Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Daily Dance

Thanksgiving: The forgotten holiday.

Someone said last night that Thanksgiving seems to be overpowered by Halloween and then Christmas. It has become "The Forgotten Holiday". So here is my reminder for us all to take time to stop and be thankful.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Daily Dance


I'm so thankful that my home is a comfy, happy place...a good place to rest my soul at the end of the day.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Fun

No, I didn't dress as tiramisu silly...But I did get free tiramisu for going to a local restaurant in my halloween costume! It was delicious.

Turns out my friend and I were the only ones there in costume. I was Bob the Pit Crew Chief for Carl Edwards (yes, I wore the white paper suit in public) and my friend was a Mexican man who lost his sombrero (read- she didn't have one). I won't post that picture.


The Daily Dance

Fall Photo

I took this picture from my sunroof while driving in WV last weekend. Fun roads to drive on with beautiful scenery!


Saturday Soup

Today I am making an old WV favorite. I haven't made it for years and years. Let me give you a little background...

Many years ago when I was a young girl living in WV we ate macaroni and tomatoes. As a matter of fact it was the first solid food I ate after having my tonsils removed when I was 18 and a college Freshman.

Anyway, my sophomore year I moved into an apartment and ended up staying in that same cozy little apartment with the same roommate until I got married during my last year of school. Lo and behold, my roommate grew up eating macaroni and tomatoes as well. Both of our families made it with home canned tomatoes and macaroni sweetened with a little sugar. A WV delicacy I suppose.

My roommate came from a more rural area of the state than I did with only one bank in her entire county. Because of this neither one of us ate at restaurants very often. We cooked. We took turns based on our class (and my work) schedules. Her family always supplied us with meat. We had the most well stocked freezer in the apartment complex. We also always had canned foods...not store bought but garden grown and pressure cooked in glass jars. Both of our families kept us supplied in jellies, jams, vegetables, homemade hoagie sauce with garden tomatoes and of course tomatoes. Everyone always wanted to hang out at our place because we had "real food".

We developed our own recipes for macaroni and tomatoes because it gave us something else to do with ground beef and made it more of a meal. It became one of our favorite meals, especially in cooler weather. For some reason I have been thinking about her and about macaroni and tomatoes lately and the old craving kicked in. Here's my version with a few modern tweaks (minus home canned tomatoes, plus olive oil and fresh cloves of garlic):

Sondie's College Days Macaroni and Tomatoes

Saute green pepper, onion and garlic (however much you like) in olive oil until tender. Add this to tomatoes in a big stew pot. (I used large cans of Furmano's crushed, diced and whole Italian plum-it is about tomatoes after all.) Salt, pepper and a few dashes of sugar. Simmer a bit.

Then add elbow macaroni cooked al dente and ground beef that has been fried and drained. It should be a fairly thick mixture with just about equal parts macaroni and tomatoes and beef. Simmer a bit... then gather a few friends and eat.

I am making a big pot this evening to share with friends. It is on the stove simmering now. My husband didn't like it years ago and I haven't made it since I had my daughter 10 years ago. I hope my friends will fall for it so I have a reason to make it more often. If you read the post prior to supper time come on by...I have pumpkin pie for dessert!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Daily Dance

My Kind of Sandwich

This week is sandwiched between time with my sisters last weekend and time with my friends planned tomorrow night. Hope your week's sandwich is as good as mine.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Daily Dance

Old Fat Hogs

Oh what a beautiful, fun day hiking the Cliffside Trail with the Old Fat Hogs! We enjoyed God's gift of nature....and of course being sisters.

Sondie....AKA OFH4

Friday, October 22, 2010

Old Fat Hog Reunion

We arrived at Twin Falls, WV about 9:00 tonight for our Old Fat Hog Reunion. There are 4 of us hogs...er, sisters. My nephew is a park ranger here. There is a full moon above us-and an old graveyard next to our cabin. Other people wouldn't stay here because of the graveyard but we aren't scared! We stayed in this same cabin last August and no one bothered us.

It was a nippy 46 degrees when my twin and I got here so it was super nice to walk into the cabin with a crackling fire burning. My sister Rose, (mother of the Eagle Scout now park ranger here) got the fire going all by herself! My 2 old fat hog sisters made us dinner and we ate by the fire. It was wonderful especially after a tough drive laden with traffic and road work.

