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My Freshly Brewed Life: September 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010


My wonderful friend Kate over at Dancing Above Architecture asked me to guest post on our blog while she was on vacation.  I was delighted and honored.   I have been reading Kate's blog for a while now. She is real, down to earth and shares her heart openly and honestly. She is always positive, uplifting and encouraging. Head on over to Kate's place to read my post about Friendship.  While you are there, please let her know you stopped by!

Have a beautiful day!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lovely Photo Wednesday

I took this picture at The Mission.  This is a running water fountain.  I love the water drops in this picture.  They appear frozen and to me, they look like tears.

Lovely Photo - Wordless or Not-So-Wordless Wednesday at Aspire


Monday, September 27, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
{1}...Well, Fall has arrived but you would never know from the weather we are having here. It was in the upper 80's yesterday, and will tip at least 95 today. I am so ready for this hot weather to be over.  Our new house is two story with no air conditioning, so you can imagine what it's like sleeping. I feel like I am in a sauna!

{2}...Iced Caramel Vanilla Latte!  Mmmmmm, delicious!  It gets me going in the morning!

{3}...What are your plans for Halloween?  It's not typically something we celebrate in the traditional way.  I like to try and find a church Harvest carnival to take the kids to without having to dress them up.  Last year I did allow them to dress up and Trick-Or-Treat in grandma's court.  But this year I would prefer to take the family bowling or to a movie.

{4}...Speaking of holidays, I cannot believe Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.  It seems like it gets earlier and earlier every year.  I have yet to start evening thinking about gift giving this year.  With our very tight budget, we will have to get very creative.

{5}...My precious daughter, who is all of ten years old, has been wanting to start a blog.  I kept telling her she had to wait until she was older, but she was persistent.  So, over the weekend, she set up her first blog and is so excited.  How could I resist.  She wants to be just like her mother!  It's not a private blog, but is under my very watchful eye.  If you would like to pop over to My Life In God's Hands and say hello, she would be thrilled!

Be sure and hop on over to Carissa's place for more randomness!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Aspire Photo Challenge - Black & White Portrait

I am linking up today to Hannah's Photo Challenge.  I pulled this one from my archives.  It was taken last December at the Christmas Tree Farm.  My precious Kaylie was 9 years old.  Isn't she pretty?

For more B&W beauties, visit Hannah over at Aspire!

Aspire Photo Challenge


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Giving Up My rights

(Photo Credit:  Heart and Soul Reflections)

Have you ever held onto something so tightly and were afraid to let go, or felt you did not deserve to let it go?  I have.  Jobs, ministries, hobbies, loved ones.  I’ve worked hard for the things I have in my life.  And God has given me desires and abilities that I am so thankful for.  But ALL that I have, everything that I own or love, has been given to me by God.  It all belongs to Him.   

I have heard the still, small voice of the Lord ask me on more than one occasion to give something up, set something aside, or to stop doing something, if even for a season.  My response has often been, “But Lord, you’ve given this to me.  Surely you are not asking me to give it back?”  I am often quick to assert my rights and remind the Lord that it was He who called me to this ministry in the first place, or that it was Him who gave me the ability to do what I do.  I’ve been known to hold onto something so tightly only to have it pried from my hands (or taken by force).  Or, I’ve thought I’ve given something up willingly, only to walk away feeling defeated, hopeless and depressed.  I may have surrended it back to the Lord, but my heart was still holding on.  In those times, I’ve realized that my identity was more wrapped up in what I had or did than in the One who created me and gave me these things in the first place.  My identity comes from Christ and Him alone.  I am nothing without Him, and I am everything because of Him

As a Christian, we can sometimes feel as if we have certain rights and/or privileges.  The truth is, we don’t.  As a daughter of the King of Kings, we are called to give up all that we have, to follow Christ. 
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34) 
Everything that I have belongs to God. I must posture my heart in such a way to receive from God with an open hand.  That means that everything that I receive from God remains in an open hand.  It can be given back to Him at any time.  He does not have to come and pry my hands open to take back what rightfully belongs to Him.  I offer it up willingly.  I claim no right to it.  I give it all up, denying my wants, needs and desires to follow Him.  By following Him, I know that He will give back to me all that I need to fulfill His purpose here on this earth

It is only when I am able to surrender my heart, not just my stuff, that God can truly bless me.   It’s not good enough that I am willing to give God back all that He’s given to me.  But He wants my heart, postured in an attitude of surrender, receiving my blessings, gifts and talents from Him with an open hand, at all times.   

