My Fab Fam

My Fab Fam
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Quick Recipes

So I did something yesterday that I never, ever, ever do:  I watched a TV show in the middle of the day.  Did your eyes just pop out of your head?  No?  Then you obviously don't realize what a big deal this is!  I have sat down to watch TV in the middle of the day before and quickly realized that I didn't understand a single thing the people were saying because my girls were talking incessantly the whole time.  Or, oh! what just happened?  Big girl was standing right in front of the TV.  She saw it, but I didn't.  Even with DVR, constantly pausing and rewinding pretty much kills the relaxation effect that I'm looking for.  So, I gave up trying a long time ago.

But, yesterday, for whatever reason, I sat down while baby girl was napping, found Paula Deen, and, wonder of wonders, big girl crawled up next to me and watched somewhat quietly.  We were oohing and ahhhing over all the yummy goodness, until I couldn't take it anymore.  I was shy of several ingredients for every recipe she made, but we improvised.  Here's what we came up with:

Potato Skins
Wrap small potatoes in aluminum foil.
Bake at 375 for an hour.
Cool until you can handle them.
Cut in half.
Use ice cream scooper or melon baller to scoop out most of the middle, leaving about a 1/4 inch or less white part--whatever it's called--attached to the peel, save white part for something yummy later, like smashed potatoes.
Place on baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Fill with desired amounts of cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles.
Bake at 350 for about 15 mins.
Top with sour cream, barbeque sauce, and chopped green onions.

Vegetable Beef-less Soup
4 cups beef broth
canned or frozen:
-whole kernel corn
-green beans
a can of stewed tomatoes, diced, with juice
one potato, cut in small cubes
one onion, chopped
celery or celery flakes
Bring all to boil then simmer til flavors are incorporated.

Pear Cobbler
1 c. Bisquick
1 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. milk, or half and half
Mix together and set aside.
2 pears, cored, peeled, and cut in small wedges
Heat about 1 Tbs. butter in an iron skillet.
Fry pear wedges, just a couple of mins on each side.
Melt about 2 Tbs. butter in an 8x8 pan.
Lay pear wedges in pan.  Pour Bisquick mixture over pears.
Top all with:  1/4 c. apple juice mixed with 1/8 c. sugar.
Bake at 350 for about 30 mins or until golden brown.
Serve with ice cream.

Supper served!  I could barely make myself stop eating that cobbler.  And this from a girl who claims no affection to pears.


Oh!  And, after I wrote that post last night about memorizing Scripture I found this article by John Piper.  Amen and amen.


Attitude of Gratitude:

211.  a letter from little Samuel in Egotsia Kokodo
212.  a morning to play animals with two beautiful, happy, loving little girls
213.  successful surgeries
214.  tissues with lotion in them
215.  a man who loves to work
216.  prayer--the ability to be standing at my kitchen sink and and kneeling in the throne room of my Father-King at the same time
217.  the motivation I receive from some unsuspecting 5th and 6th graders--they'll never know this side of heaven what they do to me and for me
218.  friends who come alongside of me in prayer when I hardly know how to pray myself
219.  children's praise songs that were ringing out from my girls' bedroom this morning
220.  the sound of my modern-day servants hard at work (that would be my washer, dryer, and dishwasher)  =)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Update:  Tears sprang to my eyes, as I couldn't contain my excitement about God's ways!  Messaged a sister-friend last night who I know has been working on memorizing the book of James.  Asked how it was going and shared my decision to memorize Ephesians.  Asked if we could be memorization buddies--because I need some encouragement over here!  She had gotten bogged down after chapter one and quit, but guess what?!  She wanted to jump back on the train!  As iron sharpens iron!  So excited to be on this journey together!!!!

Sister-friends, I just wanted to tell you...

I am on verse 14!!!  Woo-hoo!!!!

Now, I realize what that means:  I am 10 verses shy of being on track to finish the book of Ephesians by year's end.  And, you know what?  For about a week, I almost let that get me down.  So down that I nearly gave up.  My internal dialogue sounded something like this:  "I can't meet my goal now; so, why try?  I give up.  Why did I ever think I could do this in the first place?"

