Monday, May 31, 2021

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 05/31/2021 }

Good morning dear friends, hope you've all had a good long weekend, and that you have a blessed Memorial Day today.
 
As always, our thoughts and prayers go out to all the men and women who perished while on duty, to serve this beautiful country we live in, as well as their families.
 
May we always remember and be grateful for their ultimate sacrifice.
 
Last week was a hard one for us as a family, we have been feeling the hits, constantly, for the past year and a half.  It's draining, and I have moments of sheer panic and overwhelming anxiety.  It is something I never suffered from, until I started my perimenopause.  It's still not something I feel often, but when I do, the anxiety is so overwhelming that I feel like I can't even breathe.
 
But, I know many others out there have been struggling with life too.  The spiritual warfare we find ourselves under, is so strong and doesn't seem to let up from one thing to the other.  It's disheartening, but as Christians, we learn to stand strong, to fall down but get right back up, and to push one foot in front of the other.  It's not always easy to do, but it's doable nonetheless.  
 
Anyway, I am praying fervently for a week of blessings, breakthroughs and restoration, not only for my family but for yours as well.

Happy Homemaker Monday
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The weather::: 
We have had quite a lot of rain lately, and a bit more today.  It's actually raining at the moment and is supposed to last all day.  The temperatures have now settled in the 80s, so lots of warmth around here too. 
 
Monday - Thunderstorms, 73
Tuesday - Cloudy, 75
Wednesday - Mostly sunny, 80
Thursday - Partly cloudy, 83
Friday - Partly cloudy, 83
Saturday - Partly cloudy, 82
Sunday - Isolated Thunderstorms, 80
 
 
On my reading pile::: 
It is What you Make of It by Justin McRoberts.
 

 

On my TV:::  
Watched The Last Days on Netflix.  It is a Holocaust  documentary, telling the lives of some of the survivors and what they went through, including some never before seen footage, as well as interviews with some American Army Soldiers involved in the liberation of Auschwitz.  Very good, but as with all Holocaust documentaries, very sad and hard to watch.   



 
On the menu for this week:::
 
Monday -  Copycat KFC Bowls
Tuesday - Farmer's Pork Chops and Potatoes, Salad
Wednesday - Chicken and Dumpling Skillet with Gnocchi
Thursday - Copycat Cracker Barrel Roast, Butter Spaghetti, Salad
Friday - Instant Pot 40 Cloves Garlic chicken, Rice
Saturday - Copycat Big Macs and Fries
Sunday - Cheesy Beef and Bean Tacos


On my to do list::: 
Yard - We are working on making a parking area for visitors.  Building a small fence enclosure and then putting down rocks as well.
Garden -  We are also working on creating a memory garden, for my mother in law, Curt's grandma, and my grandmothers and great grandma as well.  Will show you all when that is finished.
Home - usual homemaking
Doctor - need to call my OB to see about a refill for my patches, will most likely need to go in for an appointment
Vet - make Marley's follow up appointment for next week

 
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::: 
Still working on the Sweet Blossom Blanket from Sue Rawlinson of Sweet Pea Crochet.   I set it aside for last week, because I realized that the last row I made, is off by a few stitches and I need to go back, see where the mistake is and possibly pull it back a bit.  Not looking forward to that at all.


 
Looking around the house::: 
Woke up this morning to find Elliott had thrown up his food in the kitchen.  He doesn't throw up often at all, matter of fact he only threw up once a few months ago.  Not sure why he threw up, but I'm thinking a hair ball.  He has super long fur and is constantly grooming, but yes, not something I wanted to wake up to.
The house is pretty dark right now due to the rain outside.  Marley is asleep on the bed next to me, Elliott is asleep on the floor next to me.  Curt is on his computer, Jasmine and Nick are also still asleep, though Jas is going to be up for work soon.  She is so exhausted, she worked a 50 hour week last week, and looks like more of that is in the books for this coming week.  

I need to vacuum the den/dining area and living room.  Aside from that, the house is clean and tidy.

 
 
From the camera::: 
There is something so rewarding about growing your own food.  The whole process from preparing the garden, to sowing seeds and then watching it grow.  Love it.   
 


Something fun to share::: 
Bringing you another wonderful video from the channel Homewood Stoves on Youtube.  I just love watching their videos.  This time we get to learn a new recipe for a No Knead Bread.  Hope you enjoy!




On my prayer list::: 
♥♥  Our Marley.  This morning we started him on Apoquel.  He has been off the steroids now for 3 days, and we are really hoping that Apoquel is the magic pill to get that swelling to go down.  Aside from the swelling, he is our normal happy Marley, it doesn't seem to bother him at all.  I think it all bothers us more than him, to be honest.  
♥♥  Really need prayers for my sister in law Hayley.  She found a lump on her breast, had a mammogram and sonogram done, and now needs to go in for a biopsy.  Please keep her in your prayers.  


