Archive | March 2013

Stressless Flamingo

Arriving at the classroom I was subbing in, I was greeted by this cute little fella.

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How can you not grin when you look at him!?

Sometimes, class does not flow with a substitute teacher as it normally does. Through the years I’ve learned I must be flexible, and I must not get stressed out when things don’t go exactly as planned.

Richard Carlson has written a book for teens titled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens. I had a chance to skim through it while students were diligently working on projects.  Carlson has addressed a wide variety of topics that most teens face, and explains how to keep cool in stressful situations. It’s a quick and easy read which I’d recommend not only for teens.

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Throughout my day, the cute little flamingo would catch my attention.  The way he was propped and the light on his eye gave him a happy relaxed look as if to say, “I don’t have a care in the world.”  Funny how this look had a calming affect on me, and encouraged me not to sweat the small stuff. Too often, we let little blunders or uncertainties ruin the moment or day. We stress out rather than remain calm and make adjustments.

God wants us to depend on Him, not our own strength.  Why else would he give us so many reminders in scripture? When you start to get stressed remember some of these verses to keep your focus on God.

1Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Psalm 62:8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 55:22 Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you.

You may not have a cute little flamingo smiling from your desk, but God is with you at all times.  He will never leave you or forget about you. Isn’t that reassuring especially in stressful times?

March Madness

Hubby has the tractors going, trying to meet CRP deadlines.  Irrigation wells are pumping due to lack of rain and snow. Our cows are beginning to calve. The early veggie seeds are tucked under loose dirt in the garden. Spring Break has come and gone, and so far my NCAA basketball bracket is not too shabby.  It is March Madness at our Home-On-The-Range.

Each year when we spring forward and lose an hour, our schedule and workload seem to immediately multiply.  Even with good organizational skills, sometimes the madness is like a Kansas whirlwind spinning out of control. For instance, yesterday I was supposed to scan seed sheets and submit the seed orders.  This task needed done so the orders would be filled for the next delivery. Unfortunately, this job was not on my to-do list and was forgotten until this morning.

I dropped the ball, but the game is not over.  Hubby and I need to listen and communicate well to minimize turnovers.  We also need to continue to daily review our play book (Bible) and take Coach’s (God’s) advice. All our hard work is meaningless, meaningless if we do not work as a team for our God.

The wisest and wealthiest man on earth, King Solomon, concludes with these words:

 Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14

Everything we do, whether work or play should honor God. It is our duty to obey His commands. In fact, I Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

It’s time to head out of the locker room with game face on, giving my all during this March madness.

Saturday Sampler

1. For many, many years, Spring Break was eagerly anticipated at our home on the range. It was a welcome break from school routine.  Youngest Son arrived home for his last Spring Break. I guess that means it’s another ‘last’ for Hubby and I, too. We are quickly coming to the end of this chapter in our life that has revolved around school schedules. Youngest Son will be a college graduate in May!

2. The early veggies have been planted. We had such a beautiful day yesterday that I just couldn’t help my self. The potatoes, snap peas, radish, lettuce and beets are in the ground. Some how I forgot to get onion sets and spinach seed. Those should go in the ground soon as well. While checking the soaker hoses for leaks, I decided to make a hose wreath with a discarded hose. I then hung it on the garden gate for a welcoming effect.

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3. I found something in the coat closet that I never new was there!! I emptied the closet thinking I’d tear it out.  However, I changed my mind and decided we really do need the closet space. So, with it empty I realized there are some cracks in the old plaster, and really should be patched and then painted. We’ve lived in this old house for more than 20 years, and I have never painted the insides of the closets. For shame, I know! Really who notices? The closets are full and you can’t see the inside walls anyway. The floor of this closet has always had a piece of plywood on it, and I’ve never thought twice about it. That is until I was sweeping it out. I wondered why it was there, and if it was nailed down.

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Well, it wasn’t nailed down, and this is what I found!