But God.  That's all I can say.  God showed me that even if I fall short of my goal of the entire book of Ephesians, I am hiding some WORD in my heart!  Even if I only get half-way to my goal, that's three chapters of God's Holy Word.  In. my. heart.

I have said before that I want my girls to know God's Word like the back of their hands.  That, if the hard copies of Scriptures are ever torn away from their sweet little fingers, they can recite the Words like lyrics to their favorite song.  The Word dwelling.  Living in them--richly!  Alive in them, keeping them alive.

And I've heard, and since learned, that what you want your kids to be and be about, you better be and be about.  If I want them to take Scripture memory seriously, then I better take it seriously.  It is our lifeline!  If we're not holding onto that, what on earth are we holding onto?  I've got to show them it is the one thing that is worth investing their time and energy in!

I admit this is harder than maybe anything I've ever tried to do.  It is taking far more time and energy and discipline than I initially thought.  I am walking around reciting the first 8, 10, 12, and now 14 verses of Ephesians all the freaking time!  And I still stumble on all the "in accordance with" phrases, or switching words around here and there--"We were chosen in Him" instead of "In Him we were chosen."  But...I have two options:

(1)  Stumble around a bit, taking a few steps (verses) forward only to realize the next morning that I have to take a few of those steps all over again today (because only a few words actually stuck from yesterday), or...

(2)  Quit moving forward.

Lord willing, I'll keep stumbling forward.  Oh, please, won't you join me?  It is hard and fun, exhausting and energizing, frustrating and more rewarding than anything I've ever done in my life.  And I'm just 14 verses in!

You still have time to do a few chapters this year.

And, one last thing, please don't tell me, "I just don't feel particularly led to do that right now."

There are some things we have to feel led to do.  Like moving cities, changing jobs, adopting a child...

And there are some things we are commanded to do because God knows it is best for us.  Parents tell us, "Eat your veggies; don't fill up on sweets," because they know the sweets won't help us.  God tells us, "Devour My Word; don't fill up on the things of this world," because He knows we are hungry and He knows He is the only thing that can satisfy.

(Of course, it doesn't have to be Ephesians!  Or any book for that matter, but just any Scripture verses you choose.  And it could be one a week, or one every two weeks, know what you can do.  But this I would suggest...push yourself!  And even if you fall short of what you hope for, you still do more than you thought possible!)

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things..."

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..."

"Thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you..."

"Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful."

And, please don't think you can't do this!  He would never tell us to do anything that is impossible for us.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Jump on, sister!  This train is moving.  And you don't want to miss this ride!!!

A Recurring Theme in My Life

God's strength is made perfect in my weakness.

God is reiterating this concept over and over and over.  And again with this article:

"A Weak Mother is a Good Mother," by Christine Hoover at desiringGod.


But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
      --2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV


Some other links that I've loved this week....

This article by Ravi Zacharias, "Learning to Think Critically."

(You can listen to him by clicking on "Podcasts" on the left sidebar of that same site.  So, soooo good.)

And just this.  Click on it and you'll understand why.  I'll report back later to let you know if all is still living.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Still Stuck on the Blood

Do you ever get stuck on a thought?  Something that strikes you as so peculiar or bizarre or amazing or impossible or otherwise intriguing that you simply can not stop thinking about it?

I am stuck on the sprinkling of blood upon the priests.  I wrote about this before in this post, and it occurred to me this morning that perhaps I didn't do enough studying before I wrote my thoughts down.  Since the last thing I want to do I speak anything that doesn't line up with Truth, I did some more digging this morning.  I was very relieve to find some reliable commentaries that echoed my own thoughts on Exodus 29.  Particularly the part about the blood staining the priests' clothing.  I thought perhaps I was wrong in this, and they did wash their holy garments out, and they didn't stain those beautiful golden threads with blood and oil.  It just seemed so absurd to go to such great lengths to make beautiful garments, woven with literal golden threads and adorned with jewels, and then stain them with a sprinkling of blood and a presumably generous amount of oil.  Although Scripture seemed to be saying this is what was done, I didn't trust my own assertions about it.   But then I found this:

"We reckon that the blood and oil sprinkled upon garments spot and stain them; yet the holy oil, and the blood of the sacrifice, sprinkled upon their garments, must be looked upon as the greatest adorning imaginable to them, for they signified the blood of Christ, and the graces of the Spirit, which constitute and complete the beauty of holiness, and recommend us to God; we read of robes made white with the blood of the Lamb."  --Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete)

This passage further proves to me how very different God's thoughts are from my own.  My thoughts that sticky blood is disgusting and its stain undesirable is a far cry from God's use of blood to cleanse and make holy.  