Quote of the week:::
"We need to learn to speak TO the darkness that we are facing, and not ABOUT the darkness." 
- Pastor Gregory Dickow

Wow!!  Was that a quote directly for me.  

My stepmom had shared Pastor Dickow with me, about two weeks ago.  She said he was so good to listen to, and that she was really enjoying his messages.  I was so stuck and under a dark cloud last week, that I didn't get to really listen to anything.  But yesterday, I felt a push to watch his videos and as always, it was as if he was speaking about our struggles and what we are dealing with.

I realized that I spend so much time thinking about, and talking about the darkness that is over our lives at the moment, that all I am doing is giving it energy and power.  I need to be speaking TO the darkness, rebuking it, commanding it gone.  Whew, that was a wake up.

If anyone else is going through a hard time, whatever it may be, remember this quote to.  Don't speak about it, speak directly to it, and command it be gone from your life, in Jesus name.




Tuesday, May 25, 2021

{ A Rainy Day in the Garden, and a few antique store finds }

May 25, 2021 

The sun has just come out, the skies are a beautiful pale blue, and the rain has moved on.
 
But earlier today, it poured, and when I say it poured, I mean it really poured down.

I had dropped Jasmine off and was on the way back home, when it started.  Within 2 minutes, I had my windshield wipers on full blast and still struggling to see the road ahead.  When the weather gets like this, I slow down, it doesn't matter what the speed limit is, I believe in being cautious, so I take my time.

It doesn't help that my car also seems to hate wet roads, and has a tendency to slide.  It makes me so nervous every time it does, because no matter how slow I'm going, it hits water on the road and starts sliding.  Nerve wrecking!

I made it home safe and sound, parked in the driveway, and then ran for the porch.  I still ended up looking like a drowned rat, that's how hard it was raining.

May 25, 2021 

I've mentioned before how both Marley and Elliott are scared of storms, and even though Nick was up and in the office, on his computer, they were both at the front door waiting for me to return. 
 
I had no sooner opened the door, when a loud thunder and lightning cracked right in the front yard, sending me running into the house with a scream.
 
Marley scattered one way in fear, Elliott ran to hide so fast, it was almost a blur.  My goodness, the storms in Texas are intimidating.

May 25, 2021 

Scary but beautiful at the same time. I love stepping outside to see not only the rain falling, but the aftermath. 
 
Sparkly drops hanging on flower petals, or just at the tip of a leaf, dangling, waiting to fall to the ground.  

These are the moments I grab my camera and am thankful for not only loving photography, but being able to capture such lovely snapshots of an otherwise normal day.

How many times do you actually stop to look at raindrops on a flower, or a blade of grass?  I never used to, until I started blogging and then it became normal, to always have the camera nearby for times such as these.

May 25, 2021

The garden is loving all the rain, as is expected.  The flowers are blooming and showing off their gorgeous colors and designs, the vegetables are growing in leaps and bounds, matter of fact, I've already harvested lettuce and green onions.  

May 25, 2021

May 25, 2021

May 25, 2021

May 25, 2021

May 25, 2021

So pretty!!!
 
Of course, the birds are also loving the warm weather, and it's quite interesting watching them during rain storms.  Some hide in trees , while others take that moment to do fly bys in the yard, back and forth, landing on the fences and fluffing their feathers.

May 25, 2021

May 25, 2021 

Before I show you the few things I got at the antique store this weekend, let me show you our Elliott. He is so cute, naughty, but cute. Hahahah 

May 25, 2021

The first thing I got was this little sign.  It is handmade as you can tell, but I love imperfect things items.  I don't like anything to look pristine and new, because I find that the more imperfect they look, the more they fit in with my simplistic country/primitive look.

May 25, 2021

I have been looking for some baskets to reorganize my pantry, and these were pretty cheap, so got two.

May 25, 2021

May 25, 2021

You'll have to excuse the Elliott foot, you know cats, they have to be in every basket they find.  
Then I saw this book, and immediately grabbed it.  It was just a dollar.

Little Women is one of my favorite books of all time, and the fact that it is an old book, just makes it that much more appealing.  It's going right on my shelf along with the other old books I've collected over the years.

May 25, 2021

It wasn't a lot of things, but they were things that caught my eye and will be used and loved here in our home.
 
I hope you enjoyed the flowers, the rain shots and seeing what I picked up over the weekend.   

Monday, May 24, 2021

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 05/24/2021 }

Good morning everyone, hope you've had a wonderful weekend.
 
Ours was pretty good.  We celebrated my husband's 48th birthday on Saturday, then Sunday we went to church as a family, the kids came with and it was wonderful of course.  We followed that up with a lunch at IHOP, then came home and just relaxed the rest of the day.
 