Tomorrow night my nephew is going to take us out on a trail after dark with a story teller named Buzz. They will walk us out to the falls as he tells us a true but scary story about the history of the falls. Glad I brought my flash light.

This weekend is mom's birthday and we will do our best to honor her memory. She was the most awesome woman I have ever known and we are so thankful for the blessing of her in our lives.

We are looking forward to a fun weekend full of laughter.

Sondie...AKA Old Fat Hog 4

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Daily Dance

Favorite Sounds

Waves dancing with the shore, whispering of the wind in the pines, and the dishwasher humming a tune that the busyness of the day is done.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday Soup

I spent most of Saturday cleaning my closet which was good and bad. It was part of my effort to reduce clutter which is a very good thing for many, many reasons. Since I was focused on cleaning I decided to use the slow cooker to make soup. It was wonderful....the whole time I cleaned I could smell the soup. For just an instant the smell of soup cooking would make me panic and I'd start to go stir it... then ahhh, relief as I remembered that it was in the slow cooker which made it worry free. (Too bad I didn't have a reminder smell that I had left the bathroom sink running while trying to unclog a drain as I cleaned the closet-funny story but I wasn't laughing at the time....the older I get the harder multi-tasking is)

Anyway, here's what I put in my slow cooker:

1 onion, chopped
1 c baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 c green pepper, chopped
1 c yellow pepper, chopped
1 c red pepper, chopped
5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
butter-a small chunk
olive oil-once around the pan
white wine-few slugs in the pan
3 chicken breasts-boneless,skinless
2 boxes chicken broth
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 10 oz can mild Rotele tomatoes
handful or 2 of baby carrots, cut in bite size pieces
1 cup medium pearl barley
~1-2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
pepper and salt to taste

Saute onion, mushrooms, peppers and garlic in butter and olive oil until tender... add a few slugs of chardonnay if you like. I liked. Transfer to large slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is done and barley is tender. I keep the breasts whole and cut the chicken just before serving so it doesn't get too dry. Hot bread and cold salad...your meal is complete.

It was delicious! This does make a bunch of soup so if you are only feeding a few people just half the recipe. Hubby and daughter didn't make it home in time from their trip to Gram's house but they made it home safely about 9 last night-yeah! Hubby was so impressed with the closet he didn't say anything about the bathroom....or maybe I forgot to tell him. Oops.


Friday, October 15, 2010

My Biggest Luxury

My favorite luxury in life is one I do daily. How spoiled is that? A daily luxury? Yep, daily. Every morning I have my first cup of coffee in bed and I love it! Some nights I even go to sleep counting sips instead of sheep. It is hard to beat that first sip of hot black coffee.

My routine is to get up just long enough to brew a cup- in about 30 seconds with my Keurig-and head back to bed before my eyes open too much. I don't even take a sip until I am back in the bed for fear my eyes will open and I'll be awake before I'm ready. I like to snuggle under the blankets and doze my way through the first cup. I spend about 20 minutes dozing, sipping and praying as I wake up.

I like to ease into the day by dipping my toes into the morning. After my toes get used to it I'm ready to wade on in, and let a new day begin. I've never been a morning diver, maybe because once my day begins I dive into everything the day holds and don't stop until bedtime.

So, there you have it. My biggest luxury is my morning cup of coffee in bed. How about you?


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lazy Afternoon

No, this isn't me, this isn't my porch, and these aren't my fall trees but it is all a close resemblance....and this is how I spent my afternoon off work! I was curled up with a good book, hot cup of coffee, and my sweet little dog...and did I mention PJ's? A very relaxing way to spend a fall afternoon.

Hope all of you have a chance to spend a fall day doing whatever it is that makes your heart happy.

God Bless,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Daily Dance

Neighborhood Supper Club

Tonight was our neighborhood supper club. It started with 2 families who meal share...then a third joined in every now and again...then we added neighbors across the street...tonight we added a 5th family.

We decided it was so much fun that we would meet once monthly and this was our third "official" planned meal. Can you guess our theme this time? Yeah, the picture gave it away didn't it? It was fun and the food was yummy.

We are learning lots of great stuff about one another...like tonight for instance. We found out that the husband of the 5th couple who joined us tonight used to be a crepe chef. Isn't that interesting....and better still, he is going to make crepes for our next supper club in November! I'm already looking forward to it.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Daily Dance

Busy but good Sabbath Day. Hope yours was wonderful too.