What are you claiming rights to that God is asking you to willingly give back to Him?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lovely Photo Wednesday

My oldest daughter explaining the beauty of art
to my youngest daughter.

Lovely Photo - Wordless or Not-So-Wordless Wednesday at Aspire

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{1}...I wonder what the record is for how many times a day a mother cleans her kitchen.  I think I washed dishes and loaded the dishwasher four times yesterday.  One of those times, as I was washing AND had the dishwasher open, someone came and placed a dirty plate on the counter.  Umm, you would think they could have placed it in the open dishwasher themselves?  Not!

{2}...Hot flashes...every day....all day....night and day.  Need I say more?

{3}...Why do my two youngest children get their second wind about 8:00p right before bed?  They were running around the house screaming tonight and I thought I was going to lose it.  I am so thankful to hear the sound of their laughter but hey, can they wind up just a little bit earlier?

{4}...Do they still sell bread without the crust?  My daughter likes me to cut the crust off of her sandwiches, but I feel like I am wasting.  At one point, I thought they sold bread without the crust, but I think it only came in white, not wheat?

{5}...We are signing the final papers for the sale of our house tonight, and I will be going over the next couple of days to finish getting the odds and ends out and cleaning a bit.  I am thankful to have this chapter of my life behind me.

Visit Carissa at lowercase letters for more random thoughts and happenings!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Searching For Significance

I am featured today over at 5 Minutes for Faith.  I wrote this post a while ago and I did not know at the time how much it would minister to my own heart today.  God's timing is always perfect, even in scheduled posts!  I pray it will minister to your heart as well.  Here is a brief introduction:
I've struggled most of my life with feelings of unworthiness and rejection.  And although I've grown leaps and bounds in this area over the last several years, every now and then these feelings rear their ugly head.  I can never really pinpoint an absolute trigger, so I do what the Word says to do and begin to take every thought captive... casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5) Most of the time, this will work.
To read more, click here.  Please leave me a comment and let me know that you visited!

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lovely Photo Wednesday

Lovely Photo - Wordless or Not-So-Wordless Wednesday at Aspire

Linking up with Hannah at Aspire for the lovely photo Wednesday.  Click on over for more lovely photos and to join in the fun.

Even on cloudy days, God's promises still shine through!



Monday, September 13, 2010

Acts of Kindness

(Photo courtesy of Heart and Soul Reflections.)

The generous soul will be made rich,
and he who waters will also be watered himself.

(Proverbs 11:25)
I have shared openly and honestly on my blog over the last couple of months about the fact that we had to sell our home and move.  I never did it with the intention of receiving anything in return other than prayer.  So many have prayed us through and we are forever grateful.  I absolutely love my blogging community and am so thankful for the many friends I've made.  We praise God that we found a suitable rental home.  Moving has put a huge financial strain on an already strained bank account.  But God has been so very faithful to put our family on the hearts of people who have been able to step out and assist us when we least expected it. 

