Saturday, April 28, 2012

Green House 2 Go ~ Reduce~Reuse~Repurpose ~

I received a wonderful gift of a Aloe plant several weeks ago. A friend knew that I get burned just looking at the oven and felt sympathetic to my burn prone self. Aloe is a plant that can multiple quickly. So, after having the plant for a few weeks I started to think of ways to share my blessing with others. I was able to re-pot several of the roots and give to friends who also frequently burn them self or spend a lot of time in the sun. I was able to give them their aloe plants in a pot. I didn't travel far or long to be able to give them their gifts. Next weekend I am going to see one of my oldest college friends and my travels will be a bit more extensive before I get to see her. She has three little ones that spend the majority of their day outside. They also live on a farm. So, I am sure she will benefit from some of the Aloe as well. In my trying to figure a way to get the aloe to her with out spilling it all over my car floor ( totally happened spent the rest of the afternoon vacuuming out my car  ), I came up with the following idea.

"Green House 2 Go"
Supplies Needed:
Plant, shovel (plastic spoon),
trash bag, and cleaned out yogurt
& granola container

I saved an old yogurt and granola container thinking that surely there was something I could
re- purpose it for. And I'm so glad that I did. For those that that follow my blog you know I love finding multiple purposes for items. REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE!!! This may not be our eternal home, but I believe it's our responsibility to care for it while we are here as best we can. This re-purposed container was perfect for my little "Green House 2 Go".

Step 1:  Clean out a yogurt and granola container. A container for just yogurt alone doesn't provide a lid that's needed to complete the green house effect.

Step 2: Use your shovel (plastic spoon) to put a thin layer of fertilizer/soil in the bottom of your cup. Insert roots of plant and cover with fertilizer/soil. I use Miracle Grow Moisture Control at the moment. I hope to eventually make my own compost. Eventually. Baby steps :-)

Step 3: Be sure to trim the proper amount off of the top of the plant (if needed)
so it will fit in the container under the lid.

Step 4: ENJOY!!! Your plant is ready for travel in your cup holder! It is also equipped to sit in a window seal and comes with it's very own drip container.

Green House 2 Go!!!! Reduce Reuse Recycle :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An Evaluation of Prayer

As I've mentioned many times I am working on sifting through some of the things I've accumulated over the years. The last few days I've been reading or skimming through old journals. I am a avid journal writer. For me it's always best to get thoughts, worries, etc. out of my head. I've found that writing in a journal is the best way to do that, for me. I've also learned what an encouragement it can be when you write down specific prayers, requests, needs, praises, so on and so forth only to look back and have, for your self if no one else, evidence of God hearing and answering you.
In reading through prayer requests from YEARS ago I noticed a pattern. Since at least the summer before I left for college I've been asking for several things consistently. I'm not sure why I never noticed before. Even this week I'm pretty sure that a few of the same things are listed. It has me asking the question, "has this question already been answered ? ".  Some things require time. Some prayer requests the Lord doesn't answer immediately. And a few are meant to be prayed over and over. I understand that.  But should there come a time of reevaluation on our part concerning the things, situations, etc. we are bringing before the throne ?

If I have for years been asking for something to be changed and
 it hasn't then perhaps it as it should be ?
At what point do I surrender these requests and find acceptance in
that a situation is exactly how it's suppose to be ?

Monday, April 23, 2012

It Takes Time

I've spent the weekend and today going through old journals, boxes, etc. It seems that I will never be finished sifting through all the different things I've collected over the years. I also did a little and much needed spring cleaning on my ipod/itunes. In trying to transfer tunes from one computer to another I seemed to have some how doubled up on many songs. It frustrates me to no end when it comes time to sync my ipod. So, I also spent time FINALLY getting everything transferred, deleted, and synced. It truly took several hours by the time all was said and done. I now feel like I should be considered some sort of itunes staffer.

