"You are where you are for such a time as this -- not to make an impression -- but to make a difference." AnnVoskamp

Monday, January 27, 2014

Gifts in the Kitchen

Ah. The kitchen. This is my domain! I love to cook so I spend lot’s of time in this room!

671.  My pantry is almost always full. I have never really had to go hungry. I have been blessed my whole life with plenty to eat – and many times I have sinned and eaten too much. I’m trying to focus on healthy eating with healthy portions. I don’t want to take advantage of the bounty God has blessed me with.


672. I do enjoy my cup of coffee. My first cup of the day is always on my night stand by my bed.  : )  I know, I know, I am spoiled rotten by the husband!

My second cup, I get in the kitchen. This is a luxury that I enjoy.


673.  I often run out of ideas for meals. I found a “menu planner” that includes a grocery list. I have used these for over a year now and I’m not sure how I managed before. I’m so thankful that someone created this for my organization!  (I will make this picture larger so you can get the idea of how easy it is. I just take this to the grocery store to shop and then have it on the counter in the kitchen during the week with the meal plans.)


     I think you can see this one better.

674. (I really can count but I wanted to add this because she’s cute!)

I have a “kitchen angel” and I really like her. She sits up in the corner and looks out over my kitchen! I am blessed to have items in my home that makes me smile!


                                                      She sets way up here!


     Here she is close up!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Gift Before Dawn, At Noon, After Dark

668. A Gift Before Dawn: This is a funny one!! I am NOT a morning person! Last week the husband had oral surgery. He always takes A. to school. I needed to fill in the gap for a few days…  Ugh.. It was hard to have a “cheerful heart” during the early mornings but I persevered! It’s a gift to have the privilege of being able to help rear another child. It seems as if I was born for this! I remember when the oldest grandson moved to live with his momma, I had had a child in the home for 32 years. Once he left, it was a strange feeling! But I enjoyed that time, too. So, God has placed another young one in my home. – or placed me in the home of another young one! I’ve enjoyed it! (most of the time) – I mean really, let’s be honest here – he is a teen after all! : )

669. A Gift At Noon:  Today at noon we were bringing our van home. We have a van and we often get to loan it to our youth minister to take kids to events. (when he has a small group)  He was able to take a few teens to a Christian Concert last evening and I am so very thankful we have a vehicle that he can use.

670. A Gift After Dark: Sunday evenings we always plan to watch “Downton Abbey” on PBS. Unfortunately, there isn’t much on TV that is decent to watch. We have found that many British shows are better suited to our taste. I’m sad to see that these younger generations have nothing (much) of value to use as entertainment as far as TV goes. It’s sad.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Grace Borrowed, Found, Inherited

665.  We let our youth minister borrow our van for a concert tonight. It’s so fun to watch the kids and their excitement for “becoming” a group! Our youth minister has only been with us since September, so the kids are still bonding.

666. At the grocery store today, there was a $10 bill on the floor. No one was around so we picked it up. It is always a blessing when you find money!!

667. My curly hair. My Grandpa had curly hair – my mom had curly hair but hers has gotten straighter over the years. I used to think of it as a “curse” but now I’m learning that it is a gift given from God.

Friday, January 24, 2014

3 Gifts Blue

 It’s no secret that blue is my favorite color! All shades!
662. Well, my favorite “blue gift” would be my Bible.

My Bible

663.  I took a picture yesterday for my photo-a-day challenge and last evening I mentioned to the husband how blue the sky was in the picture. We have had beautiful blue skies during this crisp winter weather.

Keeper of the Plains by Blackbear Bosin (6)

664.   I have many “blue” accessories in our home.  They always make me cheerful and I enjoy each one of them!  Some were gifts from dear friends so that makes them extra special!

20121213_212800          candle (3)

China plate in Kitchen

          Henny Penn Chicken

Thursday, January 23, 2014

3 Gifts Found in Christ

659.  His words. I love having a “red letter edition” of the Bible because often if I’m just picking up my Bible to read a couple of verses, I love choosing the words of Christ.

Other than the commentary and the helps, these 2 pages are completely red. Completely the words of Christ. What a gift to me.

