set spiritual goals,
the more you will be tested and tried.
But, my heart, mind and soul
keep feasting on the idea of keeping
Christ
in
Christmas.
*****
MomsTheWord

MM Meditation – The Barrenness of Busyness

I greatly appreciate the writings of A.W. Tozer
and most thoughts I share are from a daily devotional I receive. 
If you would like to subscribe, click here. 
The following is an exerpt from his book, “We Travel an Appointed Way.”
*****

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
 –Luke 10:41-42


Failing in his frontal attacks upon the child of God, Satan often turns to more subtle means of achieving his evil purpose. He resorts to devious methods in his attempt to divert the Christian from carrying out the task God has committed to him. He often succeeds by involving the saint in some other lesser occupation and so distracting him….

Satan’s distracting words often come from the most unexpected quarters. Martha would call Mary away from sitting at the feet of the Master. Sometimes, if we are not careful, our best friend may distract us. Or it might be some very legitimate activity. This day’s bustle and hurly-burly would too often and too soon call us away from Jesus’ feet. These distractions must be immediately dismissed, or we shall know only the “barrenness of busyness.”   A.W. Tozer

*****

I have often been challenged in this Christian life to do what is best –
not just what is good.

Sometimes it is easier to be busy and not intimate with the Lord Jesus.  We can rush around in “service” to Him, but avoid time in the Word and in prayer.

“Be still and know that I am God.”
Psalm 46:10

May we seek the Lord’s wisdom in making those daily choices that are the best for our Christian walk, our testimony and our personal devotion to the One whose dying love saved our souls.

Just Had to Make One More Thing…

After preparing for Thanksgiving with the in-laws almost one full year, things were ready.  The house was decorated, the meal was planned, the groceries were purchased, the house was clean.  It was nearly, practically perfect.  We just had to pick up Gramma and Grandpa from the  train station.

Good thing we checked first.  Instead of arriving on the West Coast at 9am, they were still stuck somewhere in Idaho.  They were not going to be into Spokane until around 6pm, then they would have to take a bus for the rest of the journey.

I had a full day to myself.  So, I did what any woman would do, I found something to do.  It’s all Steph’s fault.  But, she could blame it on Jen, who created the original Thankful Garland.

My dear hubby drove his 4×4 Jeep down the icy streets to Michaels.

I went for this…..
…and came out with this. 
That’s what you get for shopping after a major snow storm, when everyone else is at home. Michael’s was selling out all their fall clearance for $2. I bought three heavy boxes and three very full bags.
When you follow someone’s ideas, there are certain areas you shouldn’t deviate from. Jen recommended Gorilla tape. I thought I could work without it. Maybe I’ll get some of this tape for Christmas.
The longer I worked trying to get my garland to stay along the edge of my mantle, the less thankful I was.
I tried taping loops of fabric underneath my mantle cloth.
It didn’t work.
I tried nailing  the little cloth slips to the mantle. 
It only worked on one loop.  The rest kept bouncing up.
I was wondering if I should have tried to straigthen the grapevine
before using it.
Then, I remembered these vintage babies in my craft room.
Yea, they’re lick-‘n-stick. How old-fashioned are these? But they worked. I licked and sticked a row of them along the top of the mantle, taped them down for extra good measure until they firmly dried. Thin wire was threaded through the metal triangle and around the grapevine.
It worked!
I won’t tell you how long it took, or how many times I checked back to the other blogs, to get ideas for making this work. I was almost going to rename my garland THE CRABBY GARLAND.
After I realized I did not buy any floral sprays in my bags, my dear hubby drove me back to Michael’s to spend $4 on two more humongous bags  filled with fall foliage.
Yea, he’s a keeper.
Little floral sprays were tucked along vine.  Jen made beautiful roses and put glitter on her clothespins. That might have to wait until next year.
Leaves were cut out from scrapbook paper using this template, and placed in a wooden bowl with tiny, wooden clothespins and a permanent marker.
We began filling out  the leaves with thankful thoughts. By now, I had renewed my thankful heart, after apologizing to my hubby for getting crabby.
It turned out just fine, and didn’t fall into the fire.
Little Rebekah filled out the center leaf first.
She has her priorities straight.
******************

Meanwhile, my in-laws were on a nightmare journey. Because it was so cold throughout the entire midwest, the trains had to move slower than usual.  Much, much slower.  For hours of the trip they were behind a freight train going 10 miles per hour.  Since train engineers can only drive for 12 hours at a time, they repeatedly ended up waiting for a new conductor.  If he was three hours away, his work day began when he jumped in his car to drive.  By the time he arrived at the train, he could drive the train 9 hours, when his shift was done, they waited for a new engineer to drive in from another city.

Toilets froze up and blow torches were applied.  Food supplies were low.  The train kept chugging and chugging along.

The bus ride was worse.  They ended up having four drop-off/pick-ups, so instead of a three or four hour interstate ride, it became nearly a 9 hour drive into small towns and smaller roads.

Yes, at one point the GPS led the bus driver into a small road where he couldn’t back up.  He had to wake up the owner of the house at the end of the road and have him bring out a flashlight and help him get the bus back on the road.  Then, the people they were supposed to pick up in this small town way up in the mountains in WA, were not there.

