Monday, June 30, 2008

MOMMY (or mentor/caregiver) MONDAYS #17

Yesterday, we took our annual pilgrimage to a local fireworks warehouse so that our two boys could "rack up" on fireworks or explosives as they prefer to call them (I guess it sounds more manly and intense and dare devilish or something). One of our boys bought over 2000 bottle rockets (one of the cheapest things to buy and simple, but the boy, even as a teen, prefers nothing else.) and then smaller, colorful things for one of our girls (the youngest) so that she could participate and see "pretty fireworks." On the way to the warehouse, the boys and I talked, laughed, debated, but mostly, I felt like I was choking and was going to die. Why? Read on.
What does a mother say when her 18 year old says he's changed his wicked ways because of a girl? They've only known each other less than a month, they've dated less than that, and now, my son is pledging his undying faithfulness to her. He's even talked to the father properly and the parents asked to meet us. We met them yesterday, before the drive to the "explosives" warehouse and the heat was on after that! How did the meeting between the parents go? Very well, but that's not the point.
We talked to both boys, AGAIN, about dating, what God says Biblically about keeping yourself and the girl pure, and being the leader in the courting and marriage relationship. We talked about dating with only the intention of getting married. We talked about other things too, but I really wanted them to hear these parts. What almost made me ask my husband to put the brakes on in the middle of the highway was that the parents of this girl, who were very concerned about what kind of person our son is, what his intentions were for their daughter, who we were as parents, etc., allowed our son to spend the night at their house (remember, my son barely knows this girl as a girlfriend, and have just known she exists on this earth less than a month) to get to meet the rest of their family and to get to talk to him more. I told him how this could have been done properly without him spending the night (of course since he's 18, he knew he didn't have to tell me, ask me, or have my opinion about this spending the night thing.). He could have made arrangements to go over, have us over together as parents, etc. We would have been happy to make a formal visit with him once or however many times they felt like they wanted to talk. He could have made arrangements to speak with them privately any time. I asked him, "Why would you put yourself in that position? How things look because of the testimony you're SUPPOSED to have...matters. Also, knowing that we wouldn't allow any girl to spend the night here, why would you go against that at someone else's house? Plus, you never put yourself in a position to have the smallest potential to make this girl impure." Now I know that seems like a stretch because he was only spending the night at the parent's request right? He had no intentions of sleeping with the girl, etc. He slept in a different room, yada, yada, yada. It's still a setup that the enemy could use to ruin all kinds of things, especially since there were better alternatives.
What do you tell the 15 year old, whom you just talked to about not dating (and he thinks that he is), whom just heard all of what his brother is doing and going through? They both think that my husband and I are stuffy and old-fashioned (of course they do!!), but they do know that we're telling them the whole truth. They don't argue with that, and they do agree...mostly. It's the things they don't want to accept though, that seem to be the most important things. They also think that they can push as far as they can with freedom, dating, and all that goes with that, as long as they don't "cross the line." That way, they can feel like they're dating, but try and appease us at the same time (and not violate the girl and make the parents mad too, of course). We told them that though we would love to be appeased with obedience, it's not about us, it's about their relationship with Christ. It's about Him and whether He is satisfied with what they're doing and saying, is He being glorified in all that they do, are they doing ALL that God would have them do because they are conscious of being surrendered to Him, are they being the leader in their friend groups by knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no" and not being pressured by society to "just do it?"
Well, one of our boys is under age and has to either choose on his own to obey Christ and us or choose to suffer the consequences. The other one can freely make his own decisions without being forced by us, but we still talk to him and admonish him to righteousness. We've got two different age groups and we're having to parent in two different ways, but one thing remains the same: JESUS!! He's the same He was yesterday and will be tomorrow, therefore, what we tell our children will remain the same. We have decided to keep admonishing and teaching the 15 year and expecting him to obey and see the benefits of that (he knows the alternative!) and we've decided that all we can do is pray for the 18 year old. We figured out a long time ago that God can parent our children better than we can, so we turn them over to the God that created them and knows them better than we ever could. He's got insight on them and their behavior, their thoughts, and their next moves way in advance. Since He's got all that, we want Him to be in control of our parenting and we want to present our children to Him when things are going right, and when they're not.
We pray for all of them constantly. I would say nightly, but the truth is, we pray for our children for one reason or another, all throughout the day. They just go through so much, the world presents them with so much, the enemy wants to take them out, or they just need covering and lifting. Sometimes you talk to God about just how grateful you are to have such gifts from Him. There are all kinds of reasons to pray for God's babies that He loaned you for a while. So, what does a mother say when...(the various things come out of their mouths or pop up in their lives)? After you check your heart to make sure you're not having a heart attack (like I thought I was yesterday--I asked my husband to make sure the insurance policy was current so that he and the kids would be okay without me), you say, "God help me! God help them!" Sometimes, it's that simple.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Robin at Pensieve is at it AGAIN!! Giving us these really interesting pictures and asking us to write 40 words or less expressing what it says to us. In fact, here are her words exactly:

Ebony & Ivory, Black & White, Night & Day

This week's Friday's 40-or-less Photo Challenge is simple but with the potential for great fun.
Salt and pepper shakers.
Taken for granted and nothing trendy or glamorous about 'em, salt and pepper make THE difference in everything they season. While I've never known either to be the "secret ingredient" in a recipe, leave one or both out, and even if you can't put your finger on it, you KNOW something's missing.
A weekly photo prompt, Friday's 40 participants compose a 40-or-less-word response and then link it on Friday (please click the button for additional details).
Hope you make plans to join this week; next week we'll be taking the day off in commemoration of Independence Day.

What do I have to say about the picture below?

(Pepper says to salt) (I'm not counting the words in parentheses)

You're fresh as the ocean.
But, I'm hot!! Sorry, you're not.
Life with you though...EXCITING, not dull or bland.

(Salt says to Pepper)

You're small, dark and round, just like I like 'em-
A little "corny," but you "crack me up."
We're inseperable!

