Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Better Than a Hallelujah

As I curl up in my chair, tears flowing down my cheek, the words of this song play in my head.  My Father hears the cry of this mother's heart as I offer up my prayer at 2 am during the darkness and silence of the early morning.  I burst forth with all the "whys?" and "how come?" and He cuddles me in His faithful arms. I can not see the finish tapestry, right now I only see the threads I feel are  being pulled in the wrong directions.  Then I stop again to hear this song.
Second to the reading of the Word of God is the healing balm of melodies that only God created through the composer.

So this Sunday morning I cry out "Better Than A Hallelujah" to my Lord and Saviour.

God loves a lullaby
In a mother's tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

God loves the drunkard's cry
The soldier's plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

The woman holding on for life
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

The tears of shame for what's been done
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

Better than a church bell ringing
Better than a choir singing out, singing out

Saturday, February 26, 2011

When Two Worlds Collide

You turned my wailing into dancing: you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.  Ps. 30:11
Friday night, two mothers' adult sons left to enjoy the evening.  One was to return to his parents home, the other to an apartment with his brother.  Both were only a year and half apart in age, but adults in their own right.  Just a typical Friday evening for two college sons.

As the evening came to an end, their worlds and two mothers' worlds collided. Within two miles of both mothers' homes, on the interstate highway, life would take a turn.  My son watched the speeding car approach the back of his car and pass him as if he was standing still. Within seconds, both of their worlds would change.  My son knew that something was about to happen. The speeding car tried unsuccessfully to go between two other cars and a terrible wreck ensued, killing the young driver. Car pieces, smoke and sparks were flying as my son moved his vehicle through the debris with his mind racing on what he had just witnessed.  This was not a movie or a video game, it was real life.

The young man in the car was pronounced dead at the scene...my son returned to his apartment, safe, but very disturbed.  As the story continued to develop, our worlds crossed even more.  The young man was age 20, my son, 22.  He lived within two miles of our home, and was the neighbor of our close friends.  He was within one exit of his home when the wreck occurred.

As the harsh reality sank into my chilled spine, I lifted my thanksgiving to God for the safety of my son, while my heart raced to the mother who lived so near and the unbearable grief she was going through.  I was offering up Praise, she was planning a funeral.

I continued to pray for this mother as I prayed for my son to work through what he had seen.  Then on Wednesday, I entered the school  where I mentor, the teachers were all wearing black.  The girl I was to meet with is in 5th grade, she turned and commented, “Oh, all the teachers are in black today because of the teacher’s son who died.”  I stopped in my tracks.  The other mother is a teacher at the school where I volunteer.  The teachers were leaving the school to attend the funeral.

Before I entered the school, I had texted my adult kids to inform them of the time of the funeral and to be in prayer. But when I returned home, I read the specifics from the paper.  The family had requested, in lieu of flowers, for donations to go to the organization for which I volunteer.  They were giving back to other children with the loss of their own.

Two mothers, two sons...our worlds collide!  My heart still aches and my prayers go out to the family and a woman I have never met, but through God’s providence, I now have seen her world. My son was one of the few people who saw the last minutes of her son’s life.

I hug my children again, and release them again, into the Father’s hands, while weeping for another mother, who may never know our worlds collided.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Just Some Small Additions

Okay, okay I heard loudly...GET NEW POT HOLDERS.  They were so unrecognizable that labeling my picture of  them was helpful.  I have to confess I am so bad at this.  I am not a shopper. Unless it is decorative and a necessity for the kitchen, it doesn't land in that category for me.  Thirty years of cooking for a large household has taken its toll on my kitchen resources.  During Christmas, my kitchen yelled, "UNCLE". It began to protest my negligent...handles fell of my 30 year-old pots, appliances died...right in the middle of Christmas cooking... the nerve of them!  Why is it that all of these things can't survive for a lifetime?  Now, true confession...those pot holders have to be at least 10 years-old...that is just horrible.

So I pushed  my non-shopping body out the door to make myself a kitchen to die for.  Would you like to see what I got?  Now remember, all of these items are NEEDS and not just WANTS...because they are more than justified in my household where they will be put to continuous use.

In honor of the world champion blogger....I have to replace my still-working-but-I-am-not-taking-the-risk Kitchen Aid Mixer.  Look what I got!
Now isn't that just to die for?   A Pioneer Woman Kitchen Aid...I am hoping just having it brings success to anything I cook. It will be the centerpiece in my dream kitchen... with soap-stone counter top and a farmer's sink. If I can't be a farmer's wife, at least I can have a farmer's sink.

Since blogging has enhanced my love for "tablescaping" (I didn't realize there was a name for what I did), I now have dozens of dishes to wash. Instead of just eating on one or two plates, we now have coordinated plates for everything. So I NEED TWO dishwashers.  Think how much I wash when the 10 of us get together for a meal!
I just love the option of two drawers. So when I finally have an empty-nest, I can use only one drawer. But for now, both washers will be filled to compacity with my multiple layers of dishes.

