Friday, March 25, 2011

Hero - Someone Who Inspires

It seemed like yesterday we were just entering into March – one of my very favorite months! It’s hard to believe we’re already winding up another month of Fridays … but here we are, March 25 and time for my ‘tribute to heroes all around us’.
This March will always be special to me because smack dab in the middle of it I was given a special gift. No, it wasn’t just for me and yet, in one way it was. It involved 46 very beautiful women all gathered for the purpose of ‘renewal’. It was a gift from 12 women to the 34 of us who were selected, chosen to be a part.
You know anything good in life comes from planning and purposing in our hearts to make it so. Whether it’s a good marriage, a wonderful vacation, obedient children, a delicious meal … consideration, preparation and purposed design is often how real beauty in our lives comes about. But, okay, where does that come from? Where does it start? It is a spark of inspiration, a flicker of creativity that is fanned, prayed over and the vision or the dream gradually takes form and eventually – fruition is manifested in something like I was a part of – Come Before Winter – A Renewal for Women in Ministry.
It all started with one woman, Karen Alexander, years ago and with the help of so many other players in this story, these Renewals have happened all over the globe thereby, inspiring, renewing and refreshing 100’s of women throughout the last few years.
Remember, I am not saying Karen did any of this single-handedly but, that is how great things come about – one person with one seed of desire shares it with another and soon, the fertilizer of encouragement, the water of prayers and discussion, the sunshine of mutual excitement brings about the magnificent reality of something very beautiful.
It is precious and fulfilling to discover our purpose in life. Sometimes our purpose encompasses a multitude of roles that we fulfill daily but in the midst of all our roles is a ’shining something’ that has our name written all over it – unique and brought into life only because we dream it – we have the vision.
My prayer is that you, like Karen, develop your own dream. Find a friend who can share your vision and become your partner in transforming your ambition into a reality. Whether this dream of yours is nothing more than for your own personal satisfaction or is something that ends up affecting a multitude is of no importance – what is important is – ‘it’ was given to you and it’s your responsibility to do something with ‘it’. Make it real! Remember that ’seeds’, laying dormant too long, lose their power to grow.
Remember, too, you are someone’s hero – you are being watched and your actions copied. Your positive example may make all the difference in the lives of your spouse, your children,  your co-workers, your neighbors. You may be someone’s fertilizer, someone else may be your water and then all of us, conniving together in mutual admiration and belief, can spread the sunshine of hope for a magnificent future.
Yep, for this month of March my hero is Karen. Who took action with a seed of inspiration – a dream that had her name written all over it.
Thanks Karen, for listening to your heart. God bless you and the many ladies who make possible Come Before Winter.

Friday, March 11, 2011

TGIF - Mermaid or Whale?

It’s another TGIF … Thank God I’m Female …
So, just yesterday my daughter was talking with me and complaining how she went to try on bathing suits the other day … in anticipation of summer already and she thought she looked awful! Her body was changing and not to her advantage, etc. Then, today my sis-in-law shared this … so, want re-post it here.
Recently, in a large French city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan
woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said:
A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match
those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed
by the gym.
To Whom It May Concern:
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans) … They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.
Mermaids don’t exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don’t have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to
mention how could they have sex? Therefore they don’t have kids either. Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who’s skin is all scaly and smells like a fish store?
The choice is perfectly clear to me … I want to be a whale.
P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my grandkids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a latte with my friends. With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.

Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think,
“Oh My!! look how smart I am”!
Yep, Today I say along with all of you … Thank God I’m Female … and now I got a good excuse for this changing body!
Isn't she a beauty?!
Isn't she a beauty?!
And here’s some more excellent photos of *whales* – what an amazing compliment! Thanks for sharing, Teresa!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