Friday, October 8, 2010

The Daily Dance

Shopping Day

A very fun day with my little one, sister, niece and nephew on a fall shopping adventure!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Daily Dance

Small Town USA

Yesterday I spent time visiting with 2 of my best buds...today it was both of their husbands who helped me out. This morning when I dropped my car off for an oil change and an inspection my car doctor (husband A) said it would be quite a wait. As we were discussing use of the shuttle service another mutual friend (husband B) walks out of the garage headquarters and he immediately asks "Hey Sondie, do you need a ride?" Only in Small Town USA are you friends with your mechanic as well as his other patrons and can get such great service. Husband B brought me home and we had a great chat on the porch enjoying the unexpected gift of time together on a beautiful fall day. I'm thankful for best buds and their husbands. My circle may be small but it is mighty!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Country Mouse

Yes, I am a country mouse...but I am intrigued with the idea of being a city mouse. It all started while being in Washington DC over the weekend. Much of it while having breakfast each morning at this neat spot on the corner across from our hotel (which was VERY nice, thank you Mr. M!). As we sat enjoying a great cup of coffee I watched all the people around me and of course made up stories in my mind about them. This is a whole nother blog post so I won't go into all that, but it did make me think of the story of my life. Specifically the story of my life as a country mouse.

I passed up the opportunity to move to NY when I was 17, choosing to attend a university a few hours from home. How different would an experience of living in NY have made me? This weekend made me think about the difference between a country me and a city me. I am obviously a country me and am right where God placed me so I have no plans to become a city me, but what if...

the metro was my form of transportation.
rain boots and coat were essential for walking city streets to work on rainy days.
grocery shopping was done in small, frequent trips v.s. a trunk full every week.
the local park was my quiet spot.
the view from my window made people look like ants.
hundreds of neighbors lived on the same block.

As I hopped in my car to head to a local book store and run some errands this morning these thoughts were racing through my mind. My little one and I compared/contrasted how our day might look if we lived in a city rather than our little subdivision here in the south. We decided that we love our lives here and wouldn't want it any other way. We are country mice who love to visit the city.

Sondie, a country mouse.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Daily Dance

Fall Break Adventure

Our last night here in DC, a fun, adventuresome girls weekend.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Art of Silliness

I haven't had time to do anything with the Silliness Challenge until this afternoon. Erin and her friend M and I sat and spent a little time on it (after they did their homework). The challenge today is to write a Haiku about falling asleep then spend 10 minutes drawing a picture about it. Unfortunately I couldn't get our pages to scan but decided to at least post our poems.

Here is Mary's poem:

Sleepy at School
I sit in my desk
All sounds fade away from me
My eyes close slowly.

Now imagine a girl with her head on her desk for the picture.

My poem:

Enchanting moonbeams
The glow of magical light
Beckons me to rest.

Insert picture of a full moon with moonbeams reaching downward with little music notes throughout the image. (trust me, it sounds better than what I actually drew).

Erin didn't like the constraints of the Haiku so she wrote her own thing.

Falling asleep is wonderful.
Close your eyes and go
into dreamland.

Picture a girl lying in bed asleep with a dream bubble above her head, a horse running free.

Now write your own poem with a 10 minute sketch!


The Daily Dance

Another Rainy Day

Rainy days are full of possibilities...renewing and refreshing especially after so many days of 90+ temperatures!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Daily Dance

The Best Medicine

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

The best medicine in the world lives quietly inside each of us.


Monday, September 27, 2010

The Daily Dance

It's All About Water

A blessed much needed rainy day that started with an early morning shower wake up after knocking my glass of water off the bedside table.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Daily Dance

Dressed for the Season

The fall mums look stunning dressed in glistening rain drops.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Daily Dance

Giggling Girls

A wonderful day most of which was spent with three precious giggling girls.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Daily Dance

Family and Friends

So happy it is Friday and my niece is spending the weekend with us AND I get to have Girl's Night at a friend's house!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

One Sentence Journal-The Daily Dance

While it is still 97 degrees outside, according to the calendar yesterday was the first day of my favorite season!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Out of the Ashes

I am reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and decided to check out her Happiness Project Toolbox. One of the ideas I really like is the One Sentence Journal. It is something I think I can manage. One sentence isn't so daunting. At least it will get me writing again. By the way, it has been a great book so far. Rubin talks about "midlife malaise" which I completely identify with.