Okay readers, go over to and read everybody else's!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Well, I had a nice friend who gave me a ticket to go to a Praise Breakfast this morning at our convention center. Breakfast was to start at 6:45am, so I got up at 5:45am to get ready for what I anticipated to be a really inspiring and precious morning. The keynote speaker was Ruth Graham, you know, Billy Graham's daughter, and the breakfast was sponsored by Scenic City Women's Network-A group that serves to equip and support business and professional women. Okay, good enough. So I was off. Found great parking, only had to walk a short distance to the breakfast, and found my table and seat right away. They had a nice, light breakfast of fruit, eggs, bacon, muffins, juice, and coffee. You know I had to ask if they had tea instead. And...thankfully, they did. Yea for me! Anyhooty, you know how it feels to have your mind and heart all ready for something, expectations, anticipation, etc., but you get there, you sit through it, and...well, I wouldn't go as far as saying letdown, but I guess what I received wasn't what I imagined it to be. There, that's a fair assessment.
So let me tell you about it. The theme of the Praise Breakfast was "God's Endless Love." Great theme. There was a welcome, special music, and other things, and then...the message from Ms. Graham. She started out by saying that she wanted to address wives and even wives of high-profile men, like her father, how difficult that is for some women, and how God would have you respond. We're good so far. She starts out talking about her mother, what she remembers over the years of her mother, and giving her mom's testimony. Although I've heard her mom's fascinating testimony before, I was willing to hear it again because I thought that it would lead to her speak of something else, closely related to that or to go with that, that was Biblical. She had said prior to talking about her mom that she only had an hour to speak, so I sat back to take it all in.
Well, in an hour, her mom's testimony was the only thing we heard about. Again, her mom's testimony is fabulous, and in her defense, I know she was using her mom's life and how she responded with Godliness to different situations in her lifetime as the way to give the answer to what she said she initially wanted to address--how to be a (or a picture of a) Godly woman, wife, mother, supporter, what that entails, and how God would have you respond. It's fair and creative to do that; it's not what I expected, but it was creative. But, and here's my biggest problem with the whole thing, Ms. Graham didn't once (that I can recall-if she did, somebody comment and correct me) quote relevant Scripture to her mom's life and testimony, she didn't once use Scripture to back up or convey her message, she didn't use Scripture at all! She quoted some of her mom's favorite quotes from favorite authors that were relevant to the message, she told some of her mom's witty comments and jokes and how she always went around with joy, she talked about Christ being all-sufficient for her mother's life, she even talked about how her parents always imparted the Word to people whenever they had the opportunity, something appropriate for where the person was at right then in their lives, but she didn't.
Okay, okay, fair enough, she isn't her parents or her brother Franklin, and I'm sure she has to live up to certain expectations and people's opinions herself, I know she is her own person with her own character and way about things, I know that she is an individual, BUT, who doesn't need to use the Word in their speech, and when isn't appropriate for the Word to be used? Do you have to Bible thump, give an old-fashioned "hail, fire, and brimstone," or appear to be Ms. Religious of the year? I think not and that wouldn't have been necessary, but again, how do you give a speech at a Christian woman's (or any Christian for that matter) breakfast or venue without injecting the Word where appropriate throughout? Hey, I'm usually not critical or judgemental (remember, this is just a "review" on the breakfast:)), and I can usually see the significance and/or logic in stuff that other people can't but...I'm just saying...
There were a couple of other things, like timing of soliciting (oops, I mean "informing" about products for sale and upcoming events), that I thought would have been better at another juncture in the schedule, but who am I and what do I know. I'm not criticizing Ms. Graham, because apparently the lady can speak and is clearly popular; she's also been through a lot and can be transparent and encouraging, but...I guess we need to answer the question, "Do we NEED to quote Scripture or give Scripture references at any and every Christian venue we speak at? Is there a time when we can just tell a good story, skip the Scripture injections (and the expounding on maybe one or two of them--something folks!), receive the accolades given from the audience, and even get a standing ovation (which Ruth did get)? Yeah, I guess you could depending on what you came to speak about, what was expected of you, and what type of event you were at. What say you, my readers, about this? I want to hear from you.
All in all, it was a good morning. I got to see Ruth Graham, whose family I have the greatest respect for, and I got to sit at a nicely decorated and set table with ladies whom I didn't know prior to the event, but seemed really nice. They all knew each other, so of course and naturally, they talked to each other a lot. I think I interjected something twice, but I've never had a problem with being somewhere alone and not knowing anyone. I usually just like to focus on what's being said or what's going on anyway.
Well, on with the rest of my day. Hopefully, it's uneventful. I'm tired. We've had a full week and I think the weekend will be the same. Since I had to get up so early for a talk, maybe I'll lay down early and rest with a talk...with Jesus and His wonderful, needful, life-changing, transforming, all-important Word.
Have a good day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Well, the poll is closed and the results are in. 50% of you said that you study with the NAS version of the Bible the most, and the other 50% said that you studied with the NKJV. Interesting. I gave other choices like the NIV and the KJV, but no one voted for those, not that you never use these versions. Funny thing is, I usually will use the NAS at church (and trust me, I'm not pushing or endorsing one version over the other here--no legalism in this for me), study with the NKJV, NAS, KJV, and a couple of other versions, and read and meditate for my nightly devotions the TEV. I use the Interlinear Greek-English New Testament to study sometimes also, but mainly I use it in, Greek class. I guess I said all of this to say, I like using many versions for many reasons. Isn't it great to have several versions of your own, so that you can get a clearer understanding, in a lot of cases, among other reasons?