His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.


And, just for the fun of learning, here are a few more notes I found on Exodus 29 that I thought you just might find interesting...

"The blood was put upon the extreme parts of the body, to signify, that it was all as it were enclosed and taken in for God, the tip of the ear, and the great toe not excepted."  --John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

It is all intended for God.  What we listen to.  Every step we take.  Every move we make.  The words we type out on Facebook as an encouragement to a friend.  The baking of bread.  The washing of our babes, to the tying of their shoes.  Driving to work and even tea with a friend.  Even ordering that cup of tea at Starbucks!  It can be holy, people, it can be holy.  Show the love of Jesus to that barista!  =)  Nothing is excepted if we are covered in the blood of Christ.  Every second is intended to be holy.  Oh, that I could remember that!


"A lamb was to be offered upon the altar every morning, and a lamb every evening. This typified the continual intercession which Christ ever lives to make for his church. Though he offered himself but once for all, that one offering thus becomes a continual offering. This also teaches us to offer to God the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise every day, morning and evening. Our daily devotions are the most needful of our daily works, and the most pleasant of our daily comforts. Prayer-time must be kept up as duly as meal-time. Those starve their own souls, who keep not up constant attendance on the throne of grace; constancy in religion brings in the comfort of it."  --Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

Not surprisingly, today's email devotional by Max Lucado's was also about "constancy."

"Will I learn what God intends?  If I listen, I will.  A little girl returned from her first day at school. Her mom asked, “Did you learn anything?” “I guess not,” the girl responded.  “I have to go back tomorrow and the next day and the next day. . .”
Such is the case with learning. And such is the case with Bible study.
Understanding comes a little at a time over a lifetime. James said:  “The man who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and makes a habit of doing so is not the man who hears and forgets.  He puts that law into practice and wins true happiness.” (James 1:25).
The Bible is not a newspaper to be skimmed but rather a mine to be quarried.  Proverbs 2:4 says to “search for it like silver, and hunt for it like hidden treasure.”
And we need to do it today, and the next day, and the next…."

"My lover spoke and said to me, 'Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.'"  --Song of Solomon 2:10

May I be about "constancy" because He is.  Because He is constantly thinking of me, calling to me, interceding for me, saving me, redeeming me.

"Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them."  --Hebrews 7:25 (ESV, emphasis mine)


Attitude of Gratitude (because it's been way too long)

#201.  ability to remember Scripture
202.  an old ring that still fits (even if it is a different finger)  =)
203.  love from my man
204.  fresh revelation about freedom v/s keeping the law, especially my self-imposed laws
205.  crazy love from my God that keeps me moving forward, imperfect progress
206.  a wealth of teachers and theologians at my fingertips, via the interweb
207.  blinding sunlight
208.  open blinds
209.  earthworms  and lizard tails that can regenerate
210. baby girls that help me see the world anew

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Love Day!!!

The devo I read to the girls this morn was perfectly suited for Valentine's Day.  And it was totally a God-thing b/c it's not a devo that is dated; so the "love" theme just happened to line up with Love Day.

Here it is.


Love Yourself, Too!

God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure He will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.
      Philippians 1:6  NCV

The Bible teaches you this lesson: you should love everybody--and the word "everybody" includes yourself.  Do you treat yourself with honor and respect?  You should.  After all, God created you in a very special way, and He loves you very much.  And if God thinks you are amazing and wonderful, shouldn't you think about yourself in the same way?  Of course you should!

So remember this:  God wants you to love everybody, including the person you see when you look in the mirror.  And one more thing:  when you learn how to respect the person in the mirror, you'll be better at respecting other people, too.

A Timely Tip for Girls

When you learn about the Bible, you'll learn how much God loves you.

"He created us because He delights in us!"
      Beth Moore

A Mother-Daughter Prayer

Dear Lord, we have so much to learn and so many ways to improve ourselves.  But You love us just as we are.  Thank You, Father, for Your love and for Your Son.  Amen


He's crazy about us.  It's easy for me to believe He's crazy about these little beauties...