While I am far from finished with all the sifting, cleaning out, disposing of, passing along, re purposing and organizing of things collected from over the years I am learning......
  1. I am a hoarder.
  2. I come by it honest. I live the former home of a parent and they are also a hoarder:-)
  3. Sometimes, to get things done in the way that truly satisfies you and completes the task well, it takes time.
  4. Reading through old journals I ....
          1. Continue to be shocked at how God is faithful to answer prayers that haven't left my lips for years.
          2. I am a recycler.....of mistakes.
          3. The answer to the question often asked, "Will you ever learn your lesson ? ", for me is apparently...."no".
          4. Something that I wrote about not long ago, the devil doesn't learn new tricks or temptations to use against us. He simply learns what works.
          5. I'M SUCH A GIRL!!!!! The "issues" I found journal worthy are HILARIOUS and embarrassing.
          6. I will put my journals under lock and key. Dig a deep deep hole for the key somewhere and leave a note for great great great great grand children to find them once I'm so long gone I don't give a hoot if they're read. HA!! I had a friend once say that they didn't keep a journal because they didn't want people to know what they had been thinking. I now see the solid reason for that.
  5.  Some things deserve years worth of prayer before the Lord answers.
  6. God's timing is always perfect.
  7. God never fails to provide. Even for our silliest of wants/needs.
  8. Life is a roller coaster - buckle up, take a few pictures, remember peoples names, and try not to throw up.
  9. There doesn't seem to be a "right way" when it comes to health, fashion, education, etc. It's all a game of cards. You work the hand you're dealt.
  10. If you haven't used, worn, or displayed it in 2 years you never will. Give it, donate it, re purpose it, or something else that will get it out of the closet.

Happy Monday! I hope your day has been productive as well. Remeber, no rush. Some things just take time.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Jack Davis' 6th Birthday

Made by Cindy Cook
For other creative ideas click here for Cindy's Page!

Before you roll your eyes at a blog about my dog, just gimme a sec. I'm goin' somewhere with this. Anyone who knows me even a little knows that my most loyal companion and favorite "person" is Jack Davis my 6 year old Maltese. He pretty much leads a life any person would envy. Jack was a welcome home gift of sorts from my step-mom. I was planning on moving back to Tennessee after having lived in Virginia for close to ten years. I was excited to be moving, starting new, and wanted desperately to fulfil my child hood dream of owning a puppy. What kid doesn't at some point dream of a puppy ?! My step-mom helped me hunt the web and local ad's for a pup. I was originally looking for a Yorkie. Something small, hypo allergenic, and easy to keep up and travel with. I saw several different pups, different breeds, but no luck. One day my step-mom called and said " I got a puppy! If you don't like him we can sell him and keep looking, but he was too cute to pass up". I was hesitant that I wouldn't like him because he wasn't the breed I had been thinking about. My new pup lived with my dad, step-mom and their dog Daisy for about a week before I finally made the move back to TN. She sent me several pictures and I was in love.

As soon as I met him I knew he was perfect for me. Great lil' spirit, great lil' attitude and very well behaved......for a puppy. He played and wrestled with my dad's bigger dog Daisy as if he was just as big. After a few weeks home I set off with Jack to Chattanooga and have enjoyed his faithful companionship ever since. That move would've been so lonely with out his company. He was so small and fit in the palm of my hand. I took him everywhere, still do.  He looked like a walking cotton ball. So precious!

Jack "playing" dress up
with a friends daughter.
Such a lil' trooper!
Jack w His Bday Squeak Toy
I have been mocked relentlessly for the way I treat Jack like a person. Yes, he has clothes, toys, a variety of leashes and yes, I have been known to bake home made treats!! When we lived in the dorm he received endless amounts of attention every time we left the apartment. The girls would hear his collar jingle and come out of their rooms to play with him. He is a very pampered pooch that is for sure. But before you go takin' me down a notch with your "all that you do for a animal you should be doing for people" and what not talk, gimme just another second to state my case. Today is Jacks 6th birthday. I am fully aware that he is a dog and has NO clue that it is his birthday. However, I did bake him some dog friendly pup cakes and get him a new squeak toy, because even if he doesn't know it's his b-day, I do. I didn't go purchase extreme ingredients for the cup cakes or spend more than a dollar on the toy. Doing these fun things for Jack is just a good way to get me out and about. To keep my mind focused on more than just myself. When we lived in the dorm Jack softened a lot of hearts. There's nothing like a dog in a dorm to make you feel more at home. Doing these things reminds me to be thankful for the many ways and many things God uses in our lives to reach us and to reach others.

Jack w one of his favorites, Aunt Chrystal!
Yes, he has on a grass skirt.
It was a Luau, he had to match
the theme. Don't judge.
Today we took two of the bday pup cakes to my "sisters", my dad's dogs. Peaches and Daisy love their "sister", a.k.a. ME and they love a peanut butter flavored anything. We took a pup cake to my Great Aunts house for my cousins dog, coco and we went to my g'parents to show them that indeed Jack gets fed (mamaw thinks because I don't allow him hot dogs at all meals he must starve :-).
Jack @ "Good Dog" in Chatt.
Surprisingly dogs aren't
allowed inside.