Now, how can I continue all the gourmet cooking I am learning from all these wonderful blogs and the Food Network with my small stove and single oven....heaven forbid. So this non-shopper woman, with 10 year-old pot holders, just ordered one of these.
The subway tile with the wooden floors just finished up my dream kitchen and now it is ready for a good work-out.  Are you ready to come to dinner?

Just in case you heard about a local Menopausal woman robbing the local bank....well, lets just say, she NEEDED all of this and you know you shouldn't cross her when that time comes.

Oh well... a girl can dream can't she? I think I blogged on dreaming at the beginning of the year.

(Back to reality)... Instead, I bit my lip very hard... swallowed all my justification and went into Ross.  Here are my new purchases...I bought three sets!  MY SIMPLE PLEASURE THIS WEEK!  Now I am going to slowly replace some of those older pieces of kitchen necessities...a one-handled colander!!

Carol at Our Sears Kit House  DOES have my dream kitchen. Now... to get my home-builder son to copy it for me one day. Stop by and see it...it is to die for.  If anyone of you has this wonderful kitchen of my dreams....please by all means ENJOY IT!!!  In the mean time, I am so thankful God has given me a working kitchen in our rent home with a gas stove and the best layout I have ever had.  Everything is in working order.  He smiled on me!

Now who knew that mugs were such a sensitive matter?  The comments on my mugs were hysterical and enlightening. No, I didn't throw all of our sentimental mugs away, for all of you who were horrified at that thought... but now there is room for new ones!  The Christmas mis-matched ones have their own shelf.

Project Simple Pleasures2

Monday, February 21, 2011

Smelling Spring

Spring floods the air as I inhale all the potential of a new season of growth.  God started my year using a garden analogy, so I continue mapping out my garden with His master gardening hands.

Winter months allow time for gardeners to dream, plan, order seeds and become inspired.

As God continues to prepare my soil, He reveals areas where my heart isn't tender, as well as weeding out strongholds that would drain nourishment for future fruit.  As I water with prayer, the soil begins to yield to accept the new seeds He is planting.

My inspiration for my spring garden planting comes from hours of reading before the Master Gardener.

What difference do it make? began breaking the clotted soil, removing past reservations and prompting me to step out beyond my comfort zone.  Seeing everyone as Same different as me reveals a side of my garden I look forward to planting.

My small seedling is mentoring a high-risk student in public school.  I step out with the words of one testimony which said, "how can you serve them if you don't know them?"

   Denver Moore - Most people want to be circled by safety, not by the unexpected.  The 
           unexpected can take you out.  But the unexpected can also take you over and change
           your life.  Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be.

          - That blessin means you give a person a little gift to show 'em you think they matter
             on this earth, and helpin is when you stoop down with the person and stay there
             till they can climb on your shoulders to get up.

God continues to expand the borders of my heart as I relate to my assigned girl.  She is "same different as me"....we share the same birthday, as well as being first-born in our families of three siblings. God is knitting our hearts together and loosening the soil of my heart.

As spring continues to draw me into the promises of new seed planting, I praise God that He is tilling, planting, weeding and watering my life. My prayer for this new season of growth is that I will stoop down and stay with a person to allow them to climb on my shoulders to get up.  Isn't that what God does for us?

*You can click on the words in blue and see the full story and ministry of Ron Hall and Denver Moore.* I never receive any compensation for the books or items I share on this blog...I am just sharing my thoughts.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Join me while I praise my Savoir for using the little things in life that can drive me crazy.  I am truly blessed.

This song just makes me want to twirl around my house, smile with the biggest Texas grin and lift my voice in praise to a  God who uses "all this stuff" in my life to bring me closer to Him.  I am truly blessed and I hope you will be as you tap your toe to this ukulele strummed folk song.

Sunday Singings - my grandmother would love this one.

Lis thanks for sharing this song.  I truly love MUSIC!!!
Dedicated to my beautiful daughter!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just a Mug, Who Knew?

My kitchen cabinets were more than overdue for a ransacking.  I needed to bring some refreshing change to an overly-used kitchen.  The first order of business....MUGS!  With a New Year, my clutter of unmatched mugs, which had exceeded their welcome, needed to go.

You know the mugs...convention mugs, family mugs, garage sale mugs, message mugs....all in their time and place were fun...but when do you let go?  When do you look down at those faded old mugs and say, "you have had better days and I am retiring you...?"

I gathered them from their hiding place.  They have never matched so they were not awarded a prominent viewing spot on my kitchen counter.  No mug tree for them.

So long, Sally Clarkson's Conference Mugs...you all have done a very laborious job...meeting me each morning for a hot beverage while reminding me of my duties as a Mom!