A couple of days after we moved,  I had to meet the realtor for the buyer and an appraiser over at our old house.  The appraiser was smitten with my 10-year old daughter who I took with me.  He kept asking her about school.  Kaylie was explaining that she had to go to a new school because she had to move.  The man was moved by our story and kept telling us how sorry he was.  I assured him that we trusted God and that we believed He would take care of us.  To make a long story short, as they were leaving the appraiser said he wanted to give my daughter a "back-to school" gift.  He reached in his pocket and handed her a $20 bill.  I tried to tell him it wasn't necessary, but he wouldn't hear of it.  My daughter was so happy.  She told me she was going to buy a new pair of Vans and that mommy would only have to chip in a little bit.  As we were walking out the door, the appraiser asked the realtor if she had given Kaylie her back to school give yet.  She then reached in her pocket and handed Kaylie what I thought was a $10 bill.  But as I looked again, what I saw shocked me.  It was $100!  I asked Kaylie to give me the money and I followed the gal outside.  I told her that there must have been some mistake.  But she assured me that there was no mistake.  I asked Kaylie if I could take the $100 and buy groceries. She did not hesitate.  These were two people who we do not know other than the fact they were on the other side of our home sale.  I was completely blown away. 

This past Sunday in church, we had a family that we know gift us $100.  They told us they wanted to assist us with all the moving expenses we had incurred.  This again came at a time when our money had been pretty much depleted. Again, I was blown away. 

Today, after I shared my "Miscellany Monday" post, a fellow blogger contacted me to offer to assist me in getting some gently used uniforms for my children from a local used uniform closet.  I was so moved, as I was only able to buy 2 pair of pants and 2 shirts for each of my kids.  Again, God laid it on this person's heart to help.

I am so thankful for a God who meets our needs exactly when we need them.  I posted a Facebook status today that said,

"I may not have everything that I want, but I always have everything that I need".  

In this season of my life, I am truly beginning to see and understand that God takes care of every need.  He is always timely. I am realizing how very much He loves me and wants to take care of me.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  (Matthew 6:26)

on Saturday our van broke down.  It's going to take about $300-400 to get it repaired, but I have such great confidence now more than ever that God is going to provide.  He is faithful.  He does not continue to provide for me because I deserve it.  It's who He is. 

He is the Faithful One. 
He is the Giver of all good things. 
He is Jehovah Jirah, My Provider.
I pray that God will look down from Heaven on those who have blessed us over the last few weeks and return to them 100 fold what they've given to us.  I pray that God would open up the flood gates of Heaven over them and rain down His blessings!  I cannot think you enough for your acts of kindness.  We are truly grateful.

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Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
I love Mondays, when I get the privilege of linking up with the lovely Carissa at lowercase letters for the Miscellany Monday.  It's my chance to be as random (or not) as I want to.

{1}...My kids have been doing the "elementary school shuffle".  They have been overloaded from their home school due to overcrowding.  They are both first on the list to come back, so that is a good thing.  However, the school they are attending now has a uniform dress policy.  I am all in favor of that, but since I just spent a fortune on school clothes, I was rather upset that I had to go out and buy uniforms which were not in my budget which they may only wear for a few weeks or months.

{2}...Right after we moved in, our family was blessed to the tune of $120 by people we hardly know.  It came at a very good time, as we had no food in our house after moving.  Yesterday, our family received another blessing of $100 from someone that we do know. I am overwhelmed at God's goodness towards us.  His is so faithful to put us on the hearts of those who can reach out and help us during this difficult time.  It will be nice in a month or two after we get caught up financially.  It will be nice to breathe again.

{3}...I must have climbed up and down the stairs in my house 1,000 times since I've moved in.  At least I am getting a little bit of a work out, huh?  I try and plan ahead so I don't have to make so many trips up and down.  I tell my kids when I put them to bed that under no circumstances once they are down, am I coming back up.  That's when daddy takes over.

{4}...My son and I have been watching Season One of 24 over the last couple of weeks.  I got into the show midway through Season Two.  I am a sucker for some good suspense and action.

{5}...I got up this morning, got the kids ready for school, dropped them off, went and picked up my coffee, emptied the dishwasher, washed the dishes, threw in a load of laundry, cleaned all three bathrooms and mopped my kitchen floor and entry way.  It's only 10:15a and I am exhausted.  This afternoon I will turn my attention to some more unpacking. 

