Sunday, December 29, 2013

Spiritual Life - Talking to Myself

My mom sent my sister and I marriage series from Jimmy Evans to watch with our husbands. My husband and I are working through "Marriage on the Rock." First, let me say that it is a great series. I have been through a variety of relational and marriage seminars, but Jimmy expresses ideas in a way that connects with me. So even things I have heard before are finding deeper application in my life and marriage. With that said, this last week, the topic of our words was explored. I know as any good, God fearing woman, that our words have power, but the simple way Jimmy Evans explained it has me talking to my stomach and thighs. Yes, I am now talking to my body parts.

Okay, let me rewind. In the video Jimmy explains how God spoke the world into existence (read Genesis) and that science has proven in tests that plants do better when verbally encouraged. Our words have power. We can speak life or death into our lives, our friends and our bodies.

The truth is, I didn't just start talking to my body. I've been talking to it all my life. At times I've looked in the mirror with a disapproving look and word about my belly or back of my thighs. I'm guilty of bad mouthing the way I look in an outfit or how I feel about my body on a certain day. I'm guilty of putting down my body and if my words are powerful, I'm not making things better, but worse. So I've decided to change my words, encourage my body. I've begun telling my tummy that its doing good and can tighten up like it used to. I tell my body its looking good for 35 and doing well.

I'd like certain things to change in my life, and all of this makes me wonder what I am doing to change it. Are my words keeping me down in the areas where I am most dissatisfied? Is my complaining and venting enslaving me in the very state that I wish to escape? Its time to change my attitude and words. If God used words to create this world and, as his child, I have the power of him living in me, then I can use my words to allow him to create something new in my life and heart. So I'm starting with my body parts and hope to be expanding out to all areas of my life.

I talk a lot, but is what I am saying encouraging or discouraging? Now is the time to discover and be intentional with what I say because speaking is believing. Words have power! WORD!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Creative Life - DIY Apron Project

When I say, I sew, I mean I know how to use a sewing machine at the novice level. I can do some troubleshooting when my bobbin doesn't function properly but beyond that, I call for reinforcements. I can measure and cut out a simple pattern, but tend to fly by the seat of my pants and hope it turns out. As you will note from a previous post, some redo projects, like my attempt to turn a maxi dress into a maxi skirt can be a major fail and look like I drink heavily. So keep all that in mind as you read this post.

My son enjoys cooking with me and has started working on some painting projects as gifts for Christmas. He doesn't have a smock/apron of his own and generally uses his sisters' flower patterned apron. This can be a problem when she wants to use it. So I thought it high time he had his own.

I set out to Hobby Lobby in search of fabric (Note: While Joann's has a much greater selection of fabric, I find Hobby Lobby has much more trendy prints). I discovered some red fabric with Mickey Mouse heads in a darker shade of red and my friend, Amanda, discovered a Toy Story print with Buzz and Woody (two very big names in our house). I guessed (correctly, I might add) that I would need a yard of the Toy Story fabric and a half yard of the Mickey Mouse fabric. I used the floral apron of Katie's as a pattern for this one, though it is a little big for him. I guess I figure he can keep it longer if he will grow into it.

- Here's Katie's apron (I chose not to the do the bottom with the ruffle like this one)

I measured the strips and ironed them inside out so that I could easier sew them, then pull them threw right side out, then sewed them closed.

As you can see the bottom is a jagged mess, but I cut it and folded it straight when I sewed it.

I folded a piece for the pocket double the size I wanted and ironed it. I sewed the bottom of the pocket on, then cut the back piece of the fold, so it would have a nice seam length, then sewed both sides.

Voila! The finished project!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mommy Life - C and C in the Kitchen

love that at 2, my son loves to help Mommy in the kitchen.  This particular day he had the choice of watching tv or helping Mommy and he chose helping!!! So we made Banana Bread :).  I got the recipe online, it's easy and we love it. 