At the same time I am reading Spiritual Depression by David Martyn- Lloyd Jones. Ya' gotta love how God uses the sacred and the secular to speak to us. It is amazing how the two books speak in different ways to my soul. God knows I'm so hard headed that I need to hear it through several avenues. I am marking it up because there are pearls on every page. A great book for a struggling soul.

Someone suggested that I "reinvent" myself and he has a good point. Also, both books came from the same friend, hmmm...I think she is trying to tell me something too....Thank God for friends who love me! It is time to get out of the rut I've been in for the past 2+ years and start to feel alive again. Who knows, maybe I will start my own Happiness Project! I'll keep you posted.

Be watching for my daily snippets of life as I finish the year...one sentence at a time.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4


Fall Palate

Sitting in the dappled sunlight
soft breeze caressing my cheek
I drink in a new season.

Pondering the long shadows
cool air calming my soul
I savor the taste of life.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Tinkering with the idea of riding again...may be short lived as it has been in the past but oh well. One post at a time.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

How did such a thing happen?

So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.” Exodus 32: 24 ESV

This was Aaron's answer to Moses' angry question of where the golden calf came from. Of all the things he could have said I wasn't expecting this. "Golly gee, Moses. I had no idea that when I told everyone to bring me gold to put into the fire that a golden calf was going to come out. Wow, who would have thunk it? I sure didn't create this thing." Really.

This is the same man God had just been telling Moses about on the mountain...the same man who was to be set aside as a high priest. Yet, here we see him not taking any responsibility for his sin. He blamed it on the evil people who wanted an idol, not himself who created the idol for them.

How many times do I do this same thing? Sin, then deny my sin. Create nice little idols then wonder where they came from? Blame others for my sin. Act surprised by the outcome of my sin.

We all sin and fall short daily....the question is do we recognize sin for what it is? Are we broken by our sin? Do we think that if we are oblivious to it that it will just go away and we will be fine? Well, it won't just go away. Nope, there will be a consequence and it will likely affect others around us. I discovered that as I read the rest of Chapter 32. About 3000 people died as a result of that sin.

This reminded me that I need to face my sin, even pray that my secret sins will be revealed to me before harming others.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Day!

What a fun day this has been! The big winter storm has forced us to stay home for old fashioned family fun and what a blessing it has been. A chance to stop and spend time together...not what we had planned but much needed.

Erin and I were up at 5...making chocolate cupcakes by 6:30. We got out some special pans my mom bought me several years ago and I imagined her smiling down on our crazy cupcake baking before sunrise. She loved cooking and baking on winter days and would have enjoyed the spontaneity of making cupcakes before breakfast-matter of fact she is who I inherited my silly spontaneous gene from!

After that we made eggs, sausage and toast for a hearty get ready to play breakfast, ate and then headed out the door. We spent the morning sledding down the hill in front of our house. Even our little dog enjoyed the sledding. I believe she was laughing and screaming with us as we raced against one another... flying down the hill with snow and ice blowing in our faces as we skid from one side of the road to the other.

Neighbors joined us and we got a few pictures and several more squeals and giggles before heading to their house for homemade cocoa. Great job L on the chocolate brew!

We are looking forward to going back up the hill later this evening for dinner. Three families are getting together for homemade pizzas and salad. What a fun, beautiful day! What a gift that we are forced to take a break from the usual grind and just have fun. What a gift to be such great friends with our neighbors! Hopefully the power will stay on, but if not we'll make the most of it.

Hope you are enjoying your Saturday no matter the weather in your neighborhood!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Blessings This Week

Monday: Able to take the day off work to stay home with Erin and let her have friends over.

Tuesday: A surprise dinner with a friend's family after a long day at work.

Wednesday: Precious quiet time with a friend as our girls played outside-a chance to read poetry and do some editing with her.

Thursday: Loved completely by friends and family through a rough day....a husband who loves me AND can make the pantry light touch free-automatic light when you walk in and timed to go off once you leave!

Friday: Dinner out with my sweet Erin, PJ's on by 6, friends over to spend a nice evening talking and laughing-a great ending to the work week!

Saturday: Breakfast with my friend C, lunch with Erin, an afternoon visit over coffee with friends, girlfriends who find the perfect turquoise table in an antique shop and call me after getting the price down by half then as an extra a lovely turquoise trimmed double boiler with the top half bought by a friend as keepsake from her when she is gone. A long chat with my sister who always loves and understands me-my other half without whom I am incomplete.