Well, I'm putting up another poll, so don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of this blog page to take a shot at it, just for fun! There is also a Bible trivia quiz there too, that get refreshed automatically, daily, from the original website to all subscribers. Check it out and test your Bible knowledge. It certainly can't hurt us can it? Talk to you later, if I have time today, for Wednesday Wisdom.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008



What's the difference? Is there any difference? Why there most certainly is! It's funny that many of us well-meaning (Gotta love us) Americans get it wrong. Hey, it's not our fault though. So many traditions ended or were watered down (or forgotten over time) after we came to America, and we just eventually stopped doing things completely or came up with our own way. What can we say? We gained our independence and left some things behind us. :) BUT, if you find yourself, for whatever reason, needing to know the difference (or if you're just remotely interested), let the tea-cha inform you.

When we say "high tea," what we usually mean is chit-chatting over an elaborate, doily-laced spread of tea, scones, and finger sandwiches served from silver-tiered trays and other pretty dishes. WRONG! What is "high tea" then? "In fact, the event being represented is afternoon tea, or LOW tea. The problem is that many Americans equate the word “high” with class and formality. In fact, the word “high” refers to the height of the serving table: high tea is served at a high dinner table, while low tea is traditionally served on low tables in a sitting room. So, what’s what? High tea is a full meal served at around 5 or 6 PM. It is usually associated with the members of the lower classes, who were hungry after a long day at work (often with no break). Low tea is a light meal traditionally begun at 4 or 5 PM and ending before 7 PM. It is associated with the high class, who saw it more as a social occasion than a meal and used it to stave off hunger between an early lunch and a late dinner. Think of high tea as a meal and low tea as “finger foods.” Or remember etiquette savant Judith Martin’s quip regarding the confusion: “It’s high time we had something to eat.” Taken from an article at (I couldn't have said it better myself!)

So what else is there to know? Have you heard of "cream tea" or "elevenses?" Okay, well, since I have and, if you don't know, I'll tell ya. Cream tea is just a very simple occasion where usually there is only tea and scones with clotted cream and jams involved. Elevenses is equivalent to the American morning coffee break, except with tea and a simple snack. How fun are these for a quick, simple moment with your favorite tea?! I think I'm going to start having more cream tea and "elevenses" moments. How about you? Get to know your neighbor over cream tea, have a quick breakfast with your spouse before one or both of you is out of the door with an elevenses or surprise him/her when they come home for lunch. Introduce your family to the tradition of high tea as just a cool, little history lesson, and of course, have low tea with friends.

That's your lesson and instruction for the day. The tea-cha is out!

Saturday, June 21, 2008



Okay, you guys know how I like Ellie Kay, the savings and financial expert, and her wonderful advice on how to be better stewards of God's money. She's got a book out that I want to recommend (the one pictured above obviously). I think you'll love it! I can't wait to get my copy! I already have her book called 1/2 Price Living- Secrets to Living Well on One Income, and it is a great, practical, can-do book. Ellie, as you may know, makes her living on showing and teaching others how to save, budget, shop, and invest. I've asked this a thousand times--who wouldn't want to save, budget, and spend their money wiser?

So anyway, what's up with the new book? Look out below!

A Tip a Day with Ellie Kay: 12 Months Worth of Money Saving Ideas
-$40,000 in consumer debt? Ellie was there and says, “Wipe it out!”-Up to 80 percent savings on groceries? You can do it!-Clothing and household goods at a fraction of the cost? Find out when they are cheapest.-Looking for that elusive nest egg? Ellie will help you find it without ruffling your feathers!
Saving money isn’t just about the dollars. It’s about the things in life your money touches-the products, the people, and the purpose. Saving more means more opportunity to give!
Ellie says: If you can save time while saving a cent, then there’s a greater reward for your effort. If you can save your marriage by learning to communicate about money, then you’ve preserved something priceless.
And if you can send resources to support a child in a third-world country, then you’ve saved something created in the image of God.
So what are you waiting for? Start saving today and every day with A Tip a Day!
Available at your favorite bookstore or Click here to order your book today!
Ellie Kay & Company, LLC 3053 Rancho Vista Blvd., Suite H-102 Palmdale, CA 93551 661-547-6820email: ellie @** or assistant @** or webmaster @**
or view our Contact Us page.Photos by Jimi Allen(c)
Note: This is an ‘anti-spam’ email address written so that the robot-spiders don’t read it. Please type the email address without the spaces when you submit an email to us. Do not copy and paste it, the spaces will cause it to be incorrect.

I absolutely could not wait to share with you this information about Ellie's new book.
I hope you learn to like and appreciate her and her wonderful, practical ideas and proven methods and tips as much as I do. Have a fruitful day!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Robin says: For Friday's 40-or-less Photo Challenge this week, share your response to this photo. You don't have to be literal, although that's fine, too. Does it make you think pollution? Needing to find a bathroom after drinking mass quantities of liquid? Can you see a spiritual correlation? Does a snappy caption come to mind? Are you challenged to step up your environmental stewardship? And, I dare anyone to wax poetic over TRASH!
Give it your best shot, post the photo (if you'd like) and a 40-or-less word post on your own blog, then link that post here on Friday. I can't wait to see your's always fun to see how similarly AND how differently we think.
New to Friday's 40? Please! Join us! Just click the badge (or the link) for details.

My thoughts are below the photo.

Let's put a ban
On those who miss the trash can
That's so obviously nearby.
So why
Was someone too lazy to hurl a little farther?
Maybe too tired after soccer?
Nevertheless, this is litter.
Litter makes me bitter.


Seeing this picture brings back to mind the little simple rhyme that you teach your kids at home or the teachers teach them in pre-school when you want them to help you tidy up their mess. You know the one...

Okay, I think I've gotten elementary enough. I shall sign off now. Enjoy everybody else's post. Maybe I'll be more creative next week.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


All right, Laura Salas over at has a photo challenge that's just for fun. So why not give it a try?! Here are the simple, simple guidelines:

New to 15 Words or Less Poems? This does not need to be "good" poetry. No pressure here. For me, it's just a quick way for me to focus on something in my immediate surroundings every day and try to see it in a new way. It does not have to rhyme. It does not have to be poetic. What does it have to be? 15 Words or Less! The title, if you title it, doesn't count toward your 15 words. So, jump in and give it a try. Look at this week's post (photo below) and see what hits you. You can be moody, funny, serious, observant, whatever you want! How hard can it be? I spend 5 minutes or less per day on it. And if I can overcome my fear of sharing horrible, clumsy, pedantic, lousy pictures and poems, you can, too! If we share enough of them, it will be exhilarating instead of embarrassing!
Go to Laura's website (link above) and see how you can play!

