Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Am I A Steward Of The Mysteries?

The other day I sat down to immerse myself in the Word of God.  As I usually do, I ask Him what He wants to speak to me that day.  Sometimes it feels like revelation is oozing at the seams, and sometimes it's a simple reminder of a truth I've pondered many times before.  This particular day it was a revelation that has left me pondering for several days now.

the leaves

It all started with 1 Corinthians 4:1-2...

"Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy."

I couldn't get that phrase "stewards of the mysteries of God" out of my head.  Then I flipped over to Colossians 4:2, 3...

"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ..."


There was that word "mystery" again.  I started thinking about what it means to steward the mysteries of God.  A steward is someone that is appointed to look after something.  There has to be some level of responsibility and trust there for that.  But to know the mysteries, well, that comes from a place of intimacy.  A place of lots of time spent together, going to the depths. 

berries and leaves

I'm still processing what all is involved to be a steward of the mysteries of Christ, but I do know one thing.  I am encouraged to continue to walk down the path of intimacy towards Jesus!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Decorating

christmas tree

Before I dive in to talking about holiday decorating, I feel I must continue on with the thankful spirit a bit.  I wrote about it the other day, and the church sermon delivered yesterday also focused on this topic.  The other day I was milling about in my kitchen when I was suddenly reminded of this time last year.  We had just come back from Africa, we didn't have a home to call our own (we had been living in temporary housing in Africa with other people for the 6 months prior to that), and I was having a hard time.  I just wanted a place (I wrote about it here) to call my own.  I know this season is not about how much you can decorate your home or filling it with the aroma of freshly baked pies, but I was struggling that I didn't even have that option.

hanging an ornament

hanging ornaments

I was almost brought to tears the other day as I realized that I'm at a much different place than last year.  I have a physical home.  I hosted my family for Thanksgiving in this home.  We went and bought a real Christmas tree to decorate in our home.  The kids and I made our annual gingerbread house in this home.

gingerbread house

behind the gingerbread house

This home is definitely not permanent, but it is a place that is serving as a structure to carry out our values of hospitality, of making memories, and yes, of Christmas tree decorating and pie making.  All I can say is THANK YOU!


me and the kids sibling love

It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the holiday season with gifts to buy, food to make, activities to participate in, and people to see.  My goal in all of that is to continue on with the thankful spirit...

Side note...Jeremy took most of these pictures!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chili In The Crock


There's so many variations of this dish that is loved by all when the weather is cold!  Here's my most recent version...


1 cup dry red beans
1 lb. ground beef* or turkey, thawed but uncooked
6 tomatoes (prepped this way)
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste


The night before, soak beans in water and set out frozen tomatoes to thaw.  In the morning, put everything in the crock pot.  When peeling skin off of tomatoes, I would also recommend draining some of the juice before putting them in the crock pot.  Cook on low for 10 hours.  If you like it spicy, you might add some cayenne pepper, but go easy!  That stuff makes it hot fast!

*If using beef, I would recommend getting a 7% fat since you don't brown the meat first.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Around The Table

our waxed leaf centerpiece the kids and i made

It was such a treat for me to be able to host my family for Thanksgiving this year!  Since we've been married, we've mostly lived too far away from family and found ourselves hosting friends for Thanksgiving!  We had a lovely meal, lovely conversation, and watched our Cowboys (good game...too bad they lost).  

around the table

We are still very much enjoying our Thanksgiving weekend with family time, full bellies, leftovers to last us through the weekend, and pie everyday!  Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In The Thankful Spirit

One of the things I love about Thanksgiving is that it's a reminder to pause and remember the things we are thankful for.  I like to try and keep an attitude of thankfulness regularly, but oh, how easy it is to forget to pause and really think about those things.  And so I'm pausing here to say I'm so very thankful for...

my family...they are each so very special to me and I love the little bits they each add to my life.

God...He provides for us and cares so tenderly for me.

times of rest...I truly count this sabbatical as a blessing from Him.

wax leaves

creative outlets...stress relieving and fun...and I love that my kids enjoy them, too!

friends...how blessed I am to have friends to laugh with, talk to, and cry with!

all of you...I love the comments, inspiration, and encouragement I receive from all my blogging friends!

thankful tree

Of course, I could go on, but I think I'll keep this list on the short side.  I will pass on a little craft we did yesterday to invoke a spirit of thankfulness in our household.  We made a Thankful Tree!  Miss Emma and I cut leaves and gathered branches.  Some leaves already express what we're thankful for and others are blank and waiting for the words to come.  It's so fun to see with my own eyes the things my family is thankful for!

god's word

I will be stepping away for a couple of days.  I might pop in over the weekend, but I'll for sure be back on Monday!  Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving full of all the things you are thankful for! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Elegance And Craftiness Meet

