Friday, December 17, 2010


 I took a little unplanned hiatus there. I wanted to read, picked a book I'd already read, light reading that was handy because it was already in my iBooks app, and then read the next book in the series, and the next, and the next, five total. And I can see that I totally did it to avoid, bury my head in the sand, and not awfulize about the stuff that God was speaking to me last week.So I avoided. I should mention the Christmas gift sewing that sucked me in, too. So, I don't want to have a pity party here, just wanted to tell you I've been here... but not here.

God always pursues when we run. I should expect it by now. (Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Psalm 139.7-8)

Every week I come to Freedom for Life, empty and unwilling, and God speaks through the wonderful women at my table and touches my heart. Every week. We turn to Him, He comes, we turn, He comes... (Are you getting this, Kathy??? I am stubborn and comfortable in the mire, always surprised that there is something better.) My friend, Wendy, has been doing such a great job leading our group of ladies, week in and week out. She hears God for us, guiding us, modeling life in Christ, obedient.  Last night she brought a gift for each of us. (She even brought a gift for someone who wasn't supposed to be at our table, knowing she would be anyway. See - she hears from God, and then acts on it!) The gifts were Willow Tree figurines and she picked a different one for each of us, to remind us of this time, set apart for God.  For me, who cries through most meetings, she chose 'Happiness.'

The description of it was from God's heart to mine,
My daughter, My heart is for you to be "FREE to sing, laugh, dance....create!"
Only God could have told her that, the thing my heart longs to hear, the words I am afraid to hope for. Thank you, Wendy, you hear God when I can't.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blogging for Books

I just signed up for a program through WaterBrook Multnoma Publishing Company. For my first book I chose The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons. I'll receive it around Christmas and I am excited for free books! You just have to review the book(s) on your blog and link it to their site. You can also win stuff. Just thought I'd share with you! Maybe you want to sign up too!

Friday, December 3, 2010

In Progress

I have big plans for these:

This is my favorite one, Check out the teeth on this fish!

I only hope they come out as sweet as they look in my head!
You know you know what I mean.

And these are done. I'll tell you about them after I gift them.

And I made 150 of these, only different. I can't talk about that yet either. But I'm very excited about how this project turned out. And when I add the receipts for this project I spent about $25 for gifts for 22 people/families, including Grace's teacher gift. They are unique and fun. 

Now I need to go start cutting into those fab coffee bean bags. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Forgive, Forgiving, Forgiven

In the last Freedom for Life meeting, we talked at our table about how hard it is to forgive. It feels like ripping off a scar, something that you'd rather leave covering whatever damage is below the surface. We were asked to make a list of people we needed to forgive. My list was long, longer than I thought it would be. And I also noticed that there were things on the list that were just ridiculous. I'm very embarrassed to say that things like a poor report card and less than perfect public behavior made the list - normal things for which I was holding grudges against our kids. Crazy. Sad. And just wrong. Then there are the things that really did hurt me, deliberately or not, and that part of the list is long, too, and was WAY easier to make and detail. Those things just sit there in your mind and heart - if you let them, and wait to be given room to voice their complaints.

Alyssa at Resolved to Worship recently posted this:
Sometimes forgiving seems to minimize what has been done to me, to others.
I think that's what my brain wants, to NOT have the injustice forgotten or overlooked. There is a part of me that wants to rise up and say, "But look what they did! See how hurt I am? What about me?!?"and, "If I let this go, if I don't tell them in excruciating detail exactly how they hurt me and what they should have done instead, they will just do it over and over. I'm just not willing to lay it down!"

But my heart longs for reconciliation. Sometimes your heart knows things that your head can't make sense of.
There is a couple at church that I hurt. I hurt them so deeply that they left the church we were in at the time. They chose the painful prospect of breaking fellowship to get away from the sin I am responsible for. Of course there were reasons, I was in leadership, sought counsel for a situation from an appropriate person and I unwisely chose to follow the advise I was given. But I chose, I sinned against this couple, and the results were immediate, clear and unquestionable. For a while I was able to absolve myself by assuring myself that, even though I had actually carried out this act, I was merely following the leading of someone in more authority than myself - for a while. And then some other stuff was going on with us and we, too, left that church.... only to settle at the same church as this couple! 

Avoiding them in the small church building, especially in the entryway the "size of a Hummer," was a challenge. We never spoke a word, I didn't talk to anyone else about the situation and I assume they didn't either as I never heard a whisper, but I could practically feel the air thicken as I tried to avoid them, probably only obvious to me. Our pastor and God seem to have some kind of deal where he continuously preaches right to whatever is going on in my heart, and so came the Sunday where he preached about forgiveness and I sat on an aisle and the other couple sat on the opposite aisle a couple rows ahead of me - right where I could look at them through the. whole. service. Our church has ministry time at the end of just about any meeting we have, always leaving space to respond to and hear from God. As the message ended, we all stood to sing, and I watched this couple walk to the front to be available to pray with anyone who approached. I. was. not. approaching! I hightailed it downstairs to pick up our daughter from her class. But we did come back upstairs to worship and dance and that couple was still there, not praying with anyone. 

I finally gave in to what the Spirit had been whispering, nudging, and finally pushing me to do. I had sinned against this couple and I longed for reconciliation. I went forward, daughter on hip, and confessed my sorrow at ever hurting them. And they heard me, hugged me, cried a little with me and forgave me, and I came away lighter, with a sense of God's extravagant, bottomless grace.
What I received that day, over three years ago, was more than just their forgiveness and God-who-never- forgets-the-lessons-we-shouldn't-have-forgotten, is reminding me of the peace and joy He brings in reconciliation. The last few weeks, He has reminded me-the-forgetful and I find myself looking around in our new, larger facility to see if I can find them, this couple that gave me such a gift through their forgiveness. Once in a while I do and I have such overflowing joy to see them and know that we are all good. We are not close, but I feel intimate with them, real fellowship. I can choose to be the forgiver or the forgivee, or both. They both feel pretty good.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Taco Pie

A hearty blend of tacos and crescent rolls, perfect for a cold winter night! Micah came home over an hour after we ate this the other night and ate two pieces cold, I don't even know if he used a fork.

Taco Pie
1 can crescent rolls (8 rolls size)
1# Ground beef, or turkey (or possibly soy crumbles? Never tired it!), browned
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
corn chips (the kind that go with salsa)
sour cream
taco toppings - your choice!

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Brown meat in frying pan. Drain, rinse to get off extra fat, return to pan. Add the taco seasoning and tomato sauce and mix together.
3) While meat is browning, line ungreased 9X9" pan with the crescent rolls, pressing seams closed. This is very forgiving so rip them, tear them into little pieces to cover the sides and bottom of pan as needed.

 4) Crush a BIG handful of corn chips and cover the bottom of the pan with them.

5) Spread meat mixture on top of the chip layer.
(Why won't this picture rotate?!?!?)
 6) Spread sour cream over the meat, no measuring! (Micah doesn't like sour cream so we leave it off of a portion for him and mark it with toothpicks so we remember which part is his.)
7) Now cheese over the sour cream.
8) And then another layer of chips. Pop it in the oven for 49-45 minutes until the crust is golden. While it's cooking, chop all your toppings - whatever you like to serve with tacos.
9) Let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting.
10) Cut into 6 or 9 pieces - how hungry are you? 
11) Top with you favorite taco toppings & enjoy! If you serve it with fruit and a glass of milk, you have every food group covered! AND don't forget the treat for dessert - there is a part of the food pyramid that allows for that, too. ;o)   Make it! Do it!

If you're blessed like me, maybe someone will make you guacamole to go with it!
Thanks, honey!