Monday, January 27, 2014

~ He Has Prepared You ~


I am not sure if any of you other singletons (or really anyone for that matter)struggle with this like I do, but just in case I’ll go ahead and share .  I wrote here about my sick day madness and how 95% of the time I am 100% content with my singleness . I have many a single friend male and female who for the most part feel the same . However, I believe we all have those moments when much to our dismay we toss our hands in the sky and shout to the heavens . Mine tend to go like this , “I NEED A MAN!!!” .  Possibly to a man’s dismay this usually only happens in times of distress . No disrespect . I hope this doesn’t leaving you fella’s feeling used, but this single lady isn’t all that concerned with you putting a ring on it . But in times of distress such as sick day delusions , the mysterious light in my car that appears to be an ancient hieroglyphic or like today when a sock got stuck in the vacuum cleaner , I seem to immediately toss my hands and raise my voice crying out that I am not enough . Today’s incident was rather ironic because I had just been debating a blog post that I have wanted to write for several days, but haven’t exactly been able to sort it all out in my head . One of the topics for that post being the idea that a child reacts to their environment , i.e. a environment of chaos creates a child of chaos . I had been washing dishes, putting up laundry and had praise music playing in the back ground . As I shuffled through the house I noticed Jack on the chair fighting to keep his eyes open seeming so very peaceful . Yes, my dog is often the inspiration to my maternal ideas . DON’T JUDGE ! Anyway , moments after as I vacuumed I found myself throwing my hands in the air and raising my voice because I had somehow gotten a sock caught in the vacuum . As I raised my voice and jerked to stop the machine Jack leaped from his spot and began barking like a mad dog , a reaction he tends to reserve for surprise guests or loud claps of thunder . IMMEDIATELY my prior thoughts came to mind , my reaction caused his reaction . In my time as a RD I learned the value of a good poker face , voice and stance . How did I let that valuable knowledge slip so quickly from my arsenal of coping mechanisms ?!  
1 Thessalonians 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it .

Upon realizing that I was freaking out for no good reason I lowered my reaction, turned off the vacuum , lay it on its side to see if I could visualize the sock and when I couldn’t I rather defeated went to get my tool set . Yes , I own a tool set , no it is not pink , yes valentines is coming up and a pink tool kit would be an amazing way to change my mind on the topic of my singleness , but I digress . I took a few pieces off of the vacuum , once again attempting to locate the sock and hoping  that it wasn’t inside the inner workings of the vacuum , when wouldn’t you know there it was !! All crumpled up , dirtier that it went in , and with some new holes . After removing the sock, reassembling my vacuum and putting my tools back to their proper place I had a notion , “He Has Prepared You “. I mean , I have heard this phrase in church , small groups , songs , and devotionals but have for the most part only related it to “Big” ideas  like missions !
Elisabeth Elliott - " I am responsible to do what I meant to do . "
But as I reflect on today I think about the text I got from a friend who needed a few groceries and the Lord in unexpected ways provided the exact things they needed , I hear  the voice of a family member reporting good news from the doctor and I think of my foolish sock and my foolish self both causing more drama than they need over a situation I was fully equipped to handle . Whether it is a sock in the vacuum , a need , or something on a larger scale it is so important for ME to keep in mind that He has prepared me . With His help , I am enough . Today I had the things I needed to handle and even fix the situation .  I believe that if I take a moment to truly assess I will find that I always have what I need to handle it and if I don’t then I can rest in the knowledge that not only does He prepare, but He provides .
Hebrews 13:21 NLT "may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen."
(In all my posts you can click on any of the highlighted links to see other related posts from myself and fellow bloggers. )

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

~ My Papaw Can Whoop Your Papaw ~

I mentioned in this previous post that I spent most of today running errands . It is a snowy day which added some joy to the monotony of errand running . Also, two of my errand lead to some unplanned family time which is always nice . One being taking breakfast to my grandparents . I am rarely out and about during their breakfast time so today was a opportunity to surprise them with some donuts . While Mamaw and I waited on Papaw to return from running some of his own errands she told me another story from their early years of marriage . In my post about Papaws Birthday and Christmas 2012 I mentioned his time in the Navy . It would seem that Mamaw's "time in the Navy" was almost just as important .