Before I go on with the Happy Homemaker Monday, I thought I would quickly answer a question that seems to come up quite often.  I don't know why, or why this issue even matters, but I'm constantly being asked about my prayer list in this feature, and why I used to have the President on there and I don't anymore.
 
The answer is simple.  Just because I don't name people on there specifically, it doesn't mean I don't pray for them.  The reason I don't post about any political people I'm praying for, is because it seemed to cause major drama.  I had some pretty nasty anonymous comments, and I don't want my blog to become anything political at all.
 
This blog has never been about politics and it never will be.  It is about homemaking, my Christian faith, my family, our life, cooking and crafts and so on.  

So no, I will no longer, ever actually, post anything political including who I am or am not praying for.  Praying is something personal, and who each person prays for, shouldn't even be brought into question, in my opinion.

I hope that answers the questions, and that we can put that issue to rest and just move on with our usual  homemaking shenanigans.

Right, let's get on now.  Wishing you all a blessed week ahead!

Happy Homemaker Monday
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The weather::: 
Quite rainy weather lately.  Looks like another rainy week ahead, which is fine, it cools things down because Texas seems to have gone straight into summer heat. 
 
Monday - Scattered Thunderstorms, 78
Tuesday - Isolated Thunderstorms, 85
Wednesday - Partly cloudy, 90
Thursday - PM Thunderstorms, 90
Friday - Scattered Thunderstorms, 80
Saturday - AM Thunderstorms, 85
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 85
 
 
On my reading pile::: 
It is What you Make of It by Justin McRoberts, for an upcoming book review.  


On my TV:::  
Been watching some Brazilian Crime Channels on Youtube, as well as the usual slow living vlogs.
 
 
On the menu for this week:::
Have a plan until Friday but then need to get groceries, so I'll be working on the new menu throughout the week.
 
Monday -  Creamy Swiss Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Salad
Tuesday - Poor Man's Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Macaroni and Cheese
Wednesday - Garlic Beef and Broccoli, Basmati Rice
Thursday - Ono's Hawaiian Chicken, Aioli Spaghetti
Friday - *Grocery Shopping*


On my to do list::: 
Housework - Usual tidy up, dusting.
Grocery Shopping on Friday

 
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::: 
Still working on the Sweet Blossom Blanket from Sue Rawlinson of Sweet Pea Crochet.  
 
 
 
Looking around the house::: 
It is quite dark, cloudy and rainy outside.  It's pretty warm in the house, so I have some of the overhead fans on to circulate the air a bit.
Hubby is getting ready for work, so is Jasmine.  Nick as always, is still asleep. 

 
 
From the camera::: 
The progress of the crochet blanket.      



Something fun to share::: 
Sharing something a little different today, instead of a video I'm giving you a website.  I mentioned it in my previous post, which was Sandra's Saturday Surfing.  
 
Wayback Machine let's you put in a link to a website and see exactly what it looked like years before.  It was quite fun seeing my blog as it was back in 2006 and so forth.  The templates, what I was sharing, oh it was just a trip back in time.  Give it a try.  
 

On my prayer list::: 
Our Marley, as we navigate this craziness that is going on with him.  Thank you to the person who mentioned Lyme Disease, that is something we will bring to the Vet and have them test for. 
 
 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

{ Sandra's Saturday Surfing }

Back in 2006, I had started a feature on my blog called Sandra's Saturday Surfing.  I just wanted to share the websites I had visited, blogs I was enjoying, or any other internet site I had come across that I found interesting.

While looking through old blog posts earlier today, I came across it again and thought "Oh, how neat, and it is Saturday, maybe I can put one up today, that would be fun."

I looked through some of the old sites I shared, and let's just say that 90% of them are no longer available.  Makes sense, since they were linked back in 2006.  

This is the graphic I used, I had made it and was so proud of myself for putting it together.  


I have to smile at that.  It is so reminiscent of the kind of graphic I made and used back in the day.  Actually makes me miss my early blogging days even more.

However, times have changed, and I love using my own photos now.  I find it keeps at bay the usual copyright issues that you can run into, when using someone else's photo or a graphic that you find through Google.


I love this photo.  I think I took it back in 2017 or 2018, not quite sure.  I still had my desk at the living room window, and by the way, I loved having that little spot.  I have a beautiful view from my big windows, and found it so calming sitting there at the computer, typing away, while enjoying the trees, the field, the birds and the wildlife around.

Anyway, it is a rainy morning, it's cloudy and pouring it down outside.  It is also my husband's birthday, he turns 48 today.

We were just talking about how crazy it is to think that we are inching ever so close to 50.  Still feel like little kids, who just got married last year and have had our first baby.  Reality though is that we are middle aged, with a 22 and an 18 year old.  