Sunday: Thankfulness for a child who is healthy-after spending every hour of the night up with her vomiting it reminded me of how blessed we are to have a very healthy child. It prompted me to pray for really sick children and their parents who carry a load I don't think I would have the strength for.

Hope you take time to reflect on your week of blessings too.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lullaby of Dawn

The morning stars

blaze in the

Western sky

As they sing

to me a

a lullaby.

Like a siren

from the deep sea

they call

Until the fiery orb

appears in her

daily ritual.

Sleepy stars now

wrapped in a

golden throw

The last whispers

of night awaken

the world below.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Cooking God's Way

37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:37-38 ESV

Last night as I was reading my Bible these verses plucked my strings of interest. I love the mental picture of good measure. I see it like this: God takes the good measure and presses it down kind of like brown sugar so that He can get more of the good stuff in one serving. Then He shakes up the pressed down good stuff with other good stuff to get the best possible mix of goodness-which runs over the top of the heavenly measuring cup. Once the cup is overflowing He pours it right into our laps.

There is only one catch....He uses the same measuring cup and ingredients that you are using. Whatever measure you are using is what is going to be used on you. Wow. This made me think about judging and condemning others...about forgiving and loving others. Do I make a conscious effort with what I'm whipping up in my measuring cup to pour out into others? OR...am I stingy with ingredients of goodness? Have I chosen a small cup so that I can hoard the best stuff for myself? Either way, not good choices. Hmmmm.

As I continued to read the next passage that strummed my strings was this:

“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6: 43-45 ESV

Out of the abundance of my heart is what my mouth speaks-whatever is the treasure of my heart is what pours into my measuring cup. To me, this includes our unspoken words or actions which often speak the loudest. So, what is the treasure in my heart? Do I harbor a treasure chest full of forgiveness, love, charity, service etc or is it full of envy, anger, jealousy, bitterness? Whatever is filling up my spiritual heart is what naturally pours out until my measuring cup is overflowing. I can't pour out figs if I am full of thorns. If I am serving thorn pie to others I can't expect to be fed fig pudding.

Makes me want to head back into the kitchen for some quiet cooking time with God...pressed down, shaken up until overflowing, poured out...the question is....overflowing with what?

Blessings to you!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Week of Blessings

God's blessings always amaze me. Here's just a few of the blessings He has poured over me this last week.

Monday-Sharing a birthday dinner with a super special young lady
Tuesday-Art class at a local coffee shop with L and C-fun, fun, fun
Wednesday-Talking to my sister
Thursday-Maintaining good health in the midst of viruses galore
Friday-Friends who came to our 31 party, a loving husband who takes care of me and E
Saturday-Having breakfast with precious friends while meeting new friends, bumping into an old friend unexpectedly and having a few stolen moments with her over a cup of coffee...buying books from a used book store with a gift certificate (Christmas gift!), warm enough weather to walk outdoors again with a friend and hanging out in PJ's with two giggly girls.

My dad taught me to count my blessings many years ago. He was right...when you count your blessings you realize they outweigh your sorrows every time.

So, blessings to you!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nothing profound to say this morning. I just couldn't stand that bad hair day picture at the top of the blog anymore! Feel free to use the picture as a writing prompt....me I've got nothing so far.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bad Hair Day

My little one has a funny way of saying things sometimes that makes me laugh yet she somehow captures an emotion so well. This evening she was trying to tell me about someone who looked upset and this is what she said.

"She looked like someone who was having a bad hair day and then got laughed at."

Isn't that a great description? I could totally understand what she was saying!

Hope it gives you a chuckle as you head into your Friday.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two for Tuesday

It just so happens that the two things that got my heart rate up this evening both involve plants....hence a two for Tuesday. Here they are.

I've known the story of Elijah and the broom tree for many years and it amazes me how God speaks different things to me through the same passage of scripture during different seasons of my life. I was helping E with her homework on Elijah and was reminded of how God spoke in a whisper to Elijah...we had a good discussion on the requirement of being still in order to hear God's voice since he doesn't always shout. (The "Be Still" verses in the Bible have been pointed out to me on more than one occasion.) Once we were done I decided to go back and read the scripture just to see if it really points out the whispering and of course it does. However, once I started reading the passage I was struck by something else.