Mamaw use to bowl in a league with other officer wives when stationed in Texas . I share that part because you just never know what relationship is going to end up being important......for more reasons than you might expect . Apparently Papaw use to " fight like a tiger ". I think I have this image in my head of what he may have been like then . Based on today's story I am not far off in my thinking .
This pic has something to w/ my mental image for sure !

One time papaw found him self scrapping with the wrong fellow . Wondering if her hubby would be "thrown in the brig" , Mamaw mentioned the situation to one of her bowling buddies......a captains wife . Luckily this conversation lead to papaws freedom from fear of the brig . I didn't think to ask if it stopped him from brawling , but I can only assume it did......eventually . While she told this short story I kept thinking about how important her role as wife and mother was in his role as a Navy man . One of my besties is a Army wife . I look at her , Mamaw , and all other military wives as unseen hero's . I think we tend to neglect the sacrifice and investment the family makes . Anyway..........

I love these random bits and pieces that family will share at random times . I fear if told you all the stories my entertaining  family shares it would only make you jealous that you aren't one of us . So, while I debate who and what to share with you next from my oh so colorful family tree won't you please share a family story with us ? Feel free to comment with your family fun !! One of the reasons I enjoy sharing family notes is because I think it helps us all feel a little more connected and little less crazy ! :-)
(you can click the on highlighted links for related posts from

~ Nail Polish on a Winter Day ~

Happy snowy Tuesday to you all . I hope you are warm and cozy this evening . I spent most of my day running errands in snow flurries , but am happy to be back inside my cozy warm home . One of todays to-do's included some recycling . I wrote HERE about how I enjoy recycling empty cans and most of the time am able to get a little money for them . BONUS !! I normally take the lil' bit I receive from the recycling and put it in a "for later" jar . You know change can add up kinda quick , well most days it can . I must confess that todays recycling bonus went to something a little selfish . I have written multiple times on my love of COUPONING . I truly feel like it can be such a blessing and can lead to rather creative GIFT GIVING .

(you can click on any of the highlighted links to see past posts that relate to this one)

I was sick for several weeks giving my mamaw time to save up a good stack of coupons for me to sift through this Sunday at lunch . I almost ALWAYS clip beauty product coupons even if the items aren't on my immediate to-purchase list . I keep them in my coupon organizer just in case I need a quick idea for a gift , come across a too good to pass up deal or am , heaven forbid , find myself in a situation where I need make-up and don't have it . Today's purchase was a just for fun and a too good of a deal to pass up situation . I literally turned right around from my recycling to spend the lil' bit of change on two awesome new nail polishes .
stormy night & indigo night by Revlon

Now, before you judge , you should know about the amazing bargain this purchase was . I normally head straight for the wall of beauty products when visiting my local drug stores and today was no different . As I glanced the wall looking for buy 1 get 1 half off stickers a store staffer offered their assistance . Noticing that I was perusing polishes she suggested I look in the clearance basket on her cashier stand . Much to this Discount Diva's surprise there was a load of discounted polishes by the brand I had coupons for .
Each bottle was already marked down to a $1.50 per bottle and I had two coupons for a dollar off each. Now, if you struggle with math like I do let me break it down. $1.50 - $1.00 = .50 per bottle  !!! With taxes I ended up paying only a $1.28 total for two bottles of perfectly fine , but not in the Spring 2014 season color list , for polishes that tend to be about $8.00 a bottle . SCORE !!!!!!!! It reminded me that while my go-to shopping /couponing tactics are good I need not forget to take a minute to cruise the store and see if there are any hidden gems of discounted or clearance goodies in a unusual place .
In general I am not a take a pic of your mani and post it kind of girl, but with a bargain like this sometimes you just gotta go with the trend and post that mani !!