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Hmmm, we never ever knew we had a crawl space here! I just love making new discoveries in our 100+ year old house!

4. Last week I had a most delicious Spinach Apple Salad. It was easy to figure out the ingredients for the salad, but I wasn’t quite sure about the Apple Poppy Seed Dressing.  I searched for a recipe and found several different ones.  I ended up playing around with a couple recipes to get the taste I was looking for.  Yumm! My parents are coming for my Dad’s birthday supper, and yes this salad is on the menu. I hope they like it as well as I do.

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5. Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. I must admit growing up I had no clue who St. Patrick was, or why we celebrated wearing green and getting pinched if we forgot. Some communities add parades and a lot of rowdy partying to the celebration. I still am not sure how some of these are in honor of St. Patrick. In case you are like me and don’t know who St. Patrick was, let me share a few tidbits on this Saint. Patrick lived a long time ago…in the 400s AD. He was captured while a teen and imprisoned for several years. During his time as a prisoner he became a devout Christian. He escaped, sought religious training, was ordained and became a missionary to Ireland. His ministry saw many people and entire communities convert to Christianity. He was a missionary for 40 years and began many churches. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the trinity – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. This would be a great illustration for church tomorrow!

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.The world and all its people belong to him.  Psalm 24:1

 

For the Love of God

Due to some reading, listening to a couple speakers and a class I’m currently taking, I have been prompted to take a good hard look at my life. Too many times my life revolves around Me, Myself and I.  Me and my husband, Me and my family, Me and…  Do you see the common denominator? Me, Me, My, Me…

Satan loves it when people focus primarily on self, because then our number one focus is not on God.  Satan is the deceiver causing us to think we are better and more important than others.  We fill our schedules to revolve around ourselves.  Too many days are not begun asking, “God, what is it you want me to do today?”, listening to His direction, and then being obedient to go and do.

What would our community be like if all who call themselves “Christian” would follow those steps each morning?  Can you imagine the change if denominational barriers were torn down, or if the status of wealth and popularity no longer caused social discrimination?  What if we truly loved as Jesus loved?

Missionary Amy Carmichael said, “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”  What woud happen if we seriously followed Jesus command to “love your neighbor as yourself?” Matthew 22:39   Daily schedules would no longer revolve around “Me”.   C.T. Studd was a missionary to China, India and Africa.  He said, “If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”  God wants us to be obedient now in spite of our imperfections. What better place is there to get started  than in our own neighborhood and community?

I would like to issue a challenge for the week: Each morning begin the day asking God, “What is it you want me to do today?” Listen for His direction, and then be obedient.  Be intentional in showing the love of Jesus to others in your community.

 ” If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;  but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”    I Corinthians 13:3

SpRiNg ~ New Life

Spring is in the air! I know; I know. We just had a blizzard the beginning of the week. However, I have proof that Spring will soon be here!

seedsMr. Postman delivered my garden seeds!!

Oh! That didn’t convince you?  Maybe these pictures will.  I took them a few days before we got piles of blowing swirling snow.

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By the time the mud dries, I’m hoping it will be warm enough to plant my peas.  In the meantime, how about some good ol’ fashioned spring cleaning!? Take down the curtains and launder; use the extension handled duster to reach the cobwebs where wall meets ceiling, and pack away the last of the snowman decorations. If your Bible has been collecting dust while sitting on shelf or table, clean it off as well.  While you’re at it, take a moment to read and let God’s Word breath new life in you.

In the book of John, Jesus talks a lot about life. He says, “I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.” In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Towards the end of John, we are told why the many accounts of Jesus have been recorded.

These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.   John 20:31

These are only a few verses from John, but I hope they are enough to cause you to read more about Jesus’ life and this new life found only through Him.

There are signs of Spring outside. Are there signs of Spring within you?

Spring: to come into being by growth, as from a seed or germ, bulb, root, etc.; grow with new life