But it's much more difficult for me to always believe...

He's crazy about me.  But He is.  And He's crazy about YOU!  Crazy love.

Happy Love Day, friends.


You might also like:  "The Lord rEjOicEs oVeR yoU!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Here's the plain truth of it:

I am tormented by the enemy about my inabilities and failures as a mother.


And, if you are like me, then this is for you...

In her most recent blog post, Liz Curtis Higgs asks this question:

  • In what area of your life is it time to let go of the adversary’s lies and receive God’s complete forgiveness?

She poses the question to her readers for them to respond, but first she answers her own question:

"I’ve never been entirely confident of my mothering, so the enemy of our souls has gone overboard on that score, repeatedly pointing out my many mistakes over the years. Now that our children are grown, I am humbled to see what fine adults they’ve become, despite my shortcomings. God has not only forgiven me, he has also overruled me—doing what I could not do, loving when I could not love, comforting when I was not there to comfort. For those blessings, and ten thousand beside, thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus."

I loved this:  "He has overruled me--doing what I could not do..."

He overrules.  Trumps.  His truth and love overcome my failures.  He covers my mistakes.

And I thought of the verse that says, "Love covers a multitude of sins."  I like the ESV rendering,
"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins."  (1 Peter 4:8)

Earnestly.  Earnest...

"serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous: an earnest worker. 2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling: earnest words; an earnest entreaty"  (

Let's reword the ESV, "Keep loving one another, seriously!"  If we are serious about loving and we mess up--and we will, a lot--He will cover our mistakes with His love.  His love will trump our mistakes.  How cool is that?!

I am serious about loving my kids.  So serious, in fact, that it is the one place Satan knows he can really get me; if he can make me doubt that I am loving their innocent souls well, I am reduced to ashes in a nanosecond.  It is the one area I find myself praying about most often, that God will give not one, not two, but three(!) crowns of beauty for ashes.

Here are a mother's ashes, Lord.  I know You say You give beauty for ashes.  A crown of beauty.  But, if I may be so bold, would You, in your incomprehensible grace, turn these ashes into three crowns, including two crowns of beauty for these two precious princesses that you've entrusted to my care?   Father, I beg You, that my soot will not rub off on these pure little babes.  That these beauties will not have to suffer because of my sins.

Cover my mistakes with your love, Lord.  Overrule me.  Every single time, overrule me.

You see, I see the blackness of my heart and I tremble a little.  I mourn a little.  But then I remember Your promise in Romans 8.  You work all things for good.  All things.  Is it possible that You can even use my mistakes to shape these beauties into the masterpieces you intend them to be?  Love that covers a multitude of sins and uses even our mistakes for your glory.  Amazing love.  The riches of your glorious grace!  (Ephesians 1)

"To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory."  (Isaiah 61:3, NLT)


On this Ash Wednesday, snow falls softly.  Large fluffy flakes.  Christians around the world mark their foreheads with an ashen cross, marking the beginning of Lent, a time of fasting, prayer, and repentance.  God, in His glorious grace, is reminding me that He washes us white as snow.  Beautiful, peaceful snow.  We  throw ashes on our heads as we "grieve, mourn, and wail" (James 4:9), and He loves, forgives, comforts, washes, redeems, and makes ashes like snow.  Such beauty for ashes.

And, isn't it a beautiful thing that this year the day for celebrating love (Valentine's Day) falls immediately after the day for recognizing our failures and desperate need for a loving Savior?  We mourn and repent; He loves and forgives.  And lifts our mourning heads.

"But You are a shield around me, O LORD; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head."  Psalm 3:3


Of course, it's not all ashes on this earth.  It's beauty in the ashes.  And one day that beauty will not be found among the ashes, but topping our heads in a crown of glory.  And we'll throw it right down, right there at His beautiful feet.  And there...  There will be no more ashes.  Because He has overruled.  He has triumphed!


And because you can always count on me to be all. over. the. board....

After you have sufficiently mourned, you need to laugh.  God is a happy, people.  He is.  And I am positive He laughs sometimes.  No?  Yes.  So, here is your dose of laughter meds for the day:

"Turtlenecks of the Heart Tuesday"

Thanks, Jami Nato!

