September 29, 2011

When God Messes With You

God messes with you sometimes.

In August I quit my job.  Granted, I only worked a few hours a week but on our tight budget every little bit helps.  But after a long summer of thinking, praying, and talking it over with the hubby, we decided it was the right thing for me to do.

So I quit.  And as I thought about September, and the kids being in school, and having an empty house, I found myself wondering what in the world I was going to do with all that free time.  Now first off, I have to confess there has not been a whole lot of free time.  We are very active with Scouting and September has been crazy busy getting ready for a new year of Scouting.  Then there's been the project I've been trying to finish up at our church for the video booth.  And the kids are busy and so I've been doing my share of carpooling. And then there's this bloggy thing.

But there's been something even more important.  Everytime I would ask what I was going to do with all my 'free' time, a little voice would tickle my ear.

September 23, 2011

September 21, 2011

Marine What?!?

In the quest to retain our natural beauty, we women have been known to try a few, might we say, "odd" things. We will put just about anything on our faces, if it promises to give us that "youthful glow" or "baby soft skin."

And that is the situation I found myself in recently.  I had just received some new facial products that all guaranteed to  keep me looking smokin' hot make me look younger than I've looked in years .  I excitedly unwrapped the first bottle from its pretty packaging - and then saw this:

September 20, 2011


Are you ready to be inspired?  Hope so - feel free to cheer if you get a little excited!

G.O.S.P.E.L. from Humble Beast Records on Vimeo.

If you cannot see the video, please click HERE.

PS - My favorite line was:  At the resurrection - we all cheered - because that means - the check cleared!  Woot!  I can get excited about that!

How long does it take to capture the message of the gospel? When is the last time you got excited about it? When is the last time you shared it?

September 19, 2011

Truth Whispers

Once again I fail.

I let my emotions, my pride,
     rule the moment.
I focus on my anger, my offense,
     and I fight the battle inside.

The lie threatens to win.

"Father, help me!", I cry out, "Don't let me give up."

Then Truth whispers at my soul.

You are mine.




I listen and receive.

Peace works its way into my knotted soul.

I close my eyes ... comforted.

September 17, 2011

Comfort Foods

The temperatures around here took a turn for the worst this week. We went from nice sunny 80 degree days to having an overnight low of 28.  Brrr!  I dug out my warmest slippers and made a quick switch from my favorite iced coffee to hot tea.  Thankfully, Mr. Weatherman assures us that this is just a temporary situation and we are supposed to be back up in the mid 70's by next week.  Big relief - 'cuz I am so not ready to break out the hats and gloves or anything else that goes with them.  (Not to mention the fact that I finally have enough of a tan that I don't blind the neighbors when I go outside in a pair of shorts.)

There is one thing I do like about cooler temperatures, though: comfort foods.  Sure, summer salads and ice cold watermelon are nice but they don't satisfy you like a good hot home-cooked meal.

Today was cold, windy and generally blah so I decided it was a perfect day to make some home made soup and bake some bread.  And as I listened to the "oohs and aahs" from my family as they came in the door tonight, I knew I had made the right choice.  The house smelled great and supper looked like this:

September 16, 2011

He is With Us

"...and they will call him Immanuel, which means 'God with us.'"
Matthew 1:23

God wants nothing more than to be with us. We are his creation, in whom he delights!

But being close to his beloved creation has not always been an easy thing.  We are imperfect.  We are sinful.  And that sin separates us from Him.

Yet, he aches to be with us.  He longs to be close to his children.

In Nicole Johnson's book, "Fresh-brewed Life," she makes the following statement:

September 15, 2011

Just A Little Randering: Nothing

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has,
not according to what he does not have. 
~2 Cor 8:12

What are you pondering today?

September 14, 2011

Just Delighted

The other day I mentioned how God spoke to me about my fears through Psalms 18 (Fears Relieved). I am still reading through that portion of scripture and the one verse that I cannot get past is verse 19:
He brought me out into a spacious place;
     he rescued me because he delighted in me.
Did you catch it?
He rescued me
because he delighted in me...
He DELIGHTED in me.  In you, he is delighted.
delighted: filled with delight; greatly pleased; filled with wonder and delight
 We need to remember this: that the God who created us, who knit us together cell by cell, delights in us.

When he looks at us he doesn't see all our frailties and imperfections.  Oh, he knows that they are there but what he sees is his creation - and he is pleased with it.  He takes joy in it.  And it fills him with wonder and delight.