Have a wonderful Monday friends!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Will Never Forget - 9.11.01

Today, I am remembering all of the innocent people who lost their lives in the horrific attacks on our country on 9.11.01.  I will never forget where I was that day.  I was vacationing with my husband and two oldest children in Disneyland.  I had gotten out of the shower and my husband told me a plane had hit one of the World Trade Towers.  As we watched the news, I saw the 2nd plane come and hit the second tower.  It was then that I new this was just not a tragic accident, but a deliberate attack on our nation.  It was surreal.  I felt like I was in a nightmare and wanted desperately to wake up.  We decided we would visit Disneyland as planned in order to give them a sense of normalcy; however, the park had been closed due to high level security reasons.  So we headed home early.  As reports came in as to exactly what had happened, and how many people had lost their lives in this tragedy, I wept.  I screamed.  I prayed.  I cried out to God.  This is something that I will never understand.  My natural mind cannot comprehend this kind of evil. 

Today I especially remember the 343 firefighters who lost their lives to save others.  I also remember the civilians who came to help and never returned home.  These heroes will never be forgotten.  We must always remember that freedom is never free.  It comes at a great price.  So many paid that price for us on that terrible day.  Please take a moment today to remember our fallen heroes, to pray and ask God to continue to comfort their families. I cannot imagine their grief.


I thank God for his Hand of protection over our nation.  Let us continue to seek Him.  He is a God of love, mercy and restoration.  He never changes.  As we continue to cry out for God to come and bless and heal our land, let us not forget to first bless our Lord.  For He is worthy of our praise in the good times and the bad.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Something Beautiful Photo Contest

I came across this photography contest from Hannah at Click and Captured and Bloom! Magazine.  I thought it would be fun to enter the following pictures.  The subject is flowers.  Let me know what you think!

(Edited to appear vintage and brighter.)

(Edited for brightness.)

(Edited for brightness.)


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lovely Photo Wednesday - Footwear

Lovely Photo - Wordless or Not-So-Wordless Wednesday at Aspire

Linking up today with the fabulous, amazing, super talented Hannah over at Aspire for Lovely Photo Wednesday, wherein we share lovely, silly, and amazing photos.  Won't you hop on over and join us?

I believe you can tell a lot about the personality of a person by their footwear.  Can you guess which one is mine?



Monday, September 6, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
Happy Labor Day everyone!  I am so thankful I get to link up to the Miscellany Monday this week with the lovely Carissa at lowercase letters.  Although I got around to commenting on some of your randomness last week, I was not able to post myself.  I missed you!

{1}...Speaking of Labor Day, I was reflecting briefly on my four beautiful children and what it took to bring them into the world.  First baby - 32 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing, ending up in a C-Section.  Second baby - 12 hours of labor, requested Epidural, which never got to me, which made me sit up and calmly tell my husband and the nurse to open the window because I wanted to jump.  I'm not kidding!  I don't do pain very well.  Third Baby - a most wonderful experience.  I labored for about 8 hours, I had friends and family in the room, and a fabulous mentor and prayer partner who prayed me through an almost "natural birth".  I caved and opted for Staydol at the very end.  Made for a fun pushing experience.  Fourth baby - a "scheduled" C-section due to my prior one (dumb, I know).  During my labor my doctor called and said he was on site and that I could go natural if I wanted.  I opted for the C-section.  It's a good thing I did.  My son had some lung issues when born and the cord was very tight around His neck.  I praise God for my birthing experiences and my beautiful, healthy children!

{2}...I have a disgusting pedicure.  Actually, I have the remnants of a beautiful pedicure I got in July while visiting a friend in Arizona.  Someone asked me the other day why I don't just take the polish off?  Well, I would if I could find my polish remover.  It's in a box somewhere and I am too cheap to go to the Dollar Store and get more. I seriously need to unpack!