wee bit Wednesday

t’s that time of the month to join in the “a wee bit of me”. So here goes for today:
{one} what color is your kitchen? gray – seems like it would be drab but it’s really quite nice (we rent btw)
{two} do you have a good luck charm? nope but, do have favorite things I like to keep close – for comfort not luck.
{three} do you prefer to write with a pen or pencil? pencil all the way! I love being able to erase mistakes and use fun pencils with cool colored erasers.
{four} can you use chopsticks? I always try but don’t have the patience.
{five} do you prefer baths or showers? I LOVE hot baths with all the goodies – bubbles, sometimes candles, sometimes reading a good book. but here have only showers.
{six} what is your favorite salad dressing? I love salad dressings and at a salad bar will use up to 3 different ones on my salad. mmm mmm
{seven} can you sing the alphabet backwards? no, never tried. why?
{eight} do you have any allergies? am very sensitive to MSG – I guess it’d be an allergy.
{nine} crunchy or creamy peanut butter? creamy! especially on a good piece of crisp celery.
{ten} have you ever hitch hiked? Yep, one time at night our car broke down and this horrible, scary looking guy picked us up – he was nice as all get out, even sent us a Christmas card.
ps. if you have questions that you’d like to see featured on wee bit wednesdays, email Leigh Ashley  here!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Magnificence of March

I love words and one that is especially beautiful to me is magnificence, or magnificent. In fact, I love this word so much it is in the byline of my Reflections blog.
Here’s one definition …
mag·nif·i·cent/magˈnifəsənt/Adjective     1. Impressively beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant; striking. 2. Very good; excellent.
And so, the title … the Magnificence of March. It is the month the Lord chose to give a tremendous gift to the world … my Mom! She was born March 13, 1919. This coming Sunday she would have been 92 – wow! I believe she led a quiet but magnificent life.
  • she was impressive – in her gift of friendship, her hospitality and virtues,
  • she was beautiful – inside and out, strikingly pure and lovely,
  • she could elaborate on Christ’s goodness – or yours or mine – down to the tiniest detail,
  • she was extravagant in her love for others and gave it unselfishly,
  • she was very good – but never boasted,
  • and was a truly excellent person and loved by so many!
In this journey we call life I believe you can live as magnificently as you desire – it’s all in your perspective. We get up every single morning and face decisions or choices. We can let the little things become big in good or bad ways. We can cut the big things down to size and not be overwhelmed by situations out of our control. We can decide to take delight in the simple and sweet parts of every day life – from the gift of a flower to the smile from a child. Maybe its a kiss from your husband as he heads out the door, or a hug from a friend. I look out the window over my desk and see the hand of God in these gorgeous, white fluffy clouds set against prettiest blue. Pure magnificence!
It’s the little things that count. It’s the big that matter – all of it, the sum total of our everyday and each moment that it contains. At any point in your life you have the ability to give attention to the details – even a blade of grass or the so-called weed with the tiny flower it displays, listening to the voices of your loved ones and delighting in the fact they belong to you – each moment of concentrated pleasure becomes a magnificent reality. And just think, if you decide to make your life smack-dab full of these realities … then what a story it will tell!
And so, today, I woke up happy to be in the month of March. During this month I reflect on my Mom and her life. I remain so grateful she chose to live in magnificence – expressing the beauty of her Creator. I am thankful for her and honor the life she lived as I strive everyday to make up my mind to make choices that are truly magnificent!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Celebrate Fun Foods

Fridays are a great time for families to eat Fun Foods!
Fortunately there’s many good eats from country to country so, there’s lots to choose from. One of the neat things about many fun or playful foods is that they are easy to prepare, are low cost and fun to eat – like usually with fingers! Also, you can make quite a few of whatever and feed a bunch.
Like Pigs n’ the Blanket, Egg Rolls, Chicken Nuggets, Shish K’bobs, and/or … Catrachas (the slang name for Hondurans) it’s a popular snack and one of our stand-bys – maybe because I love them! We have them pretty regularly for our Friday or Saturday evening small groups and vary the ’salsa’ from time to time.
Catrachas … they are simple to make, and delicious! This is how you do it …

Have fun with your own family on this Friday – create a tradition of celebrating delicious, wonderful food! If you have children you might let them pitch in to help with the preparation. Find a interesting or unique drink to make and develop the taste for adventures in eating. Check out my post in Your Ninth Hour for some excellent books on good eats around the world – and cooking them in your own home with your kiddos!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday's Wonderful World

A  few years back my two middle kids took a road trip to Maine – the photos scrolled through on my screen saver the other night   – they actually took tons of them but I will share a delightful few that show some great God-art … absolutely gorgeous shots!
What a Wonderful World!
You can see more of  Jared’s photography here at Serene Beauty Photos and Jessi’s always sharing some great photos on her Musings of a Renewed Girl.