What kind of fun deals or coupons have you come across lately ? What is a creative gift you've been able to give over the Holiday season ? Just because it's winter is no reason to neglect your mani/pedi painting . You might be surprised how a brush of polish across your nail can brighten , quiet literally , your day . Post a pic of your mani w your comment :-)

(you can click on any of the highlighted links in this post as well as others to see related posts )

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

~ God is Everywhere ~

If any of you are my fb friends you will already know that I am having a rough week . Several weeks ago I came down with a cold that I thought I had kicked when on Sunday night/Monday morning it came a calling . I'm sure that being sick always makes our brains a little fuzzy , but this week I have really been wondering if mine is even still in there . Here are few of the last few days hi lights .

        ~ baked a loaf of bread....with a knife in it
        ~ turned on the microwave....with nothing in it
        ~ feel asleep w/ a cough drop in my mouth , had a dream my tooth feel out ,  
         woke up with said cough drop in my mouth 100% sure it was my tooth
         ~ nearly ran over my g'parents in the grocery parking lot
         ~ left the store with out my prescription

So, it's been a doozy and it's only Wednesday . Today I was complaining to a very good friend of mine who is always supportive of my venting . She's a saint ! I am sure of it ! As I listed off my never ending complaints of the day I realized what a punk I sounded like . So, in a effort to change my mood I started listing off the good or not so bad things of the day instead . She , as a good friend is , was quick to support both of my moods . As I type this I can only think of a line from "Twilight" (don't judge) , "Your mood swings are giving me whiplash" . Well, believe it or not the focusing on the good and not so bad of my day/week really did help....for the moment . It is in times like these that I am reminded our enemy never rests . He is ever at the ready for our weakest of moments . After going to the store to gather more sick supplies and leaving with out the one thing I needed most , my prescription , I arrived home and decided to simply give up on today . I feel awful , the weather is freezing quiet literally , and at this point I was getting a migraine .

All day I found myself saying , " it is times like these that being alone is hard " . I would say that about 95% of the time I am 100% content in my singleness . Most of my friends would be quick to tell you that I kinda think marriage is cray cray , but I mean I support your life choices . LOL!! However, there is that other 5% of the time where I find myself thinking , if only I had someone !!! A roommate , a boyfriend , a husband..... a ASSISTANT !!!! I'm not really waxing poetic on love here so much as I am a staff ! Anyway , tonight as I began my prayer journal I started by asking God this , "Lord - Why does being sick make being alone so much harder ? " . I must say He is at times a rather quick responder . After writing that sentence I opened my new devotional book , "Jesus Calling " by Sarah Young . First sentence , "Softly I announce My presence" . Did you get chills ? Cause I did . Third - fifth sentences , "The weaker you are , the more gently I approach you . Let your weakness be a door to My presence. Whenever you feel inadequate remember that I am your ever-present Help " . WOW !!!! He is so quick to come to our aid and never leaves us truly alone ! After my reading and journaling I gathered up more cough drops , tissues, and headed to bed . When I looked down at my cough drops I saw the following printed on them , "Bet on yourself" , " Hi-five yourself" , and maybe my favorite "Don't give up on yourself " . ON MY COUGH DROPS !!!!!! God is everywhere . He is quick to our aid and knows exactly what we need and when we will need it . He will be sure to get His message to us in whatever way required.....even on a cough drop .
So, while this week has not been my best it has surely been far from my worst . I share this all with you not to give myself a hi-five as the cough drop suggests , but to keep in check the fact that I am Selfish to think that all that He does in my world is simply for me . My blog is called The Faith Journals because I want to continue to share what He is doing,  has done and what I believe He is going to do in my life so that others might find hope in Him .
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction , faithful in prayer .