Picture your heavenly Father up above.  He leans over to a nearby angel and says,
"See that one down there?  Yes, that one.  Isn't she beautiful?  I remember when I made her.  Oh, it was so exciting!  I remember as I formed her, as I breathed life into her...I remember kneading my love into her.  I imprinted upon her my joy and designed her with such a fantastic purpose!  I clapped my hands with delight when I finished her because she was perfect!  And so wondrous and amazing!  She doesn't know it, yet, because she is still still seeking ... searching.  But as she learns to listen, I will show her.  I will show her everything that I put into her.  I will reveal to her that for which I created her.  I will remind her over and over and over again how beautiful she is and how much I love her. (sigh) Oh, how I love that child."
That's what our heaven Father thinks of us.  He thinks we are amazing. We are precious to him and that is why he rescues us!

It reminds me of this picture that was taken of me and my favorite middle son, Isaac, at a friend's wedding.  It was not staged and I had no idea our picture was being taken.  It was just a random snap shot that the photographer took while out wandering the hallways before the wedding.

I think I was straightening his tie but I have no memory of what we may have been talking about. And that's ok, because it is the look on my face that is what is important in this picture.  The joy that is reflected there is a joy that comes from my love for my children.  Oh, how I love my boys!  And, yes, I truly do delight in them!

I can only imagine how I would react if I saw one of my own children in peril.  We lost son #3 in a large mall, once, and I still can feel the panic and terror pool at the bottom of my stomach when I think of that day. 

September 10, 2011

September 9, 2011

That's Why They Call It Labor Day

Isn't it wonderful to have a day off from work!  A day to lounge around in your PJ's, eat cereal for every meal and even skip brushing your teeth (if the mood so strikes you.)

Is it?  I wouldn't know since that's not how we do things at the Samuels' house - after all, it is called Labor Day.  Geesh.

No PJ lounging for us. Nooo.  We were too busy laboring, sweating and other kinds of foolishness and mayhem.  In fact, our day went something like this:

My husband spent most of the Labor Day weekend on a ladder painting trim and shutters.  Gone are the faded green shutters and the funky maroon/burgandy/whatever-you-call-it trim.  Looks. So. Much. Better.

While my husband sweated it out up on his ladder, I was busy heating up the kitchen.  I had been planning my to-do list all week and I knew it was going to be a busy day.  But I had NO idea.

Egads. The things I get myself into.

I started by mixing up two separate batches of dough.  One to make pitas and the other to make tortillas.  The tortillas I had made before and  was not too worried about.  The pitas, however, were a first and I was a little nervous about those - especially since they called for using a bread machine to mix and raise the dough. And I was choosing not to drag out a bread machine because I wanted to keep my counter tops open for other shenanigans.  I mixed up both doughs and put them aside to rise.  Just enough time to get my salsa mixed up and simmering on the stove.

Or so I thought.

September 7, 2011

An I.C.D. Solution

My friend, Jackie, has once again saved the day and I will love her forever.

Jackie read my Here We Go post last week. The one where I lamented my need for Iced Coffee even though it is currently not in the budget. It was a serious I.C.D.: Iced Coffee Dilemma.

I said maybe I would have to ... gulp ... learn to make it myself.


September 6, 2011

Bad Choices

Sometimes you have to take your own advice.

Remember this girl:

This has been me lately.  Yeah.

Just call me Mrs. Grumpy Pants.

I am not sure what my problem is.  I haven't just been grumpy.

I've been restless.
I've been moody.
I've been angry.

September 2, 2011

Just In Case You've Ever Wondered

Oh, yeah.

Just in case you've ever wondered if God will really provide for you...

And just in case you've ever wondered if God truly has a sense of humor...

Yesterday I posted about how because we want to Do Less, So We Can Do More we are challenging ourselves to a No Spend September.  I wrote about how one of the hardest things to give up was going to be visits to Subway. We love Subway at our house.  Yes, we are going to miss Subway.

If you read my post yesterday - all the way down to the bottom - I put out there a kind-of-but-not-really-kidding suggestion that if you felt bad for us you could send us Subway gift cards to help ease our pain encourage us.

Then last night my husband went to a meeting.  Two hours later he texted me to let me know he was on his way home.  Oh, and, by the way, he won a $15 Subway gift card.


Too funny.
"He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever." - Psalm 111:5

Just had to share. Be blessed.

Has God surprised you or encouraged you with an unexpected blessing lately?

September 1, 2011

Here We Go

Well, if you didn't know it, today is the first day of September.

Woo-hoo, right?

The kids are back to school, summer is waving it's long good-bye and autumn is blowing it's fallen leaves down the path straight at you.  And for the Samuels family, it also means it's time to start our "Do Less, So We Can Do More" challenge.

I am meeting this challenge with a complete mixture of excitement and disdain.  I want to do this but I would really like to do it without sacrifice.