After putting the ingredients in our Kitchenaid Mixer, my little man got to lick the beater :).
Who doesn't love that?!
Sorry we ate it too fast for me to get a picture of it finished, but it was nice and brown and plopped right out of the stone!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Spirtual Life - Fear verses Faith

This past weekend, I was at Hartland Christian Camp doing a workshop for their women's conference. I was excited for a great conference and weekend but also a little anxious about being away from my son for 2 nights straight (that may sound silly, but I've never done it). Of course he and I were fine and I did have a great weekend. Because I've done a seminar for them for the past 6 years or so, I have come to know some of the women that regularly attend. So they are my Hartland friends and its nice to see them!

But the weekend presented me with a little more than I'd anticipated. The speaker, Rhea Briscoe, said some things that really puzzle pieced with stuff God has been using to speak to my heart. A few things she said really resonated with me and I had a few light bulb moments. She made reference to Matthew 28:18 which begins the Great Commission and tells us that God has all the power in heaven and earth. Then she asked, "So if God has all the power, how much power does Satan have?" The answer: an obvious zero! He has no real power. He controls me at times with no power, that's crazy right?!

So how does he control us without power? By lying! Yep, he tells us things that aren't true through our inner voice, other people in our lives, the internet, television, movies, music and a lot of other media formats. We in turn, believe the lies, begin to walk in them and in fear and boom (wow, just had a flashback to the movie Couples Retreat), we are in bondage.

In seeing this cycle I realized a few areas of my life where I am walking in fear. I had believed lies of the enemy and was walking that instead of faith and freedom in Christ. I need Jesus and need to bathe in his truth more than I do. I need to stop listening to the enemy and standing up because Matthew 28 goes on to tell us that as believers all his power has been given to us! Hallelujah and Amen!

Somewhere deep inside I feel I should shout, "I'm not Josie Grossie anymore," but I will refrain :). It makes since though right, because God is truth and in him who is also love, there is no fear. He sacrificed his life for us on the cross and we have live in freedom because of his great love. Fear comes from lies. So if you are walking in fear, you are believing lies.

I really have to hand it to Satan for being so crafty. I mean he's really taken us to a new level of fear and lies and has made his job easier by the invention of the internet and cable television. He no longer has to lie to individuals and hope those around them perpetuate it, but he lies in mass production. However, with that said, I am taking my power back and telling him, "no thank you." No more! I am standing on the promises of God and walking by faith. I am dedicating more consistent time to prayer and praise and Bible Study.

One of the things that God has impressed on me in the last month is the importance of praise (I will talk about this in another entry, but the result of all of this is a new step I am taking in my life. In the morning before the day starts and we begin to get going, we sit and use you tube videos with lyrics to sing praises to God. Our own musical worship moment to praise the Lord and invite him into our day. This has been awesome and I'm so glad I'm doing it.

So I leave you with a question: Are you walking in faith of the promises of scripture in God's word or are you living in fear from the lies you believe to be true? Cut the lies out of your life, replace them with the truth of the Bible, stop walking in fear and begin walking by faith! Don't let insults get you down, they are lies. You are beautiful, wonderful and made with purpose :).

Give God entry into all areas of your life! 2 Corinthians 3:17 tells us where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!

"I'm not Josie Grossie anymore!" (Never Been Kissed)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Family Life - The last of 3 Sisters to Wed

Two weekends ago I celebrated in the marital union of my 2nd of 3 sisters to get married in 2013! It was an exciting time, and while everyone was here, we put together a shower for my sister, Stephanie, who is the 3rd wedding of the year, tying the knot in North Carolina this October. She loves mustaches so I decided to do a lips and mustache theme. I of course went to Pinterest and started pinning like crazy. The catch to this shower was that the room we were using was not available for setup until Saturday, the day of the wedding for my sister, Alex. So I had to make sure I didn't commit to anything that would need a lot of last minute set up. The colors were black, red, pink and gray.
Here is what we got...

For part of the centerpieces I stamped some mustaches and circles in dark pink and gray, and because I couldn't find a lip stamp I just used paint and my own lips.
I added the above to white table clothes, this wrapping paper I found at Hobby Lobby, some circles cut from colored paper, glassware wrapped in ribbon also acquired from hobby lobby, black and red candy and the lips and mustaches I made for the "he said, she said" game from Alexandra's shower, and Voila!