We have no plans for today, but tomorrow the entire family, including my brother and his family, are attending church.  That was the only thing my husband wanted for his birthday, no gifts, no parties or get togethers, just for the family to attend church with him in the morning.  And that is what we will do.

Now, onto our Saturday Surfing.  Let's see where I've been this week, you ready?
 

Paperbackswap - I've talked about this one site many times, I ordered some new books with the credits I had available, and was even lucky enough to be gifted a free book from another member.  
 

Thrift Books - We use this site to look for textbooks for Curt's college course.  There are so many wonderful books available for really good prices.
 

YouTube - of course, I am on there every single day, watching vlogs, slow living videos and all sorts of documentaries.  Speaking of which, I am currently watching British History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley.
 

Mennonite Girls Can Cook - I have followed this blog since 2009, and unfortunately they stopped sharing recipes in 2018, but they still have over 3000 recipes available.  Some of the best, home cooked, simple, belly filling recipes you could wish for.


MapCrunch - Ok this website is so cool.  Basically every day you visit, there is a new location that Google Maps has brought you to.  All you do is explore the area, look around and enjoy the scenery.  It's a fun way to visit a little corner of the world, every single day, from the comfort of your home.


Wayback Machine - Oh wow.  I accidentally found this internet archive, and I've had the best time looking back on some websites and my own blog.  Just enter it a web address and it will show you which years you can pop back into.  I guess it saves your address a bunch of times, over years, and you can go back and see exactly what your website looked like.  It's been a trip down memory lane, for sure.  I actually got teary eyed looking at some of my old templates, blogs I followed, and even found some widgets that I had lost a long time ago, that I can now bring back to life on the blog.


Radio Garden - This is such a fun website.  I use it to listen to radio from Portugal and South Africa, but you can search any location in the world.  Do you want to listen to radio stations in England, Poland, Japan.  Any country, city, you can listen to instant radio.   It is amazing, give it a try.


So there you go, my Saturday Surfing.  I will probably keep this feature going every week, it will be fun to share new sites with you.

Have a blessed Saturday friends!

Friday, May 21, 2021

{ Faith and Food Friday #1}

 

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. - Matthew 11:28-29 
 
 
Of the things in my life that I love the most, aside from my husband and children, the Lord is number one on the list.   Then there are other things I enjoy, like cooking, photography and crocheting.

As you know, here on the blog, I love to share my life as a homemaker, what I'm doing, what my days are like, things I enjoy, places I visit etc.

While trying to figure out how to make the process back to daily blogging, I find that the easiest way to do that, is to have a bit of a schedule or specific days or posts, like the Happy Homemaker Monday, that keep me on track.  

About a week and a half ago, this thought came to me.  Why not do a feature that brings both your love for God and your love for cooking together?  Pick a day in the week, obviously not Monday, but one of the others, and then find something that you can share or talk about.  But it must be something you will want to come back and share every week.

As I sat and thought on this, the name Faith and Food Friday  popped into my head.  I immediately thanked God, for I knew where it came from, it was His idea and not mine.  I've talked often about those little nudges He gives me at times, words, pushes in a specific direction, a video I needed to watch, a story I needed to read, and so on.

I couldn't believe just how simple but to the point it was.  Perfect, just as He is!

So starting today, this Friday the 21st of May, 2021, I am kicking off the very first Faith and Food Friday.


What is it?  

Well, it is just a simple way for me to share the Lord's word, a scripture, or a lesson I have learned that past week.....along with a recipe.  What better way to feed our bodies and our soul, right?

I'm hoping it is also an encouragement for you to stop and spend some time the Father.  We all have such busy lives, and sometimes we use the excuse of not having a moment to read the Bible, or to pray. 

With this Friday feature, I'm hoping that at least on Fridays you will slow down, pull out the Bible, read a verse, say a prayer and start the habit of spending time with the word.

Maybe you will start just on Fridays, then add one more day, and another, until you are in the habit of being with Him, every day.  At least that is my hope for you.

If you want to join in, you are more than welcome to.  Share a favorite verse, a devotional, a lesson you've learned or are in the process of learning, a testimony and a favorite recipe.


Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. 
Acts 2:46 
 
 
I hope you will join me on this journey, to a closer relationship with God.    
 
Together, we can fill our hearts and work towards being more like Jesus...while also filling our tummies and exchanging some family favorite recipes. 


IMG_0585


Creamy Oregano Chicken

 
4 chicken breasts, skinless, and pounded down to 1/2 inch thickness (I usually will take the breasts and slice them in half lengthwise)
Milk and bread crumbs for dredging
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup chicken broth
Minced garlic
3/4 cup whipping cream
Black pepper to taste and oregano to taste
Parmesan cheese 


Dredge the chicken breasts in the milk and then in the flour. 