I heard an inspirational whisper in my mind as I snatched away my worn-out mugs into a box for hiding.  I have one of those treasured husbands who can not see a good reason for removing items from our home...so they would need to be hidden and disposed of fast!  The voice spoke louder..."to Dillards, they put dishes on sale in January".

So, skipping in expectant excitement I headed out with my a gift card in hand...mug treasure hunting.

Entering Dillards, there they were....RED....my new favorite color...and MUGS at 70% off.  They were almost free!!!  Eight wonderful red mugs waiting for a new home....my home!

I grabbed them before anyone else could attach themselves to them and raced home.  Washed and dried, I put them on display in the cabinet, anticipating a cry of "What did you do with my favorite mugs?"

Instead of screams of protest, the door was opened... revealing a 30-year-old hidden secret. "Janette, when did you get these mugs? I have always wanted matching mugs.  We have NEVER had matching mugs! My aunt always had matching mugs and I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED MATCHING MUGS!"

Now give me a stinking break....who knew this man of mine wanted matching mugs! Who is this man in my kitchen? (Sommersby, 1993 Jodie Foster and Richard Gere...thanks, Debbie)

Well, they have become the new prized possession.  Making a debut at my teen son's birthday party to rave reviews from TEENAGE BOYS!!!  This must be a male thing!

So today my simple pleasures are  Eight Red Mugs...which also were featured on my blog on the post "I Am Bringing You a Latte" and everyone thought I had printed my blog name on the mug.  Our snow has brought continued use to these new mugs, as well as needed exercise, as I constantly search for their whereabouts.

How about that...just one simple enjoyment to bring some new life into my constantly used kitchen. Now don't you feel I need to replace my overly-used pot holders next?

Project Simple Pleasures2

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

As soon as I turned the page of the calendar from January to February my five-year-old was on me to decorate for Valentine's Day.

What is funny is his tall (all over six feet) older brothers were all this way until they hit the age of male maturity????
 I am going to enjoy the last few years of excitement from my last male, before he packs up the excitement bag.  So I decided to decorate for him.

 He is still at the age of giggles, smiles and tons of Mommy kisses.

  The table was enjoyed by the whole family for his brother's 22nd birthday.  Fondue adorned the table.
We lit the candles, even if the older siblings think it is silly, Benjamin's eyes glowed  in excitement.

I have to add my female touch to the male-dominated attendance to our party.
These paper hearts have hung from different light fixtures through the years...maybe the older siblings noticed and remembered.  Commenting wouldn't be cool. 
Since my older ones aren't into mommy kisses like Benjamin, I reminded them by tying a ribbon around their glasses.  Even if they feel they are too old, their Mommy still loves them.
Now I can go spend the evening with the Love of My Life..He is still my Valentine after 33 years.

I Wish You and Yours a Very Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mental Pausing Moments!!!

#Warning: this is meant for humor...I do not have a man-hating spirit and my husband has approved this post through nods and laughter.

I know my God has a sense of humor because He decided to place the "change of life" right at the same time when we are emptying our nest,  seeking new direction, re-inventing our marriage, dealing with young adult children and still raising young children.  At a time when we should have been given tickets to "fly the coop" ourselves for a year of exploration, while carrying our buckets of tears, He made sure we would deal with all of it in front of the whole world.  When we were pregnant, those hormonal moments of tears and moodiness were overlooked as raging hormones...they now creep back in with a not-so-nice pregnancy glow like they had before.

When these days come...and I know some women don't experience this (and please don't try to find my horns)...well, I can set down with "It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To" songs or learn to laugh.  Then there are times when I could just enter into a show and dance one scene of independence..  a declaration to my family that I do have a name other than Mommy and Wife and I do have a life...YOU DON'T OWN ME!!!!.  When I feel this way (yes, giving way to my bent toward rebellion and independence) I can start grinning from ear to ear seeing this scene from First Wives Club and I would love to step into this song and dance along side them...even if just for a few moments.

I am not endorsing this movie or the message behind it (although my husband knows I love it)....I am just sharing a Mental Pause Moment!!!  Luckily, my mental pause is only a for little while...I take off my white suit and return to my family!!

"May we each stay the same... tired, happy, and a little brave!!!"- Bette Midler

Which one are you...Bette Midler, Dianne Keaton, or Goldie Hawn?  I would love to be a combination of all three!!! I am revealing my alter-ego.   Isn't being silly just one of  the best ways to blow the menopause moments away?   So stop and just enjoy a smile with me as I stretch my moment of independence...dancing, singing and laughing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Cookies are The BOMB!

