25 out of 50 things I’m thankful for

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I’ve always known how to have fun on my birthday! 

Tomorrow is a big day for me. I used to think 50 year old people were old. Now I think they are, well, they are…me as of January 27. 


Here is half of the 50 things I’m thankful for. 

Class of 2016 = woot

1. My middle OS has been accepted to Moody Bible Institute!
2. This means I will have a semi-regular pizza delivery boy! 
3. I had a wonderful experience speaking to a local MOPS group and I want to do it again! 
4. My topic was “Raising Mighty Oliveshoots” and I’m sensing the Lord is creating something. 
5. My oldest OS has done so well as West Point that he will be getting his first choice for his post and unit. This means that Nate will probably be going to Fort Carson in Colorado. I suggested “Fort” Cary (we live in Cary!) but he seemed disinterested. No worries though!
6. My orange hair, freckle face OS’s basketball team is currently in first place and his back pain is subsiding.

Few moments are as epic as when you
and your OS get to meet Mary Jo!

7. I’m going to MaryJo’s Cloth Store in Gastonia on Saturday with friends. Ignite endorphin levels!
8. I soaked some almonds overnight in water and evaporated cane juice. I drained the water and just before putting them into the dehydrator, I sprinkled cinnamon on them. They taste GOOD! 

I’m having a bibimbap birthday! 

9. We are having a Korean exchange student stay with us for the weekend and she is going to teach me how to make bibimbap
10. We’re also going to be serving squash pancakes and green onion pancakes. This should be interesting!
11. My six year old nephew Jon aka Goo, told me he has drawn me a picture for my birthday. I can’t wait to see it!
12. My aunt and uncle from Chicago sent me two birthday pizzas. I have them safely hidden in the freezer, only the Hubs seems to know. I do not want to share. Does that make me a bad person??? Do not tell a soul. 
13. I’m reading my seventh book since Christmas. Shablam! Current read – Saving Leonardo. Here’s a great quote “One of the greatest injustice we do our young people is to ask them to be conservative. Christianity is not conservative, but revolutionary…We must teach them to be revolutionaries, revolutionaries against the status quo.” Click to read this review that compelled me to buy this for my Kindle Fire. 
14. It struck me last night as I was sitting with my monthly writing friends, how immensely blessed I am with a diversity of friendships culled from many parts of my life. 
15. My house is neither immaculate nor filthy, right now as I type this, it’s right in the middle. 
16. I love my weekly Bible Study and the women I share life with. As I look around the table, I admire their strength, beauty and stories about leading redeemed lives. 

Bible Study just before the Army/Navy game!
Had to bring Nate!

17. My stepfather said he would go with me for my colonoscopy! I don’t have one scheduled but since I took him to his, he said he would accompany me on mine! 

18. I just finished reading a book about a vacuum cleaner and it made me cry. I thought about the stories my family’s appliances could tell.
19. When I told my mom that sometimes her birthday cards to me are so sappy, I could become diabetic, she didn’t get offended. She laughed and scoffed. We had fun! 
20. Loves it when the pastor speaks a sermon custom made for our family! 
21. And REALLY loves it when we apply the sermon to daily life!
22. So blessed to have a praying family. We rallied around one of our OS this weekend and prayed with and for him one night. I want to leave this kind of legacy.
23. Realized that I along with the Hubs are raising a first generation Christian family. I didn’t see that modeled in my own family and we’re super imperfect but still, we’re doing it!

A recent creation I made

24. My sewing machines and I are getting along. We are enjoying our time together.
25. I made a dinner this week for a teacher who has cancer. I wasn’t sure what to make and brought sesame seed crusted salmon, wilted spinach with a white wine sauce and quinoa pepper salad. She said her favorite thing to eat was fish! I didn’t know that! 


On the eve of a big day, it makes sense to have some jollity. Life is a gift. I’d love to hear from you, any of these 25 jump out at you?

May the words of my mouth be pleasing to you

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MOPS blessed me so much
when my OS were younger!

On Tuesday, I will be speaking to a local MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) group. The first time I was scheduled to speak, I had to cancel due to a delay in my oldest OS’s surgery. When the group asked me again, I debated about if it was really the right thing to do, not because of MOPS at all, (I love MOPS)! but because of me.