In a skillet, melt the butter and then fry the chicken until done.  It will take about 10 minutes, flipping over halfway through.  Set aside and keep warm.

When done, scrape all the bits from the bottom of the skillet, add in the chicken broth and garlic, and cook for about a minute.  Add in the heavy cream, black pepper and oregano, and finish off with some Parmesan cheese to taste.

Combine well and let it thicken slightly, over slow heat.  Pour over the chicken and serve immediately.

I served ours with egg noodles, and a side salad.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

{ Marley's ongoing health issues }


We've been on a roller coaster the past 2 months, with Marley's health.  

He's always suffered from allergies, but they seem to have gotten worse over the past few months, and then his lymph nodes started swelling up.  We knew then that something was not right and took him to the vet.

I've talked about this before, it was suspected that he had some sort of infection going on, because his blood work had come back negative for cancer or anything else.  He did a treatment of steroids and antibiotics, and even though it helped the infection, it didn't solve the problem.

We were sent home and told to give him Benadryl.  Over the next month that what we did but the lymph nodes never went down.

He started running a bit of a temperature and so we decided to take him to a different vet for a second opinion.

She was shocked at how big his lymph nodes were.  Again, the possibility of an infection was mentioned and he is now on a one month treatment of steroids and a broad spectrum antibiotic.

We just went back yesterday for a reevaluation to see if we are on the right track, but unfortunately his glands continue to be swollen, though they tend to fluctuate.  They go down, they come back up, go down and come back up.

It is the strangest thing.

The vet was and is perplexed and said she has never seen a case like this.  She called in a specialist and the specialist herself is confused and perplexed as well.

So, this is where we now stand.

I will tell you that Curt and I are almost 1000% convinced it is allergy related.  I don't feel in my spirit that it is cancer.  I have a peace about this situation that can only come from God, and I've prayed on this, and the answer I always get is "he will be fine, it's not cancer".

The thing is, we can't rule anything out.

Both the vet and the specialist have told us that we can't rule out cancer yet, because sometimes cancer will cause the nodes to swell up, and shrink back down and so forth.  (not that I'm questioning the doctors, but that just doesn't sound right to me)

Our plan of attack at the moment, is to finish off the next 2 weeks of the antibiotic and tapering off the steroids, once the steroids are done, we are starting him on Apoquel which is a prescription medicine for allergies.

A week after that we will go back in for a reevaluation.

At that point, if it is allergies, and the Apoquel has worked, the lymph nodes should be back to normal size.  If not, then we will need to aspirate one of the swollen nodes, and send it in to the lab for diagnostic.

IMG_0004

It's never something we want to even think about.  I told the vet yesterday that I don't want to hear the word cancer, but I understand that we have to rule everything out.
 
I have been struggling with this the past two months, because the thought of my baby boy being unwell, breaks my heart.  God sent him to us to heal the pain of losing Lola, and I can't imagine that He would allow him to be taken from us after just 4 years.  
 
But, with that said.  We can't question God's plans or His will.  
 
After leaving the vet yesterday, I released it all into His hands.  I finally let it go, and said "Lord you know how much Marley means to me, to us.  I am releasing him unto your hands, Lord do as you will, we will just follow whatever the plan is."
 
It was a relief, like a flowing rush of stress being removed.  It felt so good to just let it go, to not carry that weight on my shoulders and not fight it.
 
Again, I felt that overpowering feeling of "it's not cancer, he will be fine".
 
After arriving back home, doing dinner, and the nightly routine, I took my shower, got into bed and opened Instagram.  The very first post I saw was from Prophet Charlie Shamp, and it said this:
 
I prophesy to you tonight that where they told you that it will never work and that it's impossible;  suddenly it will rearrange!
The possibilities will be endless and the blessings will be bottomless.  I prophesy this season you will swim in the miraculous.
 
Wow!!!
 
Confirmation of what He has been telling me all along.  Right there.  Have you noticed that when you are needing a word of comfort, you will read something, hearing something, or watch something that seems to be just what you were needing?
 
It happens to me all the time.
 
In ending this post, I wanted to ask you to please continue to keep Marley in your prayers, and keep us in your prayers as well.  For us to find the correct treatment to make him better, for us to have the peace that we need to move through this trial, and for us to have the finances to afford whatever is needed.
 
I will tell you that just the past 2 months we've spent over $700 in vet appointments, medication and blood tests.  
 
It's something we do willingly, and we will do whatever is in our grasp to make our baby boy healthy again.
 
But in the meantime, we leave it in the hands of the Almighty God, for He is the doctor of doctors, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the King of King and the Lords of Hosts.
 
His will be done!  