660. Jesus promised me eternal life. That heaven will open. That I will see heaven. He promised me that His Father has reserved a place for me there. What a legacy – what a promise. This is a promise that I stand on every day.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

661.  Jesus told us the Holy Spirit would be our comforter and our helper. I am so very thankful for this gift.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Gift Wrinkled, Smoothed, Unfolded

 656. A Gift Wrinkled: Every time I look in the mirror I see changes. I hear of friends  having work done. – and I understand why. Often I’ve done that thing we women do – putting our hands on the side of our face and pulling back and up – Ah, there she is, the younger me. The one I remember most. The one I see in my mind. Then I pass the mirror again and am surprised that the Brenda in the mirror is much older and a little more rounded out than the one I picture in my mind. But then I realize I am exactly who God created. He didn’t intend for us to stay forever young. With age – and gray hair – comes wisdom. Why do we want to go against “life?” Well, it’s partly the times we live in. We constantly see the forever young – commercials, movies, even news. I’m shocked when I hear of a news woman that loses her job and replaced with a younger woman. Wisdom comes with age. I’m blessed to still be alive and I’m blessed to be who God intended me to be. – Even if I am shocked every time I see myself in the mirror!! : )

657. A Gift Smoothed: I love clean sheets! When I smooth them over the bed every Monday I am thankful that not only do I have a bed, but I also have nice clean sheets to sleep on. This is a luxury for some. 

658. A Gift Unfolded: In the corner in our living room, we have a basket with throws in it. So on these chilly winter evenings the husband and I will pull one out, flip it to unfold it and enjoy our evening cozy and warm.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Gift in Sky, Water, Memory

653.  A Gift in the Sky: The Moon. I love watching the moon. God’s creation.

Moon January 2014 (13)

654. A Gift in water: I’ve never learned to swim. So water has never held much appeal for me. One year when we took the grands on vacation we took a boat out on the water. – Not my idea of a good time but the husband had done this every year and all the kids were excited. Well, we had a tube. – Again, not my idea of a good time. Did I mention I don’t swim… Well, A. was a pro at tubing:


Then of course The Oldest Grandgirl decided SHE wanted to try it. Well, I couldn’t let her go alone because I was responsible for her, A. wasn’t mature enough at the time to take responsibility and Randy needed to stay with the boat. I KNOW… 

Water was not a gift… 

I went out to that tube with tears in my eyes because I DID NOT want to do this…


No one told me if you have too much weight on the front of the tube, it sinks. We did okay. – for awhile. Then he stopped the boat to see if we were ready to stop. The grandgirl said "NO." So we were going to go around one more time. I thought I needed to scoot up on the tube. To do so, I pushed down on the front. You guessed it – we went under. I was very thankful for the life jackets. I was very thankful we were “saved.” But what still stands out in my mind is when we surfaced my sweet little grand said over and over “Are you okay, Grammy?” Now, that is my true gift in the water.

655. A Gift of Memory: Memory? Each of my children being born, while they grew up, loving them. Memories of my Grands. 

But one of my favorite “recent” memories is our wedding. We wanted to have a good time, we wanted our friends and family to be relaxed and have fun. After the reception many of our friends and family came to the house to continue visiting and having a great time. It was a blessed day full of blessed memories.

Randy & Brenda's Wedding 343               Randy & Brenda's Wedding 358

Randy & Brenda's Wedding 367           Randy & Brenda's Wedding 369

Monday, January 20, 2014

3 Gifts Close Up

Randy at computer (1)

650. I love my husband’s face. It is full of
character, kindness, goodness and love.
I am so very thankful for this wonderful man.


 651.  Reading. My favorite past time – right after blogging. I am so thankful I can read.


652. Blogging. My favorite past time. I am thankful for the opportunity.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

3 Gifts From God’s Word

Any time one teaches, they learn more than they imagined. I have taught many Bible Studies over the years and teaching God’s Word is a true gift for me.

They have been gifts from God’s Word.