And now, here is my thought or take on the picture:

Someday, I'll rise

Out of my fetal position.

I'll be able

To face the world.


(for most of us anyway)

For this Thursday potpourri, let's talk about the long-awaited vacation you're about to go on soon or the one you've already had, although it's still early in the season. Some of my friends have already gone on their summer vacation, believe it or not, and they will spend the rest of the summer home with the kids or doing the local scene. So, leave me a comment and/or send me a picture and tell me about the great plans you have for summer, or how the vacation you've already been on turned out. It'll be fun to read about new or familiar places. We'll all share in your fun in the sun!!

As for us, uhhh, maybe we'll go to Memphis (our usual hang-out because family is there), and maybe we'll be blessed to add on a surprise or two for the kids this year. We actually don't have anything set in stone yet. Surely no one else out there reading this will find themselves in this same predicament. Already having plans is much much better:) Whenever something gets moving here though, I'll be sure to write about it and tell you, and add pictures. Have fun and don't forget your sunblock!

The picture above is colonial Williamsburg.

All pictures from Family Vacations

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I don't know about you, but I still have a hard time comprehending that I'm a friend of God. Growing up, in my mind, a friend was a friend; sometimes one that stuck closer than a brother, sometimes one that you had today and then they were gone tomorrow, but neither were on a level with "God" to me. God was "big" to me (He still is). But as a kid, He was big and kind of unreachable. I mean, I knew that He could be prayed to and He needed to be believed in or the alternative was bad (plus, I didn't want to disappoint my parents and going to church was just...normal), but God was God, not a friend. To me saying that was blasphemous and bringing the "big, unreachable" God down to my level, and I wasn't about to do that. I reverenced and respected Him. He was on a pedestal. I couldn't imagine that He could be a friend. I needed Him to be God, somebody bigger than my friends. Friends don't come close to a mighty God. I could see, at that age, that nobody I knew as a friend, no matter how good they were, could compete with God and that He was God all by Himself.
Needless to say, I was so wrong, for the most part. Oh yeah, God is God all by Himself, God is on a pedestal in my life, God is "big," and God's thoughts and ways are higher than mine, so He is not on my level. But God humbled Himself and became man, with the same feelings and physical nature as a man, while still maintaining His perfection, so that He could take the sin of the world on His shoulders and set the captives free! He walked among men and became their friends, and they trusted Him and followed Him. Our Lord called us friend. My husband told me this one day while we were having a "spiritual debate" about something. He said, "Honey, I understand your need to make God the biggest thing in your life and not bring Him down to a human's level, but He stooped or humbled Himself; He called us friend. He didn't lower His standards; He came from heaven and stood among men and made them friends, not on a human level, but as the best and most perfect friend man could ever have." I was floored! God calls me friend! I had to pray for the Lord to help me comprehend or understand this and then accept it.
Well, of course I had to look of Scripture pertaining to this "friend" thing. I even looked at Webster's definition to see if it even came close to what God meant when He said friend, because I was just sure that it would only hit the "human surface" of the word, but I must say, after you know that you're a friend of Jesus, you can use Webster's definition and see how it applies. What is a friend?--One whom you can share your deepest darkest secrets, one whom you can share your dreams and excitement, one whom you can trust fully, one whom you're compelled to share any and everything you have with, one whom you know well and are fond of; you're intimate, you're close; one who is not an enemy but an ally, a supporter and sympathizer. What do you know of God's character? He is one that we can talk to any time, He is an ally and definitely not the enemy, He supports us, He is close to us, He sympathizes with us when we hurt and when we're in need, He shares with us in so many ways, we can trust Him fully, He is fond of us (for He created us for His pleasure!), the list goes on and on!! God IS OUR FRIEND AND WE ARE HIS, although we can never bring anything close to what God does in the friendship to the table. He is perfect and sinless after all. He can't betray us, but we've sinned against Him over and over. He still loves us anyway. That's the best kind of friend we could ever have!! And the biggies (John 15:13 and Prov.17:17)--"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (Thank you Jesus, the one who calls ME friend and laid down His life for ME!!) and "A friend loves at all times."
Even Job knew that God was a close friend. Look up Job 29:1-6. Job was recalling the days when He could sense, feel, and knew intimately of God's friendship with him. Verses 4 and 5 say, "As I was in the prime of my days, when the friendship of God was over my tent; when the Almighty was yet with me, and my children were around me;..." "...when the friendship of God was over my tent..." literally means When God's council was by my tent or When God was an intimate in my tent. My Bible commentary says that this "...evokes a situation similar to that in Genesis 18, where God and two members of His heavenly council eat and drink at Abraham's tent (We're talking God here people!!)--and where God discloses to His friend the imminent birth of the promised son and God's intentions concerning Sodom and Gomorrah." Disclosing this kind of information to a human being, supping with him, etc.--how much friendlier can you get!! I'd faint if God chose, in this day and time, to consider me such a friend that He physically sat down and ate with me!! And while He doesn't make physical appearances, He actually does consider us this close a friend, and He does reveal Himself to us and His plans in so many ways. What a privilege!!
Jesus calls those whom He forgives friends. Consider the paralytic in Luke 5. In verse 20, Jesus calls this man "Friend," and tells him that his sins are forgiven. Again, more proof that we too, are friends of God. You and I (if you've accepted His free gift of salvation) have been forgiven, have been set free, and therefore, are called by God, "friends." What a friend we have in Jesus!! I'm so happy and privileged to be called such!
I pray that you can accept or have accepted that you are indeed, a friend of the risen Savior. I'm sure everyone knew this before I did. I accepted a lot of truthful things about God, but not that He could possibly be my friend. I didn't realize that this was a good thing, and that people who understood these truths weren't lowering God to our standards. He was choosing me as His friend because He loved me. The meaning of friend meant a lot to Him. I now understand and accept that. I challenge you to study further the verses and context around those instances when the word "friend" was used. You'll come away with a greater understanding of what you mean to Him, and in turn, what He means to you.
Have a wiser Wednesday today than you did last Wednesday!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008



Linda Osborne, author of the ALL ABOUT TEA CARDS from the Library of Congress says that "...tea enthusiasts describe and assess individual teas on the basis of the following characteristics:

  • Appearance: How do the dried leaves look? Are they all of the same color and shape? What is the color of the steeped liquid?