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

{ Don't give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table by Louis Giglio - TLC Book Tours }


Hardcover: 224 Pages

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 11, 2021)

Louie Giglio helps you find encouragement, hope, and strength in the midst of any valley as you reject the enemy voices of fear, rage, lust, insecurity, anxiety, despair, temptation, or defeat.

Scripture is clear: the Enemy is a liar who will stop at nothing to tempt you into poor decisions and self-defeating mindsets, making you feel afraid, angry, anxious, or defeated. It is all too easy for Satan to weasel his way into a seat at the table intended for only you and your King. But you can fight back.

Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table outlines the ways to overcome those lies so you can find peace and security in any challenging circumstance or situation. With the same bold, exciting approach to Scripture as employed in Goliath Must Fall and his other previous works, pastor Louie Giglio examines Psalm 23 in fresh ways, highlighting verse 5: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

You can find freedom from insecurity, temptation, and defeat—if you allow Jesus, the Shepherd, to lead the battle for your mind and heart. This spiritual warfare book for those who are leery of spiritual warfare books will resonate with Louie’s core Passion tribe as well as with Christians of all ages who want to live a triumphant life in God.

Purchase Links

Thomas NelsonAmazon | Barnes & Noble

About Louie Giglio

Louie Giglio is Pastor of Passion City Church and Original Visionary of the Passion movement, which exists to call a generation to leverage their lives for the fame of Jesus.

Since 1997, Passion Conferences has gathered collegiate-aged young people in events across the US and around the world. Most recently, Passion hosted over 700,000 people from over 150 countries online at Passion 2021.

Louie is the national-bestselling author of over a dozen books including his newest release, Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table, as well as Goliath Must FallIndescribable: 100 Devotions about God & ScienceThe Comeback, The Air I Breathe, I Am Not But I Know I Am, and others. As a communicator, Louie is widely known for messages like Indescribable and How Great is Our God.

An Atlanta native and graduate of Georgia State University, Louie has done post-graduate work at Baylor University and holds a master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Louie and Shelley make their home in Atlanta.

Connect with Louie

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

REVIEW:

I have said lately that it feels like we have been in a Spiritual War, for over a year.  It is exhausting and physically and mentally draining.

As Christians we are taught to fight, to take up our swords and God's living word, and to fight the battles that the enemy throws into our lives.  For the most part we do.  Some do it easily, a skill no doubt they've learned over their many years on this planet.....others, like me, not so easily.  We struggle, we worry, we stress, we fight but not the way we are supposed to.  We fight the mere notion of the battle and not the battle itself.

This book couldn't have come at a better time for me.  

The past year and a half has seen our lives turned upside down, many times, with different trials and tribulations.  If I were a soldier fully armored and just coming home from a battle on the field, I would be the soldier covered in blood, with an armor completely destroyed, limping with my head down.

That's how I've felt lately.

Louis Giglio teaches us how not to give into that battle, but fight through it.  He reminds us that the enemy is a liar, a manipulator, and that he uses our thoughts against us.  The worry, the negative thoughts, the feeling of doom and gloom, it's all from him, not from God.  The power and energy we give to those, will only hinder the victory over our battles.  Yikes!!!

I've been hindering myself all along.

I was blessed to have been provided an audio copy of this magnificent book, and on my daily drives back and forth, I have listened to Louis talk about Psalm 23 and dissect it for us to better understand it.  

It's been eye opening and humbling at the same time.

God prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies.

That's a pretty significant statement.  Why would God want us seated at the table by our enemies, why would He even allowed them to share that space with us?

Well Louis explains it, in such a way that really makes you understand how we have been going about our trials, in all the wrong ways.

How many times do we ask God to remove us or the trial from our lives?  How many times do we ask Him to please solve the situation, heal our bodies, change this and change that?  *raises hand*

But how many times do we actually thank God for the struggle we are facing?  I know what a foreign concept, but my goodness how liberating and freeing.

Every time we fear, we doubt, we give into anger, we are giving the enemy an open invitation to waltz right in, and to take the best seat at our table.  

One of the things that the author said, that really hit home with me was this:

The Shepherd said you are going THROUGH the valley, not TO the valley.  Which means you will make it through, you are going to make it.  

Well now, why didn't I think of that before?  My goodness!

This book has been so good, and I'll be honest and say that I haven't quite finished it yet, but that's ok, I feel confident enough suggesting it to you all.  

Get a copy for yourself.  You will not regret it.  

The biggest thing I learned?  Even though!!!!

Even though Faith.....even though this is happening, even though that happened, even though this person said that, even though I'm struggling.....it will all be ok, because the Lord walks with us.

Amen!

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson for providing me with an audio copy of this book.



Monday, May 17, 2021

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 05/17/2021 }

Good morning dear friends, I sure hope this post finds you all well.
 