I saw some great pins on Pinterest that used funny sayings tying in the mustache and lips so I used some of them and created designs to match the themes. This is what I came up with:
In case you can't read them, they say: Wet Your Whiskers, Smooch Juice (Fruit Punch) and Add to the "Stache"

It was a dessert evening shower, we had a chocolate fountain, cupcakes, candy etc.

For activities/games, I had a bunch of cookies in shapes of lips and mustaches and had a decorating contest that the bride to be could vote on for a top prize. Then based on some ideas I pinned, I created two games. The first was a Shower Libs - Mad Libs with a wedding twist, and Bridal Scattergories. That was the game that came with the most surprises. The shower was for all the church ladies and let me just say that we discovered some funny bones and humor that we had no idea this group possessed.
It was seriously a good time!

Originally I planned on making a photo puzzle for guests to write on the back of the pieces, but that didn't work out as planned. I didn't have time to make one and services that I did have time for were too costly. So I decided to have one DIY style, unfortunately either the Lowe's saleman didn't know what he was talking about or he took advantage of a woman, because when they didn't have the wood I needed, he sold me something else, claiming it would be the same, and it wasn't! I had it cut, drew out a puzzle template,printed the photo, painted the wood, mod podged the photo into place, but when I took it to my friend to have it cut, I discovered the wood was not what I needed and would only splinter when cut.
So I just gave the photo to the bride-to-be in case she wanted it and went to plan B. My husband works in metal and was able to have a 5'x2' mustache cut and painted black. I got some gold and silver pens and had people sign it.

As you can see the bride-to-be had fun with it.
We ended the evening with gifts and sent everyone home with an assortment of goodies.
We all had the best time and loved this theme!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Like Me

As a young girl, I was exposed to a reality that wasn't pleasant. My former step dad was an abusive alcoholic who took out his hurt and pain on my mom and our family. He would abuse my mom and often as a kid, I would see neighbors just staring out their windows or from their front porches just sitting there, watching us, taking no action. It deeply hurt and angered me that they were finding entertainment value from my troubled reality. We needed help, their help and they were unwilling to lift a finger. There was one amazing neighbor next door who always came to our aid, so I don't want to be remiss in acknowledging that heroic act, but I know the other onlookers helped inspire me to be a woman passionate about getting involved in people's lives and standing up for the person who can't stand up for themselves. Its instinctual to step in when someone is being hurt or bullied, without thought for my own welfare. Maybe that instinct lacks wisdom at times, but I wouldn't change it for the world, because if I can step in for someone who sees others looking on doing nothing, as I did so many years ago, it would fill my heart with joy.

A dance I watched recently actually brought all this up in me again and also brought forth the poem I've written below, which I would like to share now. Its written to others out there who are standing in the shoes I wore over 20 years ago. My heart goes out to all those being abused and mistreated, for no one deserves that! This is dedicated to you...

Like Me
Dear Girl Like Me, Dear Boy Like Me,

Your Life is someone else’s TV
They sit and watch entertained for free.
You desire action, intervention
Of your home that feels like a prison!
Jabs are taken,
Wounds are born,
Repeat on with endless scorn.
You long for someone to care for you
And pay a dime for Pay-Per-View!
This is NOT reality TV, it is real life, your life,
To sit and watch and do nothing is criminal to say the least.
They are just as bad as THE BEAST.
Your curtain call will soon be drawn and someone will make sure he’s (she's) gone!
But until that day comes, stand strong!
Please know I’m praying for you.