Monday, January 6, 2014

January Pumpkins - Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Repurpose

Falls Decorations = January's Snacks

It's been awhile since I've done a "Reduce~Reuse~Repurpose" post and with my Fall pumpkins still sitting on my carport I thought this might be the perfect opportunity . I had of course taken my fall decorations off the front porch when decorating for Christmas . I however failed to throw them away . For once , my procrastination has paid off . Since I hadn't carved my pumpkins for Halloween one of them was still in perfect condition . The other for whatever reason didn't survive as well , so he got tossed for the woodland creatures to naw on in this winter weather . Last year I wrote HERE about roasting pumpkin seeds , which is one of my favorite snacks to make and give . With my one surviving pumpkin of course my  thought was to do the same .

Drying on a Paper Towel

I got a new mixer for Christmas that I have been dying to break in and with all this pumpkin I thought Pumpkin Bread might be the perfect recipe for my mixers maiden voyage . With the help of I was able to gather enough recipes for pumpkin puree and varied breads . I ended up using THIS pins recipe for my bread . To start at the beginning I must say this was a lengthier process than I had expected . I broke it down into two different days since I didn't begin it until late in the evening . My first step was cutting off the top of the pumpkin as though I was going to carve it . I then removed the seeds and guts . To make that process a little easier I cut the pumpkin in half .
After the gutting I sliced the pumpkin halves much like I would a cantaloupe . I then placed them on a foil lined baking sheet , poured just enough water onto the foil that it barely covered the ends of the slices . I first did a tray with out the water and the second tray that had the water came off the rind much easier . I baked them on 350 for about 30-45 minutes . I then let them cool . After cooling I was able to pull the flesh from the rind and place it in a food processor to make the puree . I added just 2 table spoons of water to the food processor . I ended up with about 10 cups of puree when all was said and done .

With the help of this Pinterest Pin and my trusty new mixer I moved onto the fun part.....the baking . This recipe made two loaves . I added chocolate chips to one loaf and chocolate chips with walnuts in the other loaf . Bakers confession , my loaf with walnuts was in a lighter tinted pan and I forgot to bake it longer , so it turned out to be more of a bread pudding . Today when trying to "rebake" it , I sure did forget and leave a knife in it . Sure ! Did ! Who do we know in the slammer ?

In the end my beautiful $4.00 pumpkin provided to be a wonderful fall decoration , two loaves of pumpkin bread , a pan of roasted seeds and I have about 7 1/2 more cups of pumpkin puree in the freezer for future projects . I can safely say this pumpkin was well worth its cost ! What are you working on in this new year and winter weather ?!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

~ Trust ~

"The very area where you are most tempted to distrust God is the
very place He has most chosen to trust you." - Beth Moore
When I first read this quote I thought , "that's good. I should share it" . Today as I was scrolling through my facebook page I saw it again and I thought , " that's AMAZING" . The more I read it the more floored I am by the idea . God trusts me . WHAT IN THE WORLD ??!!! I mean , it only makes since , right ? He called me , I answered . I work daily at better understanding His word and loving His people . So, of course He would trust me , right ? It became an even more real thought when I was sharing it with a friend going through a difficult situation . Not long ago we sat asking the question , "why did God let this happen when I was trusting Him so much ? " . Answer : BECAUSE HE TRUSTS US !!!!  He trusts me to turn to Him in these times . He trusts that I have learned from the past that He is ever faithful to His promises and to His children . He trusts me to use even these difficult times as a way to glorify His name . I now have a brand new perspective on all the "why's" .
Why did the Lord allow me to have this relationship only to end it ? - He trusts me to learn and grow from it . He trusts that I will now look even harder on His face to see the reflection of one worthy of His child's heart .
Why did I have to turn down that opportunity ? - He trusts me to know that if it isn't 100% peace from Him , it isn't peace at all .
Why is it taking God so long to move ? - He trusts me to use this time well . 
I think that I spend so much time focused on my need to trust Him in situations , with relationships , and everything else that I have completely missed the enormity of the truth that God trusts me !!! He trusts me !!! All this time I have been thinking it's about learning to trust Him , when in all reality it has been about learning how much He trusts me . I am His child after all . Brought up in his teachings & tested in His way . An earthly parent raises their child and then sends them off to college , a mission trip , etc. they trust that they have raised them right and to make the right decisions while away . Wouldn't it be the same with our heavenly Father ?! He is trusting me in this time that we are apart .
Don't get it confused . As a Christian on a daily walk it is still VITAL that I continue to find Him trustworthy . What has changed is the realization that He has found me trustworthy as well . What a huge responsibility ! I am so grateful for this revelation in my world . I think it will affect me in every aspect of my life now . In what ways do you see the Lord trusting you ? Does it bring you amazing peace ? When I read the definition of the word trust I became even more astounded by this idea of God trusting me . I'm so grateful for His constant, sometimes subtle , but ever astounding movement in my life . Lord , I pray to be worthy of your trust .
Definition of TRUST
a :  assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
b :  one in which confidence is placed
a :  dependence on something future or contingent :  hope
b :  reliance on future payment for property (as merchandise) delivered :  credit <bought furniture on trust>
a :  a property interest held by one person for the benefit of another