I am getting this post up quite early, as I need to get Jasmine to work for an early morning meeting.  I've had some questions about her not driving, and I thought I would quickly explain why.  
 
As many of you know, at least those that have followed me for a long time, I've often talked about Jasmine's depression and anxiety.  She is doing much better, but it's still something that she tackles on a daily basis.  One of the things that she struggles with is driving.  She wants to so badly, but her anxiety keeps her frozen and terrified of being out on the road.  She is working on it, and is slowly inching towards getting her license.  I don't push her because thankfully, I am blessed to be a homemaker, and can drive her when needed.
 
Curt and I know that she will get there in her own time, and the worst thing we could do is force her into a car when she is not ready.  So there you have it, that's the reason that I drive her around.  You know I think that as parents, sometimes we forget that just because our children become adults, it doesn't mean they stop needing us in some way or another.  
 
Anyway, now that that is out of the way, let's get on with our Happy Homemaker Monday......
 
Happy Homemaker Monday
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The weather::: 
Rainy, very rainy.  Started raining on Saturday and it's been raining ever since, with a full week of rain ahead too.  For me, unless I'm out driving in it, I absolutely love it, so I'm pretty happy.  
 
Monday - Scattered Thunderstorms, 82
Tuesday - Thunderstorms, 75
Wednesday - Scattered Thunderstorms, 79
Thursday - Scattered Thunderstorms, 76
Friday - Scattered Thunderstorms, 79
Saturday - Isolated Thunderstorms, 79
Sunday - Isolated Thunderstorms, 79
 
 
On my reading pile::: 
I've been listening to the audio book, Don't give the enemy a seat at your table by Louis Giglio.  So good, and very eye opening.  It is a review book so you'll see that coming up soon.

From my own personal library, I've grabbed Sold on a Monday by Kristina McNorris.



 
On my TV:::  
Haven't watched anything this weekend, we were busy working on our backyard, in between rain showers lol  
Long gone are the days, where this category used to have a huge list of shows, that I was watching or ready to start watching.  
 
 
On the menu for this week::: 
 
Monday -   Garlic Brown Sugar Pork Chops, Crispy Potatoes, Salad 
Tuesday -   American Chop Suey, Steamed Broccoli
Wednesday -  Salt and Pepper Chicken, Basmati Rice
Thursday -   Classic Shepherd's Pie, Salad
Friday -  Creamy Swiss Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
 
 
On my to do list::: 
Housework - Vacuum and dust, mop kitchen and bathroom floors.
                        Usual tidy up, cook etc.
 
Marley has a follow up appointment on Wednesday afternoon.

 
 
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::: 
Still plodding along on my sweet blanket.  I will take a new photo and show you all tomorrow.  By the way I am making the Sweet Blossom Blanket from Sue Rawlinson of Sweet Pea Crochet. 
 
 
 
Looking around the house::: 
It is dark due to the rain outside.  I've opened the back screen door, I do that every morning as soon as I get up.  Love fresh morning air coming into the house.
Curt just left for work, Jasmine is getting ready, Nick is sleeping.  Elliott is asleep next to me on the bed and Marley is walking around in the living room.  
In other words, usual morning activity here at home.   
 
 
From the camera::: 
I've been getting back into the habit of cooking every single night, even if I'm running around all day, I make it a point of being home in time to cook for my family.  Some times, that means preparing everything or even making dinner at 3pm, before heading out the door to get Jasmine or go to an appointment.  These two below will be going on the food blog today.   
 



Something fun to share::: 
Today's video is from By Emmy, and she shares Four Healthy Habits to Embrace Slow Living.  Emmy lives in France and shares some of the prettiest videos on Youtube.  I hope you enjoy her channel as much as I do. ♥ 
 
 
  
 
On my prayer list::: 
Still praying for our Marley.
Praying for my niece Tiffany, she is pregnant with her second baby and had some complications last week.  Thankfully everything is ok, baby is fine, but we continue praying for a healthy pregnancy.
 
 
Bible verse, Devotional::: 
Today I'm sharing a quote from the book A Prairie Girl's Faith by Stephen W. Hines.
 
Things and persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds...What we see is always affected by the light in which we look at it....you are the window through which you must see the world. 


Thursday, May 13, 2021

{ Bitter sweet moments }

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It is 6:09 PM.  
 
We have had dinner, courtesy of Qdoba Mexican Eats, animals have also been fed, my shower is taken, and I'm now sitting on my bed with my laptop.
 
I have my menu plan and grocery list notebook, laying just beside me, as I'm finishing up my list to be ready for grocery shopping in the morning.  It's one of those homemaker tasks that some may not enjoy, but I absolutely love.  Ok, the actual shopping is fun, but the act of putting it all away when you get home, is not my fave.  But still, I do it with a joyful heart!
 