  • Scent: How do the leaves smell? How does the tea smell after it is steeped?

  • Flavor: How does the tea taste with the first sip? Later? After a second or third infusion? Is there an aftertaste, either good or bad?

  • Body: Is the tea strong or weak? Does it feel full-bodied or thin when drunk?

  • Astringency: A pungency or bite that puckers the mouth. Is the drink more or less astringent?

Each tea is different, as is each personal response. These are all characteristics to be savored--the enjoyment of a tea should not be rushed."

Here, here Linda!

I bet you wonder if the stuff mentioned above is really important. They surely are. You'll be able to find the flavor, body, and astringency in a tea that appeals to you, but don't let that stop you from venturing into new territory once you find your favorite. Find new teas and flavors that you've never tried or even considered trying before. How does Tibetan butter tea sound? They churn yak butter and blend it with their tea. Why? Because the butter adds much-needed calories and fat because of the cold region they live in and the work that needs to be done. Definitely an acquired taste, wouldn't you say? Or how about salt tea from Northern Pakistan? Okay, so you don't have to venture out that far, but do taste, smell, and look at different selections of local teas and have a tea-tasting day by yourself or with friends. You'll be glad you did. Try judging the teas using some of the tea characteristic hints from above. Find your favorites and then stock up. Have fun!

(pictures gathered from Wikipedia)

Monday, June 16, 2008

MOMMY (Caregiver/Mentor) MONDAYS (#16)

It's that time of year again where if you've got teenagers old enough to work, they go off to find summer jobs to save up for various things like cell phones, motorcycles (in my case...SCARY), clothes, and other miscellaneous, not necessarily important things. But what's the point here? The point is...THEY WANT TO WORK! Well, at least (thank God), in my case they do. You may have babies like this too. Some teens may not want to work, but the bottom line to this is...THEY NEED TO!
Where did you work when you were a teen? What age were you when you got your first job? Why did you work as a teen--did you have to or just want to? Did your parents say you had to even if they were well off? Why do you suppose they did, if that was your situation?
I worked at various places as a teen, but I first started working when I was a younger teen, just babysitting here and there. When I turned 16, I got my first official "outside" job at Piccadilly Cafeteria as a waitress mainly, although sometimes I was a server. I made pretty good money in tips. I didn't necessarily have to work, although my parents weren't rich by any means. Our needs were provided for. I did need to work though, if I wanted to buy those "extra" things that teens wanted, help keep my parents from having to buy everything I needed and wanted for my senior year of high school (there were 4 siblings and I knew providing everything for all of them wasn't easy), and just learn how to be independent by having "outside" responsibilities and managing my own money (I could have used some formal lessons with this though). My father always had good work ethics in that he always had a job and believed in kids learning a skill or trade (even if they planned to go to college to get a degree--as a matter of fact, he encouraged both, for good reasons) and trying to do what they could on their own. He taught us that nobody owed us anything, and even if someone blessed us with something, it was a gift and a privilege, not a right. He taught us that nothing was free, and if you can't pay for it and/or can't afford to buy it in cash, you don't need it or you need to wait on it. If it didn't belong to you, you don't touch it. These were great principles that we learned, that were beneficial for us to pass on to our children.
My youngest son has been asking for a job since last year. He had some mega goals in mind, but he was too young to legally work. This year, he can legally work, but in only one or two places around town. He's still not old enough for employers and the law to be comfortable with hiring him most places. He started asking for little odd jobs to do around the house and with friends and neighbors. He was WILLING to work. That's the key. He had a GOAL in mind. That's another key factor. He also knew that he wanted to buy little things that he would see when we went out shopping or looking around, and (and this is a biggie), he wanted to be able to buy his little sister things because he likes spoiling her. He wanted to have money to buy me things for mother's day and for the family for other holidays. He has a major shoe fetish. He loves tennis shoes. Well, he wanted to buy them on his own because, he wanted more pairs than we were willing to invest in or saw any sense in. The good thing is, he didn't want to buy the ones for $150.00+. He says he likes shoes, but not enough to be senseless and wasteful. At his age, he's got a good sense of money management (I didn't at his age) and we are very proud of him. We sent him to a Teen Money Management class through Crown Financial Ministries as an extra boost of preparation. I think it was well worth it.
The Lord blessed my son to get a position as an assistant to a ministry couple (good friends of ours) that founded a Christian football camp, that's run through the local university. He washes dishes after the kids finish lunch, he assists on the field with the coaches, he retrieves water and snacks, he helps transition the children from one event to the next, he accompanies on field trips, and whatever else he may be needed for. He earns pretty good money each week and has recently opened a savings account. What lessons do you think he has gotten out of this experience?
We are working on teaching our younger daughters the same principles as our younger son. We pray they catch on. Even they have ideas in their heads about wanting to be entrepreneurial and crafting and sewing things that they can sell to make money. When they earn money from us, they will save some and spend some. They're doing pretty good. These principles will serve all of our children well as they become adults. Finding a job early will also give them job skills, teach teamwork, build confidence, and hopefully drive them to the Lord, on their knees in thanksgiving and asking Him how they can be good stewards of all that he has blessed them with.
Do all kids get the concept of working, gaining skills and independence, spending and saving, praying about stewardship, etc.? No, at least not all do right away, but all can, if we encourage them and they move in that direction. It will look different on every kid because of their personality, upbringing, needs, wants, impulsivity, etc., but all kids can have a sense of work ethic and money management. We have a harder time teaching our oldest son money management, but he has good work ethics, so, we'll just keep plugging away and hope that something we've taught and modeled as a family will shine through him one day. I think he'll come away with something useful eventually.
Remind your child to start in spring, looking for summer jobs, because they go fast. School is out sooner than we realize sometimes. Lots of kids have the same concept and ideas as mine or yours about working, and those jobs are "going, going, gone." I pray that you have children who are blessed by the privilege of working. There's much to be said about what the Bible teaches concerning working as well, things that we surely need to teach our kids, but I'll encourage you to look those things up.
I hope you have a wonderful Monday. I've got to quit now, because soon I'll have to get on my job, preparing for and ministering to the 2 working men in my home. What a pleasure!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