When Elijah was sitting under the broom tree, so exhausted in every way he was begging to die, God sent an angel to feed him. The second time He sent the angel, the angel told Elijah, "Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you." The... Journey... Is... Too... Great... For... You.
The biggest burden lifted from my shoulders. Isn't God amazing? He knows when the journey is too great for us. He knows when we are so exhausted that we can't take another single thing or we'd just as soon die. He sends his angels, He provides, He sustains. We have only to cry out to Him. The next verse says that Elijah went in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to his next stopping place. So, when I feel like I can't go on I'll sit beneath a broom tree (maybe a pine will work) and cry out to Him. He will nourish my soul. (1 Kings 19)

The next thing has absolutely nothing to do with spirituality. It is a book that finally arrived called Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart. The subtitle is The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother and other Botanical Atrocities. Ooohhhh-I'm so excited about this book. It is full of wonderful sketches and information on over 200 plants with deadly properties. Maybe I should have been a botanist. I am comforted by the fact that I also loved the book by Michael Pollan-The Botany of Desire...yes, it is the plants, not the homicide potential that gets my heart pounding.

Hmmm, maybe the message of the day is....desperate times call for a broom tree not a strychnine tree!

Cheers to broom trees,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Goals for 2010

I have been thinking a lot about goals for 2010...to the point that my brain has been on overload, which I don't think is the goal. Through a series of events over the last few days I have whittled my goal list down to a much more manageable one.

It started with an article a friend gave me about overloading our prefrontal cortex and how this actually makes us less likely to achieve goals. Yes, this article came even as my prefrontal cortex was weighted down with lofty goals for the upcoming year. It left me pondering how to set goals (which I need to do or I'll list about aimlessly) without going crazy. I thought I could make one goal for each month-that would make it less taxing on my tired brain.

This just didn't rest easy in my spirit though. If my goal list has already overwhelmed me then something just isn't quite right....the purpose of my goal setting already thwarted. Well, I got my answer at church today.

As we were singing the song Savior, the lyrics struck a chord (must have been a prefrontal cortex chord) in my mind and in my heart. Here, hum over these words....

You’re my Savior, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder, My Refuge, Redeemer, Defender, My Healer, Savior.

That is when it hit me. God centered life is The Goal.

The goal to find balance-He is my restorer, rebuilder, rewarder, refuge, redeemer, defender, healer, savior.

The goal to budget and pay down debt-He is my restorer, rebuilder, rewarder, refuge, redeemer, defender, healer, savior.

The goal to keep joy in my heart-He is my restorer, rebuilder, rewarder, refuge, redeemer, defender, healer, savior.

It went from there. Any goal I've come up with is possible through Him. If my main goal is to keep God at the center of my life everything else will fall into place. Beautifully. Peacefully. Totally in His control.

Finally, a plan for 2010 I can live with. Whew.

Here's to a God centered year!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Forward

You shall not go out in haste,
and you shall not go in flight,
for the Lord will go before you,
and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
Isaiah 52:12 ESV

The end of another year, the crossing of another finish line...the start of new marathon called 2010. As I reflect on the last year, I end up lumping 2 years together like a pair of twins-individuals yet bound by commonalities. So for me the end of 2009 really seems like the end of the elder twin 2008 and the baby twin 2009.

God is the God of our future but he is also the God of our yesterdays. I have been remembering the last 2 years of yesterdays in terms of spiritual and emotional growth. While difficult, I have to remember that God had already gone before me, and now is my rear guard-I can rest those memories in His capable, grace filled loving hands. I am thankful that the past 2 years have not been wasted, that they have rescued me from my shallow securities, strengthened my muscles for races yet to come.

I am trying to avoid going into the new year hastily, wiping sweat from my brow running across the finish line with no consideration for the race I have run, only running blindly in an escape from yesterday. I do not want to go into 2010 with forgetful delight or impulsive thoughtlessness. I am praying that I am filled with the peace of Him who has already dipped his fingertips into my future, cupped palm ready to carry me forward.

I don't know what 2010 holds. It may be better than the twin years, but it could be worse. What I do know is that with God nothing is wasted, the growth necessary...I can live 2010 in misery holding on to pain, or I can move forward with spiritual muscles strengthened as I rest in Him. I look forward with anticipation of what God has in store for this year. You?

This is my challenge to each of you-rest your memories in God's embrace as you reflect on the growth He has offered you through challenges....look forward not comforted by shallow securities, but in the peace that He is already at the finish line of 2010 with arms open wide.

God's peace to you in 2010!