Have you ever tried to come up with an answer for not doing something? I have, I do, I’m sure I will do it again, unfortunately. Sometimes I’ve got good reasons and other times the reasons are really just excuses. They are petty and selfish, utterly lacking sound judgment. 

“Wow, I’ve got a lot going on
but I’m not going to let it stop me!”
 
David Brainerd, the man

The great and humble missionary to the North American Indians, David Brainerd was the man. Soon I must share the impact David Brainerd’s life and testimony have had on me though he lived in the 1700’s. He struggled with depression and suffered greatly. I highly recommend reading The Life and Diary of David Brainerd. 

“Who cares about a little consumption
and depression? I’ve got work to do!” 

Thanks to the trusty stylus harnessed to my Kindle Fire, I have highlighted many of his spiritual insights. Here’s one fitting of my upcoming message and bespeaks my heart “…when God enables me sensibly to find that I have done something for him, this refreshes and animates me, so that I could break through all hardships, undergo any labors, and nothing seems too much either to do…”. Yeah, I so get this. 

I’m so diggin’ this

Now I’m wondering, what have you been recently asked to you? Did you do it? What has recently refreshed and animated you? The message I prepared this week isn’t the one I originally intended but I sense a prompting to share it. Let me be your instrument O God, feeble as I am. 

Check this out!

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When my OS were little and I became a stay-at-home mom, I found sanctuary in MOPS. On really rough days, (oh yes, we have had plenty of rough days), I would LIVE for my MOPS day. It meant that I would have time for myself, talk with other moms, hear a great speaker and make a fun craft. My OS would be in a nearby room being cared for by generous ladies and we would all leave happy. They would nap, I would show the Hubs the craft I had made at MOPS when he got home from work. He would lavish praise even if it looked like something I could have made in kindergarten, MOPS will always hold a special place in my heart.

Now I have a sister in MOPS and I live vicariously through her when she goes to MOPS meetings. Quick MOPS story before I write the real reason for my post…

Last year, one day I was over at my sister’s house. Our mom was visiting and Denise walked in from the garage and into the kitchen utterly exasperated. She was breathless and clearly overwhelmed and when I asked her what was wrong, she directed me to take a look at my nephew otherwise known as one of my Gooey Guys.

As Jon walked into the kitchen, I noticed something was amiss. Jon trotted in with a shirt, a pull-up and socks. Gone were his pants and his big boy undies…While at MOPS, Jon thought he had “let one go” or as he calls it had a “barking spider” and it soon became disgustingly apparent, that he had more than expelled flatus. My darling nephew had pooped in his pants and I mean really pooped in his pants thus rendering his Thomas the Tank Engine undies completely and irrevocably ruined. I found it hilarious; my sister did not. Oh those were the days, thankfully we are both laughing about that moment!


Ok, so awkward transition…there’s no easy way to do it…

I just had to tell you about the most adorable craft the MOPS ladies made today. Check out this Advent Calendar. You can buy comparable Advent Calendars for $75 and up but not like this or at this price. You can have a Advent Calendar created by my friend Darcy for just $50. Darcy will include a personalized name on the top of the calendar if you like at no extra charge.


And for the uber crafty, Darcy is selling a set for you to make the Advent Calendar yourself. She includes a template for alternate ideas. The kit includes a dowel, twine, 25 monogrammed numbers, felt, ribbon and buttons, basically everything needed to create one like this including a picture of the sample. These are only $30 plus shipping and handling. And she’ll personalize it for free.

Facebook was abuzz with MOPS moms writing about the nifty craft they made and judging from some of the moms’ pictures, they all did a GREAT job! It is so cute to see all the creative ideas circulating! One mom has a husband who is a firefighter so she’s making a fire engine. Another mom’s son loves trains and she has a new daughter. She’s making a train and a ballerina. And if you know me, you know I LOVE penguins! There are penguins on the Advent Calendar !

Darcy is a stay-at-home pastor’s wife and mom. She is a tal- ented seamstress with such a servant’s heart, I know it would bless her family’s holidays if she sold bunches of these. Call Darcy at (919) 676-3159 if you want more info or to place an order. Tell her you heard about this right here! I love bragging about my talented friends!