Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Sweet Old Lady

When I was around 30 years of age, my pastor made a statement from the pulpit that caught my attention. What he said seemed to me a profound observation, and I purposed in my heart to make it one of my “life philosophies.” What he said was this:

“You young ladies out there—would you like to be a sweet old lady?” [“Yes, I would,” I answered in my mind, anxious to hear his follow-on—perhaps some kind of magical formula—or at least a blueprint to follow? I had seen some bitter, cranky old women, and I did not want to become one.]

He continued, “If you want to be a sweet old lady, be a sweet young lady.”

Now, that IS profound, it IS one of my life philosophies, but it IS NOT easy to live. I recently came across a quote that supports my pastor’s “sermon” from some 30 years ago.  “BE TODAY WHO YOU WANT TO BE TOMORROW." (Amy Carroll) Yes, that’s what I’m saying--be a sweet young lady, if you want to be a sweet old lady.

Earlier this month, my devotional study was about Abigail (I Samuel 25). The point of the devotional piece was how Abigail persevered through an abusive and difficult marriage (to Nabal). As I began to read, I thought, “This is fine, but it doesn’t really apply to me.” Nope, this was not applicable to me personally—thankfully, God has blessed me with the most awesome husband in the world.

Then, as I read the rest of the study, the author, Rachel Olson, described the characteristics of Abigail that make her a wonderful  biblical example for women. THOSE traits ARE applicable to my life.
  • She is smart and sensible. (vs. 3)
  • People look to her for wisdom and leadership in times of trouble. (vs. 14, 17)
  • She is decisive and wastes no time worrying, pitying her situation, or fussing at those who cause her trouble — instead she takes action to improve the situation. (vs. 18, 23)
  • She is generous, (vs. 18, 27) even willing to lay down her life for others. (vs. 22, 24
  • She is humble (vs. 24, 41) and quick to ask forgiveness. (vs. 28)
  • She speaks eloquently and tactfully — with a knowledge of God — as she gives one of the longest speeches by a woman recorded in the Bible. (vs. 24-31) [AHA, says Barbara—long speeches are okay, even lauded!!!!—YAY!—oh, but wait, it also says eloquent, tactful, and with a knowledge of God—okay, more work needed on this one, too.]
  • She looks out for the well-being and reputation of others. (vs. 25, 31)
  • She trusts God, holds her tongue, and waits patiently for the right timing. (vs. 36-38)
Abigail  has it all — wisdom, character, courage, faith, eloquence, graciousness. She possesses both inner and outer beauty. After Nabal’s death, Abigail married King David, and they had a son. David would have seven other wives in his lifetime, but Rachel Olson writes that only Abigail earned his complete respect. Only she had a positive influence on him.

Wow—so many traits that I desire but do not have…yet…

Back to my “life philosophy” of becoming.  I must start today to emulate the example of Abigail…because she is the kind of woman I want to be tomorrow.

“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Impossible Taco Pie

In the early 90’s, a group of recipes "made the rounds" that were dishes made with Bisquick and called “Impossible…whatever.”  They were all good, frankly, and the “impossible” referred to the fact that you would never dream they were made with Bisquick. Out of that era, the recipe that emerged as the “keeper” for my family was this one. Although I show the “serve with” foods on the side, we often put the lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and shredded cheese directly on top of the “pie.” This is definitely one of those recipes that tastes better than it seems like it would. We just enjoyed this for supper tonight. We love it!


  • Brown and drain: 1 pound ground beef and 1/2 c. chopped onion.
  • Stir in 1 envelope taco seasoning mix (I use McCormick Original).
  • Spread in oblong medium-sized casserole dish, sprayed with Pam.
  • Top with 4 oz. can chopped green chilies, drained.
  • Beat 1 1/4 c. milk, 3/4 c. Bisquick (I use Heart-Smart Bisquick), and 3 eggs until smooth. Pour on top of meat mixture.
  • Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Top with 1 c. (or more) shredded Monterey Jack cheese and shredded cheddar cheese (I use the Mexican Cheese mixture).
  • Return to oven until cheese melts.
  • Serve with chopped tomatoes, lettuce, more shredded cheeses, and sour cream.
  • Freezes well.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Coconut Pineapple Pie

Found this recipe in a magazine, with a note that its original source was an old church cookbook—so I knew it had to be good…it is!!
 Coconut Pineapple Pie
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 c light corn syrup
  • 1 c flaked coconut
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)-best if homemade!
  • ¼ c butter, melted
In a bowl, combine sugar and flour. Add the corn syrup, coconut, pineapple, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Pour into pastry shell. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly.

Cool on a wire rack.

Chill before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Visiting My Brother's Church

This is a traditional, paper scrapbooking page I did for my regular album. Event took place December 5, I created the scrapbook page in January.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Chef" Mark

During Kristy's school year, Mark does a lot of the cooking for their family. He brings his creative nature into the kitchen and often makes up delicious recipes. The Asian-style pheasant he prepared for us was amazing.

This is a traditional, paper scrapbooking page for my 2010 album.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Prayer for 2011-Unsettle Me

Looking back through some of the devotional thoughts that have had special meaning for me during the last couple of years, I came across something that I ear-marked as a “keeper.” It is a prayer written by one of my favorite devotional authors, Lysa TerKeurst. I have adapted and taken ownership of this prayer for myself, for the new year:


Unearth that remnant of unforgiveness.
Shake loose that justification for harshness.
Reveal that broken shard of pride.

Unsettle me in the best kind of way. For when I allow Your touch to reach the deepest parts of me, suddenly, a fresh wind of life twists and twirls and dances through my soul.

I can delight in forgiveness and love more deeply.
I can discover my gentle responses and find softer ways for my words to land.
I can recognize the beauty of humility.
I can rest assured that even though harsh winds blow, I will be held by Him.

Goodbye shallow love, sharp words, and self-focus. Welcome deeper love, softer words, unleashed intimacy, and the certainty I am held.

Welcome my unsettled heart.
Welcome 2011.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Family Christmas 2010

One of our many Christmas Traditions is family pictures by the tree. This "required" part of the Christmas Celebration was passed down from my paternal grandparents--even the "who" is to be in each picture: grandparents with grandchildren, and each family grouping.