What is one of your favorite attributes of God, and why?As individuals we all have unique qualities. It would make sense then that for each of us our FAVORITE attribute of God would be different. Some attributes to ponder would include:
If you are joining us today to CHAT, please leave your link so that others can join in the conversation! Go to

I chose God's HOLINESS. I'm in constant awe of His HOLINESS! Exodus 15:11 speaks of Moses and the sons of Israel giving much praise to God, who, in this passage tolerates no rivals among other Gods, and so defeated all the Gods of Egypt and their worshipers. He proved his faithfulnes, power, and holiness to the people. God's holiness should keep us from putting Him second, third, fourth, or somewhere besides number one in our lives as well. If we worship anything or anyone besides Him, we have sinned against a HOLY (sinless) God.

In Psalm 93:5 (author anonymous), the NLT version says "Your royal decrees cannot be changed. The nature of your reign, O Lord, is holiness forever." What God says (His statutes, His directives, His commands) cannot be changed. They are good and will last throughout the ages. God's nature, the way He rules even, is HOLY! He is Holy in His ways and in what He says. He cannot be wrong or make a mistake. Isn't that sweet assurance? We can trust His every Word. Holy is the Lord God Almighty!

In 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, Paul admonishes them to increase and continue in love toward one another so that the Lord can establish (or set and strengthen) their hearts without blame (because we know that only Jesus can present us without blame) in holiness (the basic idea of holiness here is "set apart for God.") at the coming of the Lord. Oh, how I want to be presented HOLY (blameless, without spot or wrinkle) at the coming of the Lord!! I know in my own strength and power, this could never be, therefore I present myself to a Holy God so that He can do what only He can do.

I could go on and on about God's purity and HOLINESS, but there would never be enough room or time. He is righteous and just. He is worthy to be praised. He is worthy of all honor and glory. God is HOLY!!! No other false God, in our time, or times before, can claim all of the attributes and possess the total and complete holiness that our one and only true God does. Aren't you glad He chose you and you chose Him?

Friday, June 13, 2008


WANNA RECOGNIZE THE MAN IN YOUR LIFE? LET HIM AND OTHERS SEE HOW IMPORTANT AND APPRECIATED HE IS! is hosting a wonderful Father's Day recognition meme. Here's the details:

Welcome to the Heart of the Matter Online meme: Father's Day Edition. By the way, what exactly is a "meme"? Anyone care to explain this concept and its origin to us men?Anyway, today's theme is similar to the uber-popular Wordless Wednesday. We want to see your favorite picture of your husband and your kids, or your husband and yourself, or just your husband alone.If you do not have a blog, but would still like to share a picture, email us and we'll talk one of the lovely ladies into hosting it on their blog for you.Please link directly to your post. Failure to leave a direct link will result in the removal of your name from Mr. Linky.All participants of this photo meme will be entered to win a one year subscription to The Family Handyman Magazine. The "Family Handyman Magazine" is an indispensable guide to home improvement and repair. Fool proof, step-by-step photo instructions help amateurs turn out professional results on a wide variety of home projects. In every issue: Reviews of new products; using tools safely; auto and appliance repair and other handy hints.

Well, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to post a thought and picture of Honey, Daddy, My Man, our Priest, Protector, and Provider. He is all of that and more! We're proud of him and we thank God for him. He is a special gift to our family and all who know him. "Honey, thank you for being a man of God." We recognize and honor you this Father's Day and everyday. You're the Man!!


50% of you said that you would buy something you wanted, no matter the cost, and the other 50% said that you would only buy something if it were on sale. Me, I'm a sale kinda girl and rarely, if ever, buy anything full price. It's just my way, and I've got my reasons, but I asked, and you guys answered honestly. Thank you. And now, there will be a new poll up for the week. Just scroll down to the bottom of this blog page, and participate in the new poll with a whole new question. Thank you for participating. It's always fun to see the responses.


Folks, I knew I had to join this week's 40PC. Just check out the picture below. YUMMY!! Robin just asks that we look at her submitted photo, think about what comes to mind when we see it, and then write 40 words or less in a caption, phrase, title, poem, short story, whatever, about the photo. If you want more details and to see what others have said about the photo, hop on over to and join in the fun!! In the meantime, look below the picture for what I have to say about it. Too bad when we see the photo of corn on the cob, we have to limit it to 40 words. Lord, I could say "yummy" 40 times and still feel like I need to say it more. My family and I love corn on the cob!

Betty said you'd better butter those babies before I become bitter over Buster betting that Bobby could eat them before me, Betty, who believes that beautiful, hot, buttered corn is better than butter pecan bites in blustery Buffalo.

Don't ask me where this story came from in my head or why this form of poetry popped up, but I just attribute it to the fact that once I saw this picture, I just lost my mind!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008



No seriously, it could be this, and Tina Turner probably doesn't know it either. You'd better read on then. She, we, and others may find this little bit of information interesting.