Psalm 13:5

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

2 Samuel 7:28

O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you
 have promised these good things to your servant.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

~ A Cross in the Distance ~

Today I woke up feeling as though I had already failed in this new year . My, isn't the enemy quick ?! Luckily I also woke up to a encouraging text from a friend , claiming Colossians 1:9-12 for 2014 . As I read these verses I agreed that they would be a wonderful truth to believe Him for , I also decided to add verses 13-17 .
" 9For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness;12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."
It never ceases to amaze me how quick God is in coming to our aid . I received a new devotional book for Christmas as a gift from my mom , "Jesus Calling", by Sarah Young .  I was excited to begin on Christmas day, but then decided to wait until January 1 . A new year , new words of encouragement , new challenges and new things to trust Him for . As I read day one in this devo the very first sentence was , "Come to Me with a new spirit , EAGER to be changed" . EAGER !!! Eager , what a wonderful word to explain this spinning in my mind and heart over all the possibilities
that 2014 holds . As my day wore on and I was confronted with all the things I'd set in my mental to-do list for today I got one of my migraines and had to lay down . Several hours later I woke up , once again defeated . Its the first day of a new year and already my to-do list is getting put on the back burner . So , tonight as I walked Jack I was thinking about all the things I didn't get done today . How my plans , once again , got derailed . I became momentarily consumed with the idea of , " it's useless to even try " , when I looked up and saw a cross in the distance . Where I live is on a bit of a hill so , while I can't see the lights of town I can see the mountains across the way . Usually it is simply a few house lights if anything that glow from the distance , but tonight I was blessed by one who hasn't taken down their Christmas lights yet . No red, green or blue lights that go around the house or take the shape of Santa , but a simple cross . Truth be told, it is so far away that if I got closer it may not even be a cross , but from the distance of where it sits and where I stand the way the lights glow it appears to be a cross .
I know it is basically impossible to see it, but it is the small
light to the right of the brightest light in the picture .
Tonight as I close this first day of 2014 I am quickly reminded that the enemy doesn't sleep . I am awakened by the truth that there is a distance between where He sits and where I stand . I am EAGER when I see there is a cross in the distance calling me closer , closer and even closer still to where He sits . As I embark on the excitement of a new year I am EAGER to trust Him with more than I can imagine . Last night I began a prayer list of situations , things , needs , so on , so forth that I AM going to trust HIM for in 2014 . I am grateful for the work He did in my life and the lives of those around me in 2013 , but I am EAGER to look toward that cross in the distance in 2014 .
Happy New Year Dear Friends !!! I pray nothing , but the His good and perfect will for your 2014 .