My favorite have been:

647. Esther. I first attended a Bible study on Esther in the 80’s at CIY. I had taught it once before but for some reason God really spoke to me through this study. I was able to combine the study from CIY with my own study and have taught it several times since then. Having it so ingrained in me was a true blessing years later when I went through tough personal times and I was encouraged to have the grace and dignity of Esther in my actions. When God’s Word changes the way we act and react – well, that’s more than a blessing.

648. Philippians. – The book of “Joy.” I greatly enjoyed intertwining this book with the true stories of many missionaries over the years. People who truly sacrificed all for the glory of God and found true “joy” in serving Him. I am so thankful for the joy that is available through following God’s leading.

649.  1st & 2nd Timothy. I have taught this study several times, too. I learn so much from the writings of Paul. He tells us how we are to be as people of the church. I seem to often fall short but I appreciate his writings so much. God knew I would need this direction and I’m so thankful He spoke through Paul to add to His Word.

My Bible

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Gift Bringing Laughter, Prayer, Quiet

644.  A Gift bringing laughter:

My grands bring laughter into my life on a consistent basis! Love these kids and especially am thankful for the joy they bring.


645. A gift of Prayer

Our prayer time at Life Group doesn't end at 8:00 on Tuesday evenings. It continues throughout the week as emails fly back and forth with prayer concerns and praise. So thankful for prayer warriors in my life.


646. A Gift of quiet:

I am really rather boring. : )  Being at home, being quiet is very important for me. I am so very thankful that I am married to a man that respects this aspect in me. He allows me time for quiet. He’s not threatened by it and encourages me to find my times of quiet.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared

641. A Gift Worn: Driving home from Oklahoma today, I was listening to KLOVE radio. They told about “Dress A Girl Around the World.” They make dresses  and provide them to little girls all around the world. I’m so thankful for this ministry and since I am a sewer, I’m going to make some dresses. This is a double gift. My gift is being able to minister around the world and the little girls will also be blessed.
You can check out their website H.E.R.E. 

642. A Gift Given Away: When I lived in Oklahoma, I lived in the country so the idea of a “garage sale” never crossed my mind.  When I was preparing to move to Kansas I had so much stuff I didn’t want to move. Clothes, kitchen utensils, household items, books, all kinds of stuff. So I gave all of it to the Community Care.
I hope all found new homes and have been used.

643. A Gift Shared: The fellowship time with our Life Group is a true gift of sharing. As we’ve passed our “first” anniversary and gotten well acquainted our sharing times have become deeper and more meaningful. I am so thankful for this sharing time with wonderful Christian brothers  and sisters.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

3 Startling Graces of God

638. Oh, wow. Probably the most startling thing that has ever happened to me is divorce.  It wasn’t immediately that I realized it was a grace. That took some time. But one day I realized that “what Satan intended for evil, God used for good.” – Which I know this happens – because the Bible tells me it does. But when it happened to me – I was startled by it.  And since that moment, I have KNOWN that God can take a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. anything at all and make it good. Make it a “startling grace of God!”

639. My salvation. I’m not sure I thought of it as startling at the time. – I was fairly young. But as an adult, I have realized that my salvation is the greatest most startling thing God has ever given me! My hope lies in Him and I can’t wait to live with Him in heaven.

640. That God loves me in spite of my sins. He knows my heart. I am so very thankful that He is a forgiving God.

Monday, January 13, 2014

3 Things About Myself That I Am Grateful For

Does anyone else find it hard to express ones own value? Why is this? God created us in His image. He created us in His love. He created us to hang out with us. – You don’t hang out with someone you don’t like. Right? But even so, I still find it hard to look at the good in me. It also took me many years to be able to accept a compliment graciously without being embarrassed.   (I still get embarrassed once in a while.)

My spiritual life, my walk with God is the most important area of my life. So I am very thankful that because of God – all things I am thankful for are steeped in His grace and love.

635.  I am thankful for the personality trait of phlegmatic that God gave me. I have learned to appreciate the fact that I am laid back and easy going.  I will never be wealthy because I’m not a go-getter but I enjoy my life the way God intended it.

636. I am thankful that I am able to accept my past – from childhood to adulthood -  and move forward. All the things that have happened to me in my life could have made me bitter, unhappy or just really angry. I am thankful that God didn’t let me become that person.