Colors were spoken of in the Bible in connection with literal things, and they also had symbolic meanings. From my studies, the KJV speaks of many more colors than any other version, but all versions make reference to the more popular ones we're used to hearing about, like crimson, black, red, etc. So, what does mentioning the colors of the Bible have to do with wisdom? Well, the more you know and are able to see and understand God's Word clearer (how and why the Bible made reference to certain things in the culture and times that it did), the wiser you are, the more you take that new found wisdom and ask God what it has to do with you or how you can apply any truths or facts you've found to your life. Sounds like a plan to me.

First, I'll make you a list of the colors that the KJV mentions (My only question to this was, "why does the KJV mention more colors or translate over more colors than other versions?" The answer to that is long and would require a whole other post). This longer list will include all of the colors that other versions mention. Then, I'll try and give you a brief summary of what the colors were literally describing and what their symbolic meaning has come to be known as today. The symbolic meanings are either alluded to in the Bible or have just come to be known as such over the years.

(1) bay,
(2) black,
(3) blue,
(4) brown,
(5) crimson,
(6) green,
(7) grey,
(8) hoar,
(9) purple,
(10) red,
(11) scarlet,
(12) sorrel,
(13) vermilion,
(14) white,
(15) yellow.
In addition there are indefinite words indicating mixtures of light and dark:
(a) grisled (grizzled),
(b) ringstraked (ringstreaked),
(c) speckled,
(d) spotted.
(The above list was found on

I forgot the color amber on the above list. It is only mentioned in the KJV in Ezekiel. The Hebrew word for the color amber is Chashmal, meaning glowing metal (NAS) or a shining substance. It is used to describe God's glory and His presence. Symbolically, it is associated with fire and God's judgement in other books.

Bay is the same as red.

Black, as you may well know, is associated with sin, disease, death, famine, and sorrow, passion, mourning, and skin color. It was also used to describe healthy or youthful hair in Leviticus, Song of Solomon, and Matthew. Sym., it can mean judgement.

Blue was used to describe hangings, holy coverings, embroidery, the Lord's commandments in Numbers 15, palace adornments, and royal apparel, and wealth and the corruptions thereof. Sym., it meant heavenly, holy service, and chastening.

Brown comes from the Hebrew word meaning sunburnt or "swarthy" and is translated "black" in the Revised Version (British and American).

Crimson was used to describe fine materials and sin. Crimson appears to be slightly darker than red. Sym., it meant the blood or sacrifice.

Green described edible plants, trees, and a meat offering. It was mentioned negatively once in Leviticus 13 to denote disease. Sym., it means rest, life, growth, fruitful, maturity, and frailty in Psalm 37:2.

Gray or grey is used to describe old age, beauty of old age, hair color in old age, and weakness in Hosea 7:9. Sym., it could mean ash, purification, mourning, and repentance. The word "hoar" mentioned above is the same as gray.

Purple described coverings or hangings, fine materials, and the dyeing trade itself. It was also used to describe beautifying the temple and furnishings. In the books of Mark and John, it described royalty, but in mockery. Sym., it denoted riches, royalty, and corruption of riches.

Red is used very diversely in Scripture, but mostly is associated with blood and war. It was also used to describe skin color, stew, wine, sores or plagues, bloodied water, clothing, horses, shields of mighty men, the sky, pottage, pavement, a shield, sins, and the great dragon in Revelation. Sym., it refers to temptation of sin, vengeance, and war.

Scarlet and Crimson are about the same. Scarlet is used to describe fine materials and thread. Like Crimson, it also describes sin, clothing, and riches. It has also been used to describe purification in Leviticus, Numbers, and Hebrews. Song of Solomon talks about scarlet lips in 4:3. Associated symbolism with the word describes the virtuous woman in Proverbs and beasts, fleshly nature, and brute.

Sorrel occurs once in the Revised Version (British and American), in Zechariah 1:8. It is a reddish-brown color.

Vermilion is used to describe paint on a house and in a portrait. Its color symbolism denotes unrighteousness and lust. Sym., this color refers to rust or corruption and paint or a false covering.

White is a familiar color to most people in its meaning and symbolism. Literally, it was used to describe animals, plant flesh, teeth, manna, leprosy, linen, garments, hair, compared as milk and snow, stone, clouds, fields, coriander seeds, and a throne. Sym., it means purity, refinement, heavenly, righteousness, victory, and even false righteousness in Matthew 23 and Acts 23. You will also see it compared to the "milk of the Word" or first teachings.

Yellow is used to describe leperous hair, gold, and pavement in Esther.

For the sake of time and space, I won't discuss the indefinite colors that indicated lights and darks of color mixtures.

This was an interesting study to me. It will help you read and see the Scriptures in a whole new light. It will help you envision what the passage is describing and see clearer what the author meant or was trying to convey. It will help you delve into the culture of the day and understand Scripture contextually. I hope you can use some of the information I've presented here. It is by no means all-inclusive or exhaustive. There are probably many more instances of color usage in the Bible, but this will give you a great start and will help you study and research for yourself.

Have a colorful and wise Wednesday!

(My research and resources have come from the Bible, Webster's dictionary,, and other web/internet sources)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008



This lesson today will be easy, can be inexpensive, fun and creative, and useful. Any location where tea is served should, if at all possible, have a little thought put into it so that your whole tea experience is enhanced the more. Now sometimes, we just don't have time, but if you have even just a few minutes, make a scene where you enjoy the look of the spot you're sipping tea from, as much as the tea itself. You can even leave your favorite tea sipping spot decorated permanently so that it's ready every time you are. Think of refreshing its look every now and then though. Let's talk about tea table pick-me-ups, whether it's your private spot, tea for two, or a whole party--doing little things to make a scene!!

Let's start with your own private spot. Find your favorite spot at home. Is it your easy chair? Is it a private corner in your bedroom? Is it a window seat or your own special room if you're blessed to have a room all to yourself. I have a friend whose husband built her a study/devotion room onto their house with a wonderful window she can look out of and enjoy God's handiwork. It's all hers and she enjoys her little doggy, her books, and of course, a cup of tea. What would you like to see in your private spot? Is there greenery, books, flowers in a vase, a beautiful tablecloth, or a beautiful tea set to look at as well as enjoy?