So, I had already turned off my computer,  with no intentions of picking it back up, but I felt an impulse to switch it back on and get this post typed up.
 

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Oh how I've missed sharing my days.  
 
When I first started blogging, I couldn't go a day without putting a post up, and I remember a time where I was putting up two posts a day.  How I ever managed that with two little kids, I have no idea.  
 
But I think it was the excitement of sharing my life and engaging with like minded homemakers and mommies.  Those were the days!

This week has been so busy, and on top of that, I have been struggling a bit.  I was trying to explain to my stepmother what I was feeling, but couldn't find the words.  There is nothing serious going on, but yet I feel unsettled in my spirit, like my mind is filled with constant thoughts, overwhelmed, sadness.  I don't know, it's just a very strange way to feel and I can't quite put it into words.

My wonderful stepmother understood exactly what I was saying.  Bless her heart, I'm so glad she did, and I think that maybe when some of you read this, you may relate as well.

There just seem to be moments in our lives where we feel a bit discombobulated, out of sorts.  It will be be fine, I'll be ok, but that is the reality of this week. 

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One of the things that I know for sure are weighing on my heart, is the bitter sweet feeling that tomorrow, Friday the 14th, is the last day of Nick's school.  Next weekend he graduates.
 
With that realization comes a happiness because it's a huge accomplishment for him, but also a sadness that he is my last baby.  After tomorrow there will no longer be school aged children in my house, there will no longer be homeschooling lessons to get through.  
 
My goodness, how did we get to this point so quickly?

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Anyway, that is what I've been focused on, schooling, my home, and trying to get back into cooking and baking so that I can continue putting up recipes on my food blog.
 
I had mentioned a while back that I missed updating the food blog regularly, but I hadn't realized just how much until I was menu planning and went to look through the blog.  It made me sad that I didn't really have any new yummy recipes on there.
 
I've also realized that I'm getting a bit tired of making the same thing over and over, it's time for a change, for new meals, for long hours digging through my cookbook collection.  Yes I think that is definitely in the future.

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I've spent some time in the garden, tending to the plants, fruit trees and vegetables.  Even though our weather is a bit on the strange side at the moment.  I feel like I water the plants and then get a downpour of rain the next 2 days in a row.

At which point I stop watering, and then suddenly we have high temps for a week at a time, no rain and I'm left to scramble to get everything watered again.  Even then, the garden is thriving, fruit is growing, vegetables are growing, flowers are blooming.

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The moments I do have to myself, I am choosing to fill with my crochet blanket and random shows or movies on the tv.
 
Yesterday, Jasmine had the day off, so we sat and watched a very sweet animated movie, called "The Secret World of Arrietty".
 
 
It reminded me of one of my favorite shows when I was a child, called The Littles.  They lived in the walls of a house, and would borrow all sorts of things to make their homes.    
 
 
I would rush home from school to be sure I didn't miss a single episode, and then I would sit and imagine what it would be like if I were one of them.  By the way, all the episodes are on Youtube.  Don't ask how I know!  Hahaha
 
I was just thinking the other day, that just a few years ago, two or three, I could pick a series and stay with it, watch it all the way through and it would have my attention.
 
Maybe I'm getting older, or maybe it's just the way that life has been going, but I can't seem to do that anymore, which means, I have a huge and I mean HUGE list of movies and shows I want to watch.  Problem is when I get a moment to watch something, I just can't pick one or I feel like I'm not in the mood for any on the list.
 
Anyone else?
 
It's so weird.  But I did spend some time adding new shows/movies to my Netflix and Amazon lists, hopefully soon I'll sit down and actually watch something and not just let it sit there.

It's sort of how I tackle list making.  Love the process, love making lists.  Do I use them?

Nope.  I never do.  I don't know why I even bother making them.  Boy I'm just a mess aren't I?

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Yesterday I had a craving for some sort of cinnamon something.  Not sure what to make, I rummaged through my fridge and found a can of biscuits that needed to be used up.

I flattened them up, spread on some butter, sugar and cinnamon, cut them into strips, twisted them slightly and baked them.  Then I dusted them with powdered sugar.  So good, so easy, and the kids gobbled them up quicker than I could get them out the pan.

It's a great way to use up refrigerated biscuits.

In ending this post, I wanted to say a huge thank you to all who left such kind comments on my previous post, titled "Back to my Roots".    I was overwhelmed by the kindness and sweet comments from so many of you who are still here reading, years and years after you first found my blog.  What a blessing, thank you so much.

And yes, I am really trying to get back into the old daily posting.  Fingers crossed, hopefully now that school is finishing up tomorrow, it will be easier.

Well friends, I hope you all have a blessed night.  I am going to finish up my grocery list, read my bible and get some more rows done on my crochet blanket.



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