Meanwhile, hubby and I were waiting in our car at the locked Amtrack station where they were supposed to arrive at midnight.  Ever try to find a bathroom open at 2:30am?  Even if a business is open, their policy is to NOT let anyone use their bathrooms because of the kind of people that are usually on the streets at that hour.  By 3 am, I was looking like one of those people.

But, their bus finally arrived and we finally got a few hours of sleep before Thanksgiving Day officially began.

But, my home and heart were ready,
complete with a Thankful Garland.

Keeping Place Value in Its Place

Place value can be a mystifying concept to young children.
Place value can be a mystifying concept for adults
trying to teach  young children.

I like to use various methods to help my kids gain understanding.

I found this old place value chalkboard,
that gives a great visual of the place value columns.
We write the numbers with the digits in the correct column.
When comparing numbers, it is easy to see which number is the least
and which is the greatest.
It also comes in handy for learning to carry,
or regroup, as some curriculums call it.

Plus, it is just fun to write with chalk,
isn’t it?
To utilize a place value chart,
you can make paper charts,
they’re easy to find on the internet.
You could also make your own gridlines
 on a chalkboard or a dry erase board.
Anybody else have any great ideas for teaching place value?

Give Thanks in EVERYTHING

1 Thessalonians 5:18
 In everything
 give thanks;
for this is the will of God
 in Christ Jesus
 for you.
I have heard someone say
you really don’t have to give thanks
for everything
but just in everything.
They thought it might be foolish to
thank the Lord for a flat tire or an illness.
I have to respectfully and lovingly
disagree.
It seems to me,
 if you won’t give thanks
for everything,
you really aren’t surrendering to everything.
What if that flat tire,
is an answer to prayer for safety?
What if it is keeping you from a 13 car pile-up?
Happened to me once.
Although I’m a little slow.
I didn’t realize until AFTER I blogged
what the Lord spared me from.
What if that flat tire
is what the Lord used
to show you you forgot to tie down the huge ladder
on top of your truck?
Instead of killing someone
with a loose ladder,
you  only fixed a flat, then tied your ladder down.
Happened to my friend Tim.
What if the loss of your husband’s job,
is the Lord’s way of giving
your husband a BETTER job?
Happened to my friend Cheri.
What if that illness is an
answer to prayer for a chance to be a testimony
and become more Christ-like?
Happened to more friends than I can list.
What if taking one child home to Heaven early,
is one of the tools the Lord uses,
to bring salvation to the other kids in the family.
Happened to more friends than I can list.
What if…
What if…
What if…
We don’t know why God
causes or allows the circumstances of our lives.
We just need to trust Him.
We need to obey Him.
As we eagerly anticipate
a special day of Thanksgiving,
our hearts are looking to the Lord.
Most of us are already convicted
that we should be thankful
every day.
But, we need to go further
than showing thankfulness
every day.
We need to give thanks in
every
thing.
E V E R Y
thing.
This is the will of God,
in Christ Jesus,
for us.

How’s Your Flock?

Proverbs 27: 23-24

Be diligent to know the state of your flocks,

And attend to your herds;


For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.

*****
I don’t see these verses as merely a discourse on goat herding. I’m not thinkin’  about a flock of sheep, either.

My flock is human, six beautiful, wonderful blessings from the Lord.

The crown isn’t for being a natural-born princess, it is for consecration to the King of Kings.  It is a crown indicating you are not of this world, your faith has given you heavenly royalty.

Unlike the Royal families in Europe, the spiritual crown of consecration to the Lord, is not passed on from generation to generation.  There are no guarantees that children will be in the family of God, just because you love Jesus and just because they were physically born in your family.

Karen, a beautiful Christian woman, once told me, “There are no grandchildren in the family of God.”

It is easy for a young parent to ASSUME that their faith will be assimilated, especially when children are very young and love to pray, love to sing Jesus songs. Maybe they just like the praise? Maybe they just like the attention? Maybe they just like to perform? We must not be so quick to assume they have spiritual understanding and that they really have spiritual appreciation for all that surrounds them.  We must be discerning.

Yes, advantage to being raised in Christian family, they are hearing and seeing the beautiful Gospel message each day.

Yes, important to have family altar, it can alter the family.

Yes, important to go to church and to be faithful to Bible teaching, because faith comes by hearing.  But, they still need to hear and then exercise their own faith.

But, you must understand, like every soul in the entire world, they have to make their own choice.


I recently read a rant against Christianity because we raise our kids and force them to follow our beliefs. He was missed the whole point of Christianity. Each person has to choose to become a Christian. We explain the two eternities of the argument and they have to choose.

In fact, we are more fair than the unbelievers, who only raise their kids with one choice and that is to ignore, distrust and/or hate the Lord.
We need to take this admonition to heart –

“Be diligent to know the state of your flocks.”
We need´╗┐ to be discerning about our children.  We need to pray the Lord will reveal any areas where they have been deceived by the wicked one.  We need to make sure a root of bitterness hasn’t sprung up, especially if we caused the growth.  We need to pray the Lord will help us to catch them in their sin, so we can root out evil in their lives.
My heart longs to pray even more diligently and more specifically for my children.  I am asking the Lord for verses to pray for each child.  I am asking for good communication, that we might learn to fellowship and not just talk.
I want my home to be singing with diligence, as I seek to know the state of my beautiful, blond flock.
*****
MomsTheWord