Surround yourself with pleasant things, even something that smells good. Indulge all of the senses. Your tea will indulge your palet. The smell of lavendar or a spring fruit will indulge your nose. The soft feel of a tablecloth or texture of lace will be a welcome addition. The pleasant view of a portrait of family or a picture will be nice to look at. Have the latest book you've been wanting to finish and your Bible nearby; maybe a notebook or journal and pen should be there too. If you like antiques, add a quill pen and old ink bottle with mottled paper. Add a vintage frame with a favorite grandparent or aunt. There are so many things you can do. These are more "vintage" or older looking ideas (my favorite), but if you're a more modern person, add modern art, an ecclectic vase with exotic flowers, modern jewelry on a vintage neckstand, a cool, chic lamp, and something thrown across the back of the chair.

For a larger spot that will be set up to serve more than two, think of putting up temporary, draping, window treatments in the area, something that looks wispy, peaceful, and soft. Make sure flowers, fresh if possible (although there are some incredible faux flowers that will do just fine), are everywhere. If you can get indoor trees, that will be a great addition as well. Have mini tea sets placed strategically throughout the area. They are whimsical and precious to look at. Use pieces to various tea sets (not being used for the party) to place short and tall flowers in. Place pre-folded, fabric napkins in cute little tea cups. Make the air smell fresh or florally. Think of something that could be hung from the ceiling (if the space is not crowded and this won't make your space overwhelmingly crowded). Again, there is just so much you can do.

Making your space precious and even memorable, if you'll be having company, just makes for such a complete tea experiene. You can even use the tea leaves or tea canisters themselves as decoration and scent. You can place dried tea leaves in vintage bowls on nearby tables. This is great decoration and tea leaves have a slight scent. I have seen some beautifully decorated tea canisters that will serve as readily-available, beautiful decoration, if you already own them. Don't hide them in the cabinets; bring them out and use them double duty! I have included pictures throughout this post to give you some ideas. Play around with these and some of your own great ideas and create your "tea scene." Keep some permanent things in place in "your spot" so that you won't have to re-decorate every time you are there. Change out for the seasons or special occasions though. This will be fun too.

I hope you've been challenged to be creative and have unforgettable tea moments. Do it alone, or invite a friend to enjoy what you've done. Comment and let me hear of some ideas you've already tried or would like to. I'm always looking for something new to do or expand on what I'm already doing.

The tea-cha is off to enjoy the rest of her day now. I'll TRY and post tomorrow.

Pictures courtesy of,,,,, and

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Today I went to a site I like to check in on every now and then ( It's a neat site and there is a post for today that got my attention and asks the following:

If you could go back in time to a pivotal point in your young life and give yourself one word/sentence of advice, and know that you would accept the advice, what would it be?
Imagine what a gift it would be if we could actually go back in time and give ourselves advice…Hmm… Of course we cannot, but I think this is a great question for us to ponder. Although, I think many of us would agree that we learned more from the mistakes we made, but wouldn’t it be nice to not have to learn the “hard way” in some situations? Have fun with the question this week.
I cannot wait to read your responses…

Click on the link I provided above to join in. I thought I'd give it a try; just ponder on what advice I'd give myself and share my thoughts with you. Here's what I came up with--
If I could go back and give myself advice, if I could stand over me and speak into my life, if I knew I would have been receptive and listened, here's what I would have told myself and then followed through: Know who you are in Christ as a single woman. Don't pray for a husband as much as pray that God uses you in the season you're in right now (as a single person) and that you pursue Him with all diligence. Turn your affections and devotion toward Him and no one else. If you are to be married, pray for your future husband and don't let your worldly thinking and flesh choose him for you. Wait on the Lord. Pray that you're the kind of woman God wants you to be when or if He chooses to send a husband your way. Pray that you are mature and ready for him (the future husband). Find out what God's Word has to say about being a woman of God and wife. Once you know, make the decision to follow through. God will honor His Word and your decision.
These are the things I would have told myself. These are the things that I wished I had done, although God has graciously and mercifully used my bad decisions for good and for His glory. Oh, had I listened to the advice given me sometimes growing up... Oh, had I had someone telling me things I needed to know and pouring themselves into my life... But God...:)


Well, of course I'm going to tell ya. I consulted "old reliable," Ellie Kay, the savings and financial expert, to see how we can be good stewards of God's money this month. Here's what she found we can save on and the best month out of the year to buy these items:
Floor Coverings
While the list is small this month, it's pretty significant. Obviously if you plan on moving or building a new house, or just refreshing and renewing the one you have, June is a good month to do it. You can save on your large purchases by looking around, comparing prices, and buying this month. And now, my little "diddy" or story to go with this month's items (you know I always do this):
"Oh honey, I so love the new bedding we got. It's so luxurious and soft." "Thanks. I got it at that new store in the shopping center up the street. You know, next to Dale's Floor Coverings." "Oh yeah, speaking of Dale's Floor Coverings. I went by there, and the price to put in the new living room floor as compared to the larger DIY stores is too high. I can get the same flooring put in for $50.00 less per square foot." "Well, I'm glad you checked. BTW, I was thinking that we'd give our old furniture in the living room to a single woman or college student moving into their own apartment and put new furniture in after the floor is down, if we can find what we're wanting and can fit it in the budget of course." "Great idea. We'll look and then talk about it. Let's go look over the budget for the month again. Where we saved for the last 6 months on certain things, I can see where we may be able to squeeze in a much needed new refrigerator when we buy the furniture." "Hey, I see in the entertainment section of our budget we've accumulated a pretty decent amount. All this thinking and saving has made me hungry. Let's go out to eat tonight and catch a movie." "I'm all for it."
Have a great Saturday! Have fun, but stay within your budget (or means).