Friday, October 23, 2009

This is the day the Lord has made,

let us rejoice and be glad in it!! (Psalm 118:24)

There is always a noticeable difference in my attitude and my day when I start off with this scripture.  Even though we have had lots of gray and gloomy days lately, just saying this verse energizes me.  Does anyone else have one that really sets the mood for your whole day?  I would be interested to know.

For the past five weeks, I have been enjoying Beth Moore’s "Stepping Up" Bible study which takes an in-depth look at the Psalms of Ascension.  It has been a fascinating journey as we ascend to closer relationship with our Lord, and one that I will miss when we climb that last step next week.

In my opinion,  last week’s session was one of the best in the series.  Beth talked about (and read some excerpts from books authored by others) how with all our opportunities for instant socializing (email, IMs, texting, etc.) many of us are still very lonely and starved for some depth. 

Can you relate?  I know I can.  I thoroughly miss the deep relationships and the face-to-face, sit-down-let’s-chat socializing that we used to engage in before we were inundated with so much technology.

So, although not completely surprising, but still eye opening, these authors went on to suggest that because we have ceased to practice deep relationship building, more and more of us are dealing with loneliness, depression, stress, and untimely health-related deaths.  Whoa!

One author stated (and none of this is verbatim) that having strong social support is a great stress buster.  The other suggested that if you have never engaged in a social group, by joining one you will have increased your chance of living another year by 50%.  50%, ladies!

We were made to be social creatures, and we were commanded to encourage and build up one another.  So might I suggest you grab your best friend or someone you would like to know better and go have a cup of coffee.  Then you can feel good that you just extended two lives :D

You never know when someone else needs this.  Your encouragement and support may be just what a weary sister traveler needs to get back up and get back on the road.  (This may be a quote; so just in case I’ll give credit to Beth Moore!)

Have a great weekend, ladies; and don't forget:

"Encourage one another and build up one another..." (1 Thessalonians 5:11)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Happened?!

Before leaving on my oh-so-wonderful vacation to Rome (will definitely share pictures later), the weather here in Doo-dah was lovely:  sunny and warm days followed by fairly brisk nights.  It was enough to give me encouragement that cold weather was possibly several weeks away.  I was even a little concerned the tomatoes still on the vine might ripen while I was away.

Ahhhh, and then the weather in Italy was just as spectacular – for 7 glorious days the temperatures ranged from the upper 70s, to low 80s.  Yes, pictures… will absolutely be sharing pictures.

But when we landed in Kansas and walked down the ramp to cross the tarmac, we were greeted by cold wind.  C.O.L.D.  

The next couple of days weren’t any better.  It was cold and rainy; and the forecast for Saturday included a freeze for that night.  Why??!!!  This isn’t supposed to happen yet!  I’M NOT READY!  (lots of drama, huh?)

So I spent Saturday morning (before it “warmed up” to 45 degrees) attempting to save my “crops.”  By the time I had finished gathering all the remaining tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and parsley, my hands were almost numb from the cold.

The good news though is I turned all of this (and there was much more parsley than this pictures shows):

102_5043 into 8 lovely pints of parsley pesto (should have taken the picture though before putting them in the freezer) using Pam’s recipe that you can find here


We now also have 8 quart-size freezer bags of chopped, home-grown, heirloom bell peppers; and all that is left to do is turn all those green tomatoes into salsa verde.  Yum!

I know we are going to enjoy the pesto and veggies for months to come.  But I can’t help feeling bummed that we seem to be jumping straight from summer into winter.  I like autumn.  I would really like to experience autumn before having to endure the winter cold. 

But all my whining isn’t going to change anything, so…

I want to share with you two great contests that have lifted my spirits a bit, in case you need a lift too. 

The first is here at Mrs Schmenkman’s.  Scoot on over there now because you too will want to win those luscious fabrics she is giving away!

And the other is here :

ugg boots for women

In the winter, I practically live in my Uggs.  So I’m hoping to win a pair, ‘cuz it’s nice to have options, and a girl can’t have too many pairs of Uggs!  Especially when it’s looking like it could be a very long winter.

Good luck!