Posts

Showing posts from 2012

Cookie Cutter Catastrophe?

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things to do this time of the year is to bake cookies. I just love the smells, the warmth of my kitchen and the memories that I am creating with my children. I usually make about 6-7 different kinds of cookies, including the sugar cookie cutouts. My kids love to slather on frosting and toppings until each cookie weighs about 5lbs each! The last two years I ordered some pre-made cutouts because they were so much easier to deal with than making the dough, letting the dough chill and then rolling it out and cutting each cookie out....much easier. Well, this year I decided to do it the old fashion way and make my dough from scratch, chill it, etc... I had everything ready and with my rolling pin in hand I realized that I needed to find my cookie cutters. Now I have some cookie cutters that have been in our family a long time, I think that some of them my own mother may have used as a little girl. So, these cookie cutters are spec…

"God is great, God is good. Let us thank Him..."

Ever since I was very young we have always said the same meal time prayer; "God is great, God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. Amen!" As with many rituals, the meaning of why we say what we say has been lost. The words just don't hold any real connection to God anymore. My children, like myself, have always said this prayer too. Sometimes it is said with a fork in hand and eyes that look like they could devour everything in sight! Other times it is said so quickly it sounds like it is being spoken in a foreign language like "hungerese!" I have tried, as a parent, to tell my children to slow down and think about the words that they are saying and to whom they are speaking them to...God. As I think about this I have to ask myself, "Am I always thoughtful and mindful of what I am saying when I am speaking to God? Am I in a hurry and I just want God to get it done on my time? I have to admit that yes, sometimes I do not take enough time out o…

To vote or not to vote....

I have never really been one for politics. I have always found the whole campaign thing rather boring and hateful. The most I knew about Washington D.C., the White House and the President was that they had a realy good Christmas Special every year and I had hoped to one day perform at it! That being said, I unfortunately did not always vote every year. I am ashamed to say that now, but fortunately I changed my way of thinking. I was excited to vote when I turned 18, kind of that right of passage into adult hood, but I never really looked at what or who I was choosing. After that my excitement sort of fizzled. I am happy to say that as a citizen of the United States and especially as a follower of Jesus Christ it is not only my right, but my obligation to vote for this countrys leader, and I have for many years now. In Bible times and even beyond, there were countries and areas where the citizens were TOLD who their leaders were going to be, regardless of their opinion or tho…

He chose me?

Most days I find it hard to comprehend or even fathom that God would choose me to do His work. I am far from perfect and my choices reflect that. My past is messy and sometimes, so is my present. But the good news is that my future is brighter than ever because of God's grace and forgiveness. I grew up in a church where I feared God, rather than seeing Him as someone I could have a relationship with. I viewed Jesus as His son, but not in an attainable way. As I grew older in my faith I began to realize that God the father wants a relationship with us, his children, and that Jesus was the way to get there. In my life I have always strived to make sure that everyone around me is happy or content, even if that meant sacrificing my own happiness in the process. That is being a servant, right? Wrong! People pleasing is not the same as God pleasing. If I am only out to please the people of this world, but I am not pleaseing God, then I am not being a true servant for Him. I…

"Hi, my name is Nicole and I am a Worry Wart..."

In highschool one of my favorite classes was etymology. Etymology is the study of words; their origin and meaning. I have always found it interesting, especially when it comes to phrases that americans use often. Such as; "Don't put the cart before the horse" or "The early bird catches the worm." One phrase that I do not like to hear, especially if it is being used to desribe me is "worry wart." Now in my defense I come from a long line of worriers-if there was a desease or natural disaster about to occur then I guarantee you that someone in my family was going to be effected by both! I remember growing up and my mom would get so worried when one of us kids was sick. We were not only on a first name basis with our pediatrician, but also all of the staff that worked in his office! Now, I will admit that when I became a mother I did tend to worry more about my children if they didn't feel good, but I tried not to rush to the doctor for every…

"Time to make the donuts....."

I sometimes help to lead worship in our church service and I am always anxious to see the expression on the faces of the people in the pews when I ask them to "Please stand and join me in our next song." Some of them look really enthusiastic and ready to sing God's praises and some of them look like they may be plotting some slow, agonizing torture for me if I ask them to stand up one more time. And some of them, believe or not look like they just can't get themselves excited about singing one more song for crying out loud! I can mentally hear them saying with that monotone voice of Fred the Baker in those old Duncan Donuts commercials, "Time to sing a song...." To be fair I think all of us have felt this type of discouragement as we live our daily lives. We could say "Time to get up again" or "Time to go to work again" or even "Time to go to church again." Anything that is routine can become monotonous, even worship. O…

G-R-A-C-E

I always wanted to be a cheerleader and the good Lord knows that I have the lungs for it! I love the idea of someone actually giving me permission to cheer as loud as I can-awesome! I also like words that you can take and turn into an acrostic. An acrostic, as some of you may know is when you take a word and for each letter in that word assign it a word that starts with that letter. For example, F.R.O.G. means Fully Rely On God, or how about this one, C.O.W. means Cloud Of Witnesses. Anyway, you get the picture. I began thinking about the word GRACE and how this word should be one that ALL christians use and share freely with everyone. After all, God's grace is free and anytime there is something being given away for free everyone wants to hear about it-right? Can't you just see the Sunday morning service with the minister giving his sermon flanked by cheerleaders on each side dressed appropriately, of course, encouraging the crowd to cheer, "Give me a G, give me …

A Stubborn Streak

I am told that stubborness runs in our family, but of course I don't think I was in line when that particular gene was being passed out-was I?? I know I am stubborn, but of course I am also a control freak so I think that the two balance themselves out-most of the time ;) I have two children and they both have that stubborn streak, now if only I could harness that power for good instead of evil.... Just kidding, neither one of them are very evil-just stubborn! I remember one time my daughter had said a bad word and I told her that if she said it again that I was going to put soap in her mouth. She looked me right in the eye and said the bad word again, but this time with an "I dare you" attitude! I got the bar of soap and made her hold it in her mouth. She did not bat an eye or even shed one tear. She just sat there and willed herself to not show any emotion. That is stubborn! I began thinking about how sometimes it is good to be stubborn. If you are being stu…

"Too Big for Your Britches!"

I always enjoy a good story that can make me laugh out loud, especially if it involves members of my own family! My family lives in the midwest but we do have relatives from the south. My dad was basically raised in southern Missouri but he does not really speak with a southern accent, however he does use "southern" phrases or slang that always makes me giggle. When I was younger he would say things like, "I garantee you...." The word should be guarantee, but the way that my dad said it was GAR-UN-TEE. Of course I believe he yelled that from the other room at my sister and myself when we were supposed to be cleaning up the kitchen from supper, but it ended in a food fight! The minute he left the room we just fell down laughing! We will tell this story and others like it when we all get together, but usually my children don't understand what we find so funny about it, until they experience a similar situation themselves. That is exactly what happened to …

Overlooking the Obvious!

Have you ever seen a movie more than once and noticed different things going on in the scenes? Or re-read a book and are shocked that you didn't notice an obviously crucial part of the plot? This would be referred to as overlooking the obvious. I have been reading the bible for several years and a few years ago I decided that I would write the month and year that I finish reading each book of the bible on it's title page. Well, I have read and re-read several books of the bible and I am amazed at how I have missed certain parts or messages that have been there the whole time. Sometimes I wonder if someome is secretly changing the content just to mess with my mind;) However, I do think that God is revealing to me just what I need in my life for that particular moment in time. If someone is hungry you don't give them the contents of your refrigerator in one sitting. If someone is thirsty you don't give them a straw and point them in the direction of the nearest la…