Monday, February 28, 2011


A good laugh is sunshine in a house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray


Work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:11-12 nlt

Seth and I have a "wish/prayer list" on our refrigerator. It has all the things we want and then also a list of things we need. The things we REALLY need are circled or have a star. Seth and I prayer regularly about these things and try to give them to the Lord and not worry about them. (Easier for Seth and harder for me as I am the worrier of the family) Sometimes things get crossed of the want list just because we realize we don't really want them anymore. We have been praying that we could fix our floor. I am so excited that finally after it being damaged in a flooding in July that we are finally getting it replaced. I am so excited. When I think of all the things going on in the world and all the prayers going up my floor seems so insignificant and silly. Yet, God has once again provided for us. Our father cares about our every need no matter how big or small. He has got this. Trust him for his goodness.

If you have a special need today, focus your full attention on the goodness and greatness of your Father rather on the size of your need.
Your need is so small compared to His ability to meet it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Give us this day our daily bread.

I was inspired by another blogger who has 7 children age 7 and under to make homemade bread this week. I'm not sure why I thought it would be easy, but I thought if she can do it, I can too. She made it sound easy enough...Ironically, this sign sits on my kitchen windowsill and I stare at it every morning as I toast the bread or bagels for our breakfast. Today, I would make bread for my family. I would start a tradition that my kids would remember forever.

To say it was a messy morning is an understatement.
At one point when the directions called to "punch the dough down" I actually lost my hand into the dough and could not retrieve it. My husband got his laughs for the day watching me try to figure out how to get my hand out without all the dough being attached to me.

The recipe called to add flour until the consistency changed not giving an exact amount needed. I think that may have been my biggest hurdle. I may have not added enough and then I may have added way too much. Here they are after going into the oven. I called Seth's mom and sent her a picture and she said they looked "yummy". I still wasn't convinced they would survive my temperamental oven.

I always bake using my grandmother's favorite bowl and this would be no exception. I love mixing and thinking about all the wonderful things she made for us using the same bowl. Sadly, not even grandma's magic bowl could help me today. I was a baking hot mess. My hands were burning from yeast stuck to my hands. I didn't even know yeast burns!

Well, they came out looking ok. Now it was time for the real test. The hungry kids!

I don't know if you can tell but these are BIG LOAVES! One loaf was gone in 20 minutes. Totally gone. Ruby and Orion said it was the best bread they have ever had. Wow! It was pretty whole grain tasting so I wasn't sure they would like it, but they LOVED it. They kept asking for more and more. I guess the burning hands, mess and dough under my fingernails for the next two days was worth it.
This process really reminded me of a time when women HAD to do this to feed their children. When every thing from baking bread, washing clothes, even finding food to prepare was so much more complex and required so much preparation. It is nice as a woman today to have the luxury to do these things as an option vs need. It was actually also a nice stress reliever to kneed the dough and punch it down. I kind of liked it. My first time making bread was an adventure and I am excited to try it again soon. With grandma's bowl and God's help I will one day be amazing bread making mama.

The Proverbs 31 woman is not idle. She is a hard worker, a servant , diligent, determined and tenacious, full of energy, a multitasker, plans ahead, cares about her home and is appreciated by her children... Just to name a few.

I urge you to take time this week to bake bread or break bread with your family this week. Take a moment. Enjoy it. Get your hands dirty.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Java and Jesus

As a mom of four small children and working six days out of the week I don't get much free time these days. When I do get moments I have a very hard time relaxing. My husband has at times actually forced me sit down even for a few minutes and relax. It is something I am working on. One of the things I sit and relax for is my morning coffee and Jesus. Every morning as I sip the fluid that to me is a life force I try and mediate on a scripture or teaching of Christ. At times I fail miserably because a crying baby, phone call or other everyday distraction takes my mind away. There have been days where I don't remember to focus my mind until the last sweet drop. Those are days my ADHD is in full force. Still, it is my goal. Starting my day with my favorite beverage, sometimes fancy with Reddi-wip on top and Jesus are what gets me to the end of my day with any sanity. This morning I am reading from the Message Bible while drinking my 8 o' clock brew with cafe latte creamer and a dab of the glorious Reddi-whip. This coffee is so good I wish I could share it with you my friend. This scripture is so amazing so usable for me today that I have to share it with you.

"My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit- not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength- that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firm on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God." ~ Ephesians 3:14-19

Dear Friends, I pray that today we feel the extravagant love of Jesus. As you take a sip or a breath that you experience the breadth of his love for you. He loves us, oh how he loves us.
Live full today!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snow Days

"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing" ~ Phyllis Diller

Today was a snow day. Here are a few of my favorite pictures taken while we were all home enjoying our time together.

Dishes from breakfast, lunch and mama's baking frenzy.

after Daddy attacked the dishes (he asked me to take an after shot)

Snow stuck inside my "spring wreath"

Mom, please just five more minutes of wii....

I love you so much mom, you are the best mom and I love you so very much.

"All mothers are rich when they love their children...Their love is always the most beautiful of joys." ~ Maurice Maeterlinck

Christmas Memories 2010

Highlights of our Christmas this year for us included:

Leading Worship to a packed house.
Giant Doll House.
Baby smiles.
Pillow pets.
All the family under our roof.
Christmas cookies.
Harry Potter box set.
Scooters and Bikes.

All I can say is that we are so blessed.
I went to bed on Christmas Eve night with the same excited smile that I had when I was 5 years old. Something about Christmas and the expectation of Celebration, love, food, gifts all of it is magic. Still, magic that can't even touch the wonder and awe of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus. I hope you felt that wonder this year with your family. I did.

Welcome Rowan Sheppard

There's no vocabulary
For love within a family, love that's lived in
But not looked at, love within the light of which
All else is seen, the love within which
All other love finds speech.
T.S. Eliot

When we pray, God has already answered.
God knows our every need before we need it, every passion of our heart, every urging.
God knew that I needed this little boy before I had ever even thought about his sweet smile. I thank the Lord every single day not only for his answered prayers, but also his unanswered prayers and unexpected blessings.

Welcome sweet boy!
Rowan Sheppard
7lbs 6oz 21inches

God is so good!