Someone whose been in your shoes

As I close this post, I must share that the greatest force that stood by me through that difficult time and each one since then, has been my Savior, Jesus Christ! I don't know how a spiritual being can be so present, but He has been. I have felt a hug when I needed one and been encouraged when I felt all hope was lost. I stand strong and continue on because of my Lord! Thanks Jesus!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Health Findings, A New Addition

A little under a year ago, I had some health issues and starting researching and testing some natural remedies. This past month I was able to perform with the League of Christian Actors in the musical, Les Miserables. It was fantastic. I had a blast amidst a very busy schedule. In that time I got sick and was introduced by fellow actors to the Master Tonic. I am in the process of making it myself - it takes 2 weeks to ferment. But from what I have read, it is a great way to boost the immune system to avoid sickness and a great way to ward off sickness when it knocks on your door. So here it is:
5 Raw Ingredients of Equal Portions: Garlic, White Onion, Ginger, Horseradish, & Peppers (I used serranos) Mix together in a food processor.
Fill your container (I used Mason jars) half full with the mix from above, then fill the rest of the jar with Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)(Unfiltered - with the Mother). Then shake and store in a dark place for two weeks to ferment. Shake them daily. Then after 2 weeks (which will be the 17th for mine), I will then strain it. Next you take a couple of shots of it a day.
Everyone in the cast was talking about how horrible tasting this stuff is, but when I took some from a friend, I found it to be not too bad. It tasted like a marinade and wasn't too hot or bad tasting. I've been taking shots of just the ACV, and it is much better than that is straight.
I will report my thoughts on it, once I add it to my daily regimen. Anyone up to trying this with me?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Week In Photos

My week started with a trip to the zoo with my little man and sister, Alex (newly in town to prepare for her wedding in a few months). We had a great time, feeding the giraffes, watching the monkeys and elephants and seeing the sea lions swim about. 

 The next day started my preparation for yard sale Saturday. It started in my closet, as suggested by Erin Rooney Doland in her book,"Unclutter Your Life In One Week." I took it all out, cleaned the closet, then figured out what would go back in, and what would make its way to a trash or yard sale. 

 This picture captures my victory. My son is fighting naps, even though once he gets to sleep, he sleeps for several hours. This particular day it took me 3 hours to get him to take his nap, thus, my victory! 

 Thursday was a difficult Mommy day. My son was cranky and demanding, so by bed time I was spent, but it was this time before bed with giggling boy that made it all worthwhile. 

 Friday was a crazy day as was Saturday, Saturday holds no pictures as my phone was stolen. I was not a happy camper, and still am not adjusted to life with no cellphone! 

 Today is Mother's Day, so happy Mother's Day to all the moms reading this!! Here is my Mother's Day orchid :)! 

 My husband has been busy around the house today, but I was able to do a little kitchen experimentation with this pasta salad. It was super yummy and I want to share it with you! 

 Here's the recipe(ish): I didn't exactly measure :) I used a mix of Farfalle & Ziti pasta that I cooked to package directions. Then I poured some olive oil on it as it cooled. I then added minced garlic, grape tomatoes (halved), chopped fresh spinach, sliced back olives, sliced string cheese, artichoke hearts (poured just a bit of the juice from the jar onto the mix), added salt, pepper & italian seasonings. I then mixed 3 tablespoons of cottage cheese, cream cheese and half a cup of grated parmesan and microwaved for 30 seconds. I mixed it together with 2 tablespoons of pesto and folded it in with pasta/veggie mix. I then poured a half cup of parmesan on top then mixed it all up. Try it out!  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cooking with Mommy

Today was a first for my little man as he helped mommy cook tonight! We tried a recipe my friend, Amanda, posted on my Facebook. You can get it from this photo.

Here's my boy putting the seasonings into the bowl after I measured them out.

Now he is mixing them together.

As I cut the veggies he put them into the bowl. You can see that he ate of few of the peppers.

I did make a few changes in my method of the recipe. Instead of putting the chicken in the baking dish and then adding the other ingredients, I mixed the seasonings and oil in the bowl and then tossed in the chicken to get an even coat. The veggies were added after the chicken to the bowl. I also only had orange and red peppers so didn't end up using green. This is one to try, it had a great taste to it and was fairly easy to do quickly, which is always nice. Even better than the recipe was Bubba's help. Its his introduction to cooking!