{3}...My eldest daughter, who is 19, is in a relationship.  She has never "dated" anyone in her entire life.  This young man sat down with my husband and I and asked our permission to "date" her (which we know means they are courting and asking God His plans for their future).  We are excited to see where God takes it.

(Sorry for the poor picture quality.)

{4}...I am enjoying my new house.  I am trying to get into a routine of cleaning it effectively, without running up and down the stairs all the time.  We have two vacuums, so I can leave one up stairs.  There are now three bathrooms, and I have already hired my 10 year old daughter to clean them all for me.  When I fold laundry, I leave piles on the stairs and only take my own up.  Maybe all the stair climbing will contribute to shedding a few pounds!

{5}...My youngest two children do not know yet if they will stay at their new home school.  We only registered a couple of days before school opened, and the school was already full.  My 5th grader has a good chance of staying, but her brother, who is in the 2nd grade, most likely will be overloaded to another school.  So this means more craziness in the morning while I attempt to get them both to school on time.  Please pray that if my son has to leave, a spot will open up for him soon to join his sister.

Join us over at Carissa's for more randomness.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Looking Beyond The Closed Door

I am featured today over at 5 Minutes for Faith.  Please stop over and read my post.  I pray that you will be encouraged.  Here is a little teaser:
I have been walking through an intense season of trust over the last year.  My husband was laid off from a very well-paying construction job last June.  It threw our already troubled finances into a tail spin.  On top of all of that, we were in the process of losing our home. 
 Go here to read the full post.

If you don't already visit 5 Minutes for Faith regularly, I hope that you will.  There is an amazing group of ladies who contribute to the devotionals you will read on the site.  These posts will make you laugh, some may make you cry, you will realize you are not alone in your struggle, and you will come away strengthened and encouraged in your walk with the Lord.  I would highly recommend adding 5 Minutes for Faith to your list of must reads!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Call

On Friday, I will be traveling to Sacramento for The Call.  I have set aside this time to join with hundreds of thousands of passionate believers in a time of consecration as we rend our hearts before the living God, in a place of united fasting and prayer as we seek God's face and pray for the heart of our nation to turn back to God.  I feel privileged that I get to take part in this moment in HIStory.
“Gather to Me my consecrated ones, who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice . . . call upon Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you” —Psalm 50:5,15Ten years ago, four hundred thousand primarily young people, the consecrated ones, the Nazarites, gathered to the Mall in D.C. to fast and pray for America. Now, ten years later, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Seismic political, economic, and societal shifts are drastically reshaping California, every state, and the nation. This is the time for a great spiritual outpouring to be unleashed to meet the demand of these times.

God’s prescription in the day of trouble is to regather the consecrated ones to the place of the covenant, the cross, not just to be blessed, but to rend our hearts and call upon God. In that place of united fasting and prayer, God promises to release deliverance and help.

Therefore, we are again summoning thousands of young and old—those who have been marked by TheCall's solemn assemblies and those whose hearts burn for their generation—to gather in Sacramento as consecrated, intercessory representatives from, and on behalf of, California and every state to "altar" their lives, "altar" their states, and "altar" the nation.

Can California be changed? Can a nation be changed? Yes, but only if they are altar-ed!

“Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down . . . then the fire fell.” —1 Kings 18:30, 38

Will you join with us?  You may not be able to travel to Sacramento, but will you commit to set aside some time on Saturday to fast and pray, crying out to God from a place of repentance on behalf of our nation, and asking Him to bring revival?  Our nation is in trouble, but God has the anwer!
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Will you cry out? Will you rend your heart, asking God for mercy? God is faithful to answer the cries of His children.  


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lovely Photo Wednesday

Lovely Photo - Wordless or Not-So-Wordless Wednesday at Aspire

I am linking up with Hannah at Aspire for Lovely Photo Wednesday. Hop on over to her blog and link up!

This photo was taken as I was practicing my photography skills several months ago.  These ducks were the perfect subject.  Not a care in the world.  No where to rush off to.  So peaceful, so tranquil.  Oh the life of a duck!