Now I am starting to feel the generational gap.  This week the sign-up email was sent out for my 5 year old's Valentine Party.  On the list was heart-shaped sugar cookies for the kids to decorate.  Well since I have been enjoying making cookies this year, I jumped on this option.  The sign up email went around and everyone filled in the blanks.  Then came the "you are older than you think" thought from an email with a tremendous compliment.
"Oh, I was not going to sign up for the cookies hoping Benjamin's mom would.
Her cookies are the BOMB!" from another mother.

I was thrilled by the compliment and sent back a thank-you to her and volunteered to make extras for the moms, that I would decorate.  The laughter was created with the word "BOMB"...now can you tell that I am in a different generation from the younger moms in my son's pre-school class?
The best gingerbread people I have ever eaten. Benjamin is making their hair. Snowman went to Ben's class.
I can not take credit for the "Bomb" cookies, all the recipes come from 350 degrees.  Her recipes are the "BOMB", her instructional videos take out all guess work and they taste wonderful.  Her gingerbread is the best I have ever eaten.  So I have been having such fun playing with my cookie cutters.

So I leave you with a Valentine Cookie and wish I could send it in the mail.  Sometimes getting a compliment from a younger generation, "BOMB," can make my day!  

May you have a cookie cutter day!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You Are My God - Sunday Singings

Revisiting my postings dedicated to my grandmother and Sunday Singings,  I choose this one today.           My declaration of truth.  You Are My God.

Blessings and Shalom as you enter a new week.  We are in His Sovereign plan.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wish I Could Take That Back

Just an "X" on a street?

My son is reading through The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.  As he reads, he shares with me what he is learning from his reading.  The items below attracted his attention:

  1. "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home." Kenneth Olsen, President and Founder of Digital Equipment, 1977
  2. "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."  Marshall Ferdinand Foch, French Military Strategist and Future World War I Commander in 1911
  3. "Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances." De. Lee De Forest, inventor of the audio tube and Father of radio...Feb. 25, 1967
  4. "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months.  People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." Darryl Zanuck, Head of 20th Century-Fox, 1946
  5. "We don't like their sound.  Groups of guitars are on the way out." Decca Records, rejecting the Beatles in 1962
  6. "For the majority of people , the use of tobacco has a beneficial effect."  Dr. Ian MacDonald, Los Angeles Surgeon, as quoted to Newsweek, Nov. 18, 1969
  7. "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.  The device is inherently of no value to us." Western Union Internal Memo, 1876
  8. "The earth is the center of the universe." Ptolemy the Great Egyptian Astronomer in the Second Century
  9. "Nothing of importance happened today." Written by King George III of England on July 4, 1776
  10. "Everything that can be invented has been invented."  Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, 1899

Do you have something you have said that you wish you could take back?  Well, we all do.  How has a change in perception helped to make your words fall to the ground?  Have you had a paradigm shift lately?

PARADIGM SHIFT....I have been going through paradigm shifts generating new viewpoints on different issues in life and, therefore, taking myself out of a constrained box...that I alone had put myself in. "Paradigms are like glasses.  When you have incomplete paradigms about yourself or life in general, it's like wearing glasses with the wrong prescriptions." (Sean Covey*)
Now back to the "X" on the street....is this just another building with windows?  If I told you that these two spots are in downtown Dallas and the "X" was placed on that street in 1963, would your thoughts of that "X" change?  Now, further information....the "X" marks the spot where President Kennedy was shot.

For we know in part and prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, that which is part will disappear. I Corn. 13:9-10

 Yea! for new perspectives and paradigm shifts which correct sight for viewing our lives.  Only God can write the prescription for clear vision for each of us....my prescription won't work on your eyes.  A different point of view or more information will allow me to correct what I say and how I view my situation.

Share a funny thing you have said that you wish you could now take back! 

One that I wish I could take back, "Oh, I will never use all those things on that phone!"

*I do not endorse the religious beliefs of the Covey writers, I do, however. glean the truth  given for different disciplines  presented in their writings.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Texas Snow, Simple Pleasure

I am joining Dayle for Simple Pleasures today.  This week the Lord blew another snow kiss on our North Texas neighborhood.  For us Texans this is a rare site and we cherish the snow visits.  Since we are not good at driving in this winter wonderland we usually just cuddle close and play.  Benjamin was delighted to play outside, while I warmed the fire, cooked and put clothes in and out of the dryer for each new adventure outdoors.  Those little red cheeks didn't stop him, while his bigger brother towered over him in snow fights. We did, however, get a taste of what many states experience with temperatures in single digits and chill factor below zero.  They are now telling us more is to come!

Hot Chocolate by the fire!
Time for me to curl up and read while enjoying the bright sunshine streaming across my snow coated yard. 
Now this snow came just two days after we had enjoyed a weekend of high 70 degrees, which had already moved me into Spring Fever....oh, well, I will have to wait a little longer before playing in the dirt of my garden or relaxing in my summer chairs.
So  my Simple Pleasure for this week, a winter wonderland....what was yours?

Project Simple Pleasures2
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