637. I’m thankful that I am a home body. I love being at home. My favorite place to be!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Gift Sour, Sweet, Just Right

629. A Gift Sour:  As a child I loved sour food. I would eat lemons and dill pickles and often drank the dill pickle juice! I don’t eat lemons anymore but I do use them in my tea and I NEVER drink dill pickle juice but do still enjoy a good dill pickle.

DSCN5175          DSCN5177

630. A Gift Sweet: Last evening we had guests from church. We went out to eat then came back here for dessert and visiting. I made Banana Split Cake.  - which was good, very sweet, but the company was even better!

DSCN5182          DSCN5181

631. Just right: I love the sour but it often comes with too much salt. I love the sweet but it comes with too much sugar – Just right is what God provides in His infinite wisdom.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Gift Held, Passed By, Sat With

626. A Gift Held:  My husband’s hand.

@Botanica (1)       @Botanica (2)

627. A Gift Passed By: We passed through Riverside this morning. The husband had some wood to deliver to our friend. Riverside is my favorite neighborhood because it is filled with bungalow homes. Anyway, in passing through Riverside, we passed by the Arkansas River. It’s frozen over and I noticed some geese “walking on the water.” Beautiful.



628. A Gift Sat By: It’s been a little over a year since my Mom broke her hip. She is doing fine now – in fact better than I thought she would be doing. I hated the reason but enjoyed being able to sit with her while in  hospital. I try to make a trip to Oklahoma every other week.  Dad, Mom and I usually eat, visit and sit and watch Gunsmoke!

Dad, Me Mom, Randy 2013 (1)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dusky Light, Surprising Reflection, Lovely Shadow

623. A Gift of Dusky Light: I have a friend from childhood, Jean Ann, that lives in Washington state. She often takes pictures of sunsets from her deck and posts them on face book. They are always so beautiful. God doubly blesses when you are able to keep up with old friends AND the friend posts beautiful pictures of His creation.

You can see some of her pictures H.E.R.E.

624. A Gift in a Surprising Reflection: The reflection of Momma as she and Daddy protect their babies. The instinct to protect our babies is built into us from God.



625. A Gift of a Lovely Shadow:



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

3 Graces From People Love

620. Yesterday I was a mess. I was frustrated and I was overwhelmed with all I needed to get done I just felt like crying. My husband hugged me and asked if I was okay. He is so aware of my feelings, he reaches out to me and then he sticks close and helps me any way he can.

621. My youngest son coming to visit and spending a week with me. I needed that so much. God blessed me greatly with Jay's visit.

622. Random texts and phone calls from my kids.

Monday, January 6, 2014

One Thing in Your Bag, Your Fridge, Your Heart

617. One thing in my bag: The gift in my bag is my identity. Don’t we often identify ourselves with items in our bag? Probably one of the most personal items I own is my bag and the things I put in it. Once, years ago, my bag got stolen and I can’t tell the the feeling of loss I had. My driver’s license was gone. My checkbook (this may even been before debit cards because I don’t remember having cards in there) – but what I carry in my purse tells a lot about me.


618. In my fridge: I’m on a quest to eat more healthy. I am using some guidelines from the Mayo Clinic – Heart Healthy book. So today was grocery day for me and once I was home I cleaned out the unhealthy stuff and restocked with the healthy. – Lest you think I was very wasteful – remember I just ended a week with family here then a week with extra grands here… There really wasn’t too much to clean out!! Smile

619. The gift in my heart: Jesus, Family, Friends. This gift prompt can go so many different directions. I’m overwhelmed with the love I have in my heart for Jesus, my Bible. For my family – I love them so much that at times I ache for them. And my Friends, God has always known who I needed around me at certain times in my life and he has unfailingly provided. One of my favorite quotes from an old movie is “My cup runneth over.” That’s exactly the way I feel.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Something You’re Reading, Making, Seeing

   614.   Something I’m reading.

615. Something I’m making
(I started to take a picture of my bed – but I did that the last time this prompt was given… : ) )

DSCN5073             DSCN5071

616.  Something I’m seeing

DSCN5052           DSCN5049