P.S. The best and funniest parts are the comments!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Why even bother trying to explain it when someone else has already done so, and so eloquently.  You really must read this:

"Why Doing Lent This Year is What You Really Need."

What shall we release so that we may grab onto Him with both hands?


P.S.  I felt some prayers today, peeps!  I can not thank you enough!  Memorization became worship right by my kitchen sink.  =)

"...In Him we have redemption, through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace, which He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.  He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ..."


Monday, February 11, 2013

A Date, A Castle, A Challenge

My man and I were given tickets to see a UK basketball game last week.  Being the sports enthusiast that I am not, I really wasn't that excited about the game; I was just thankful for the eight hours we would have in the car together.  But I was quickly caught up in the energy that reverberates all around the arena.  I said to my man at one point that anyone with a pulse couldn't help but get excited in that place.  And I thought...if we can get so excited at a basketball game, WHAT is heaven going to be like?  I couldn't stop smiling.

To top it all off, my man treated me to a Ghirardelli Mocha from my favorite old coffee shop.

A perfect date for us:  UK basketball for him, Common Grounds for me, quality time, even some good conversation with an old friend who happened to be sitting right in front of us, and a glimpse, just a glimpse of the type of excitement that awaits us in heaven.


My sister came up today and we spent the whole day doing crafts.  The. whole. day.   My big girl has a Valentine's party on Thursday and the parents were asked to help the kiddos design a box to put their valentines in.  Aunt Sissa helped my princess design a castle.  Let me just remind those of you that don't know me very well, I am not crafty.  I would never have done this.  I would have sat big girl at the table with a Kleenex box, some paper, stickers, glue, and scissors and said, "Go for it, girl!  Have fun!"  But, this is why they enjoy Sissa days so much...

Baby girl wanted a box too.  Sadly, we did not have the materials to do two boxes and I had to dig in the recyclables to find enough materials for a second box.  Even more sad were baby girl's words to her daddy when he got home tonight, "My box isn't as pretty."  Why haven't I learned yet that I need to be prepared to do two of everything?

Then I remind myself.  Life does not offer equality.  Big girl had to do this for preschool.  Baby girl got a box too; it may not be as "pretty," but it was a fun craft day and she did get a box.  Life is always offering us a lesson.  Some of them are not fun to learn.

Oh, I'm not convinced either.  So, I don't expect her, or any of you, to be.


So, some of you may remember this ambitious memory work I committed myself to in January.  I'm still planning on doing it, but I sure could use some prayers.  I'm stuck on, oh, verse 8.  Verse 8 of 155.  And most of these 8 I had already memorize a year or more ago.

Let's see, 155 divided by 56 weeks...

I need to be averaging 3 verses a week.  I need to be at least around verse 12.

Prayers please!!!  I want to do this!  I can do this!  I need to do this!  We all need to do this.  Okay, maybe we don't all need to be memorizing Ephesians, but we need His Word in our heart.  And that is my encouragement:  even if I fall short of my goal of the entire book of Ephesians, I will still get some truth in me.  Win-win situation, right?

Pray for me?  I'll pray for you!  Right now...


Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God,
To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus,
Grace and peace to you, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.  In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will, to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace, which He has freely lavished on us.  With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will....

(Ephesians 1: 1-?)

Monday, February 4, 2013

I'm Still Standing...

(yah, yah, yah)

Yes, I was a bit under the weight of it all last time I posted.  And even again the next night I felt really heavy before I went to bed.  But, as I told my man then, "It will be better in the morning."  And I meant it.  Because not only does sheer exhaustion skew my perception of reality--and I'm always exhausted at night--but also the morning brings new opportunities to get it right and new mercies.

And the next morning was better.

Though you may hear me lamenting lost opportunities and berating myself for my shortcomings one day, you can pretty much bet that the next day, the next hour, or maybe even the next minute, I'll be back on my feet.  Not because of anything in me.  Noooooo.  I am not able to pick myself up...but God.  God is ever so faithful to lift my head, gently speak the the truth over me, and set me right again.