In the past with home made treats we've taken them to other aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors to share. Folks are surprised to learn that dog treats can be made in your very own kitchen. And everyone is always very excited to see Jack Davis come prancing up the walk way.  This lil' pup has a way of making even dog haters want to play with him.

Who could resist ?!

As I thought about the silliness of my celebrating Jack's birthday and even the idea of this blog, I realized that this silliness over the last 6 years has helped keep some of the rough edges off of me. It's so easy when dealing with people either in your personal life, in your profession or ministry to let them rough you up. To let them make you a little less softer than when you began your journey. Heck, just watching the news can make you wanna be a hermit! I know that for me with the different curve balls life has thrown at me I am extremely vulnerable to bitterness and rough edges. It's easier than allowing myself to be open to continued disappointment or pain I have mistakenly thought . I also have seen Jacks sweet spirit comfort many college students and co-workers as they hurt. I can't tell you how many times a girl would knock on my apartment door in the dorm and just ask to come in and play with Jack for awhile. Not everyone is a pet person and I get that. But for me it is a sweet way of getting to love on some folks that I other wise might not get the chance too. Some people have children to help them keep focused on something other than them self. Some don't even need a reminder, they are globally focused always. I am not so naturally selfless so at the moment, I have Jack. Crazy as it may sound, the Lord will use anything you allow Him to show His love to His people.....even Jack Davis.

Happy Birthday Captain Jack Davis!!!
Every Day is a Bow Tie Day, but especially on your Birthday!

"Peanut Butter Pup Cake" ingredients for those that have asked :-)
(This is my combo of several web recipes.
 I couldn't find just one that fit my want/requirements
so I had to take bit's a pieces of several. )
1 cup self rising flour (whole wheat is best)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup veggie oil
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
1 Cup Shredded Carrots (if you want, I didn't)
Preheat & Bake on 350 for 30 min.
I made 6 pup cakes, but it can make a small round cake as well.
Peanut Butter Pup Cakes

Icing - 6 oz. vanilla or plain yogurt and 2 heaping tbsp of natural peanut butter
(some add smashed banana to the mix, I did not)
Blend together and once the pup cakes are cool feel free to decorate as wanted.
They are surprisingly moist and smell Yummy!!!
These PupCakes are Jack Davis Approved!!!!

The Enemy Whispers Loudly

Going through a day in the life battle or walk of a Christian we come across so many things that blatantly oppose who we are. It is simple to turn on the T.V. and find something with in seconds that is far from glorifying or edifying to our faith. Same can be said of the radio, Internet, magazines, books, and really all forms of media. It seems we have to search out our edification, education, and general renewal. It isn't as easy to find as the things that could easily tear us down. With all of the obvious attacks on our walk why does the enemy feel the need to be sneaky ?

The word says the following -
1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
 as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Ever seen a lion walking ? They are stealth, smooth, and in no rush. Confident of the fact that if they set their sights on a prey they will attain it. Ever seen a thief on t.v. or in a movie ? They often disguise themselves, learn the pattern of those they seek to steal from. They tend to invade at the most peaceful hour of our days or nights.

Our spiritual enemy is just as stealth and careful with his plans to tear us down. In  my walk/battle as a Christian when I come to the end of a day I am often overwhelmed by all the darts that have cut me either at surface or deep down. When I take stock of all the things that have tried to bring me down or that have knocked me plumb off my feet it is rarely those of the obvious nature. It's been the small things, the whispers, the quiet thoughts, words, actions and so on. A rough stone is rubbed smooth only after years of being beaten by the water, but eventually it wears down. And so is the attack of our enemy on us. He is in no rush it seems to take me down. He is sure that with his eyes set on me his prey, that with careful consideration the enemy will take me down at what I think is my most peaceful hour.

Luke 21:36" But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may
have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place,
and to stand before the Son of Man."

Be watchful. Be careful, of even your own inner voice and the whispers that you let echo in your mind through out a day. It seems the devil need look no further than me for a weapon strong enough to beat me down. While Satan uses the words, actions, etc. of the things and people around me at times to pierce my skin, he uses my own words, actions, etc. more often. Be a valid opponent to this thief. Be a surprisingly strong type of prey to the lion that seeks to kill you. Be a loud voice of truth for the whispered lies of the devil to contend with.