I love using cloth napkins for dinnertime.  Fancy dinner, casual dinner, it doesn't matter.  I love them for everything!  With Thanksgiving coming up, I realized that I only had four cloth napkins.  That was only half of what I needed, so I went looking through my fabric stash and found a small remnant I had purchased right before we left S. Africa. 

elephant napkin

I used every bit of that remnant to make my four napkins!  I just sewed a line down each side and frayed the edges.  They are simple and perfect.

african napkins

Like I said in the title, this is elegance meets craftiness!  I found a simple napkin ring craft involving toilet paper tubes, paint, and pencils!  The kids and I got to work and created 8 napkin rings.  I will be very proud to have these adorning my Thanksgiving table!

napkin rings

Visit here to visit my Thanksgiving craft roundup post on Today's Mama!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Camping Trip



This weekend we went camping!  This was a Cub Scout camping trip so there were lots of people, lots of activities, and lots of fun to be had!

making his bandhammering

The boys participated in leather craft by stamping designs on leather bands (I'm trying not to call it a bracelet).  It totally brought back memories of when my little brother was in Cub Scouts!  One summer the scouts had a day camp.  My friend and I volunteered to help out.  Although I don't remember all that we did during those 5 days, I do remember the leather craft!  So fun!  I didn't get a picture of Joshua's excellent design because I thought I would wait until after they stained and cured them.  Well, they didn't get to that part, so the boys will get them in a couple of weeks.  I assure you, though, he did a great job!

posing all serious


gathering targets

his target

After leather craft, they practiced their aim at the BB gun range.  Joshua had never shot a BB gun before, but he did pretty good making a few marks on his target!

playing cards

Little Miss slept through the leather craft (even though they were banging those mallets right outside our tent) and wasn't interested in shooting BB's, but she still had lots of fun.  We were in East Texas among the pines, so we collected pine cones for an upcoming craft.  We also played a round of Go Fish where she beat me fair and square.



tree bark

red leaf

I had fun doing my usual "walk around nature with my camera" thing.  There's so much beauty to capture, but a camera just doesn't usually do it justice.

roasted mallows over the fire

On the last day, the scouts shared their thorn (what they didn't like), rose (what they did like), and bud (what could be improved).  It did not surprise me that Joshua's rose was roasting marshmallows!

flag ceremony
joshua's den did the flag ceremony on the last day

With our second family camping trip of the year under our belts, I think we are now officially a family who camps!  I love the peace and quiet, the de-plugging that it forces, the family time, and the closeness to nature.  I think it's high time we start adding camping supplies to our collection and make this a very regular part of our lives.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Apple Pie

apple pie

I do believe this is my all-time favorite apple pie recipe.  Maybe the whipping cream is the magic ingredient.  Whatever it is, this pie rocks!  It's definitely on my Thanksgiving menu!

Ingredient List

6-8 Apples
1 T lemon juice
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
3 T flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 T vanilla
Top & bottom crust


Peel and thinly slice apples and then toss in lemon juice.  Combine the sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt.  Cover a 10 inch pie pan with crust and layer the apples and sugar mixture (mixture, apples, mixture, apples-for several layers) in the crust.  Mix vanilla and whipping cream; pour over apple layers.  Lattice the top or slit a flat crust.  Lightly sprinkle crust with cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Bake at 350 for 50-60 min.  Serves 8.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Her Favorite Place In {Insert Town Name Here}

Back in September, Emma G's art teacher picked her to participate in the National Community Planning Art Contest!  She is definitely our little artist, so I was excited to see her be a part of this creative outlet.  When they asked her to draw her favorite place in {insert town name here}, I wonder if they were surprised that she drew her house!  I'm happy that she calls home her favorite place, but somehow I'm thinking that's not quite what they had in mind!  :)  Whatever the case, we now have her artwork proudly displayed in our home with a certificate of appreciation for the great job she did!  So proud of my baby!

eg's art

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and GameStop are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?

To have fun as a family and be thankful for everything God has given us.

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?

Open gifts (of course) and drink our coffee while watching the kids play with their new stuff!


3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?


A whole day of pampering sounds absolutely wonderful.  Massage, hair, pedicure, manicure, a little shopping ending the day at a nice hotel.  And it would be fun to do it with a small groups of friends!

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?

Well, that's an easy one to answer.  We do lots of crafting and I make a special gift for everyone for Christmas. 

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?

We played the classics like Monopoly and Life.  As we got older, we played Phase 10!

stack of games

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?

Definitely decorating the tree together while eating cookies!

chocolate chip cookies

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?

It is very rare that we don't celebrate Christmas away from home but I would love to all go to Colorado in the mountains.  Yes, it's cold, but it would also mean lots of coziness!

8. Check out GameStop and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?

With the weather getting colder and colder (meaning I don't prefer my morning run/jog in frigid temps), I would love Wii Fit Plus with the Balance Board!  Wii Party sounds fun for the whole family.  And the kids would each love a Nintendo DS...perfect for road trips!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...