I'm a mess.  And although a-dear-lady-who-shall-remain-nameless-but-knows-who-she-is (yes, you) ;-) does not like to hear me say this, and even disagrees with me, it is the truth.  Life evidence has convinced me this is the truth.  Every second apart from God finds me a mess.  Every second I try to do things on my own, I mess up a little.  But, through crazy redemption, God can even use my failures for good and for His glory.  And when I actually keep my eyes on Him, wow! Those times are good.  No, I mean it, good.


To be desired or approved of.
That which is morally right; righteousness.
Well: "my mother could never cook this good".
adjective.  nice - kind - fine
noun.  benefit - profit - advantage - avail - welfare - use
adverb.  well - nicely - fine - right - okay
(Thank you, Google.)

God is good, to be desired, morally right, righteous, and kind.

He makes our moments good, morally right, righteous, and filled with kindness.  Those are the moments to be desired, the ones with Him.  And I desire that every moment is filled with Him, lived in an awareness of Him.  One day.  (Pausing to imagine that, ask for that...)

He's insanely patient with us when we forget Him, but let's try to keep our eyes on Him every second.  Apart from Him we have no good thing, not even one moment.  Don't believe me?  Take a gander at Psalm 16:2.

Hoping your week is filled with visions of His goodness!  Happy Monday!



the second day of the week, following Sunday.
before 1000; Middle English Mone n day, Old English mōn an dæg,  translation of Late Latin lūnaediēs  moon's day

I'm sorry, but I can be such a geek.  I typed "Monday," and my immediate thought was, "Where do our words for the days of the week come from?"  And, being the geek that I am, I started digging.  I didn't have to dig far.  And, did you catch it?  "Lunaedies" or "Moon's day."  Monday.  Moonday.  What a great reminder for the beginning of each week!  Let me do that in all caps...


We are just a rock without Him.  But with Him, oh!  Oh!  We have purpose!

Be a moon!  Bask in the light of the Son.  Reflect the light of the Son!  Look to Him, soak Him up, then let Him bounce on off and onto those around us!  Glow with His goodness!  

Have a "moon" kind of week friends!

Everything is about Him.  Just everything.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sweet Potato Pancakes, Part Deux

I wrote this post the other night, then immediately read this post.  And I was nearly drowning in self-loathing.  So much time and energy and money poured into sweet potato pancakes and there's this world out there.  Starving, hurting, lonely, dying.  People starving and I have a variety of groceries at the ready.  Hurting, and I am held by Love.  Lonely, and I have my husband and two beautiful girls.  Dying, and I am healthy.

And there's this sweet baby girl waiting for a heart.  And all these people who are flooding her family with love notes.  And I thought about finding a pen and a card and a stamp.  Or even sending an email.  But I didn't and now I'm sorry.

Could I have made better use of my time?  Money?  Resources?

And, this is my constant struggle when I don't run everything, and I mean EVERYTHING by God first.

Everything from my daily plans to my grocery list.  My grocery list?  You better believe it.

Not that I always do.  Don't misunderstand me.  I just know that when I pray about everything, even my trip to the grocery, life flows better.  SO much better.  Even if there are problems, there is peace.  No guilt, no second-guessing if I've done everything I should have done.  Just peace that I did what I felt God wanted me to do and peace that He will take care of the rest.

And I didn't really pray through the day.  I cleaned like a maniac.  I made time-consuming sweet potato pancakes (that my man could have gone his whole life without, so...not really a great expression of love there).  But did I spend any time with my sweet girls?  No.  Call or send that text to my sister-in-law to ask how my brother was feeling?  No.  Do anything to encourage anyone?  No.

And thus the guilt.  I worked through my agenda.

My agenda:  vacuum, mop, laundry, dishes, cook, read...

His agenda:  love.

And the disparity only hit me when I read Ann's post and her words cut me like a knife:

Being radical is as radical as answering God’s call — wherever you are, right where you are.
To pick up the phone and dial that number, to invite that one person over, to make that meal, to write that note.
To make the time to love because what else in the world is time for?
Time is made for love… and we have time for this.

I have time for this.  Lord, help me realize, I have time for this!

(It was 10 o'clock at night when I wrote this, when He reassured me it's never too late to love.  So, I sent the email.  And the text.  And I prayed His agenda would be my priority the next day, and the next, and... not the last thing I check off my list before going to bed.  Amen and amen.)