Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Weekend Of Closed Doors

Every single door in our house is different. Some have windows, some are solid. Some are colored like our red front door while others are plain wood. Some are sliding glass and others fold up as you open them.

Regardless of what it looks like, the job of a door is to allow you to go in and out while still keeping things out that you don't want in. And keeping things in that you don't want out. The hinges keep it moving freely, and the locks keep us protected from unwanted guests.

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. John 20:26

Jesus came to the disciples when the doors were shut, bringing a message of peace and love. The doors didn't matter to Him because He was coming in no matter what. He brought peace with Him, despite the doors.

Make this a weekend of paying attention to those closed doors. Are they actually protecting you, or have you closed yourself off from the world around you? Do you need to throw the doors wide open and see what God has to offer you?

Or maybe you've had the doors open too much, and too much of what's out there has come in. You may need to take some time this weekend to close yourself in and spend some much-needed time with the Lord.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Babies On The Property

I need to update a post from a couple of weeks ago. I showed you pictures of Molly and a bunny checking each other out over breakfast. 

The first clarification I need to make is that this is not a he bunny, but a she bunny. Yes, she was eating breakfast, but she was doing so over her brand-new nest.

 Right outside the sun room window was a tiny, warm, dry nest. She had four babies, and they are the sweetest things ever. The eventually grew too big for the nest and hopped around the corner of the house to the fawn pen. It has tall grass i it, so they felt safe there. It's empty now, so we're hoping they've found new homes elsewhere on the property.

We also have another nest over the security light on the big garage. Part of it fell down during the storms last fall, so we pulled the rest down. She rebuilt it very quickly, and these are her first babies of the year. She'll have another set later in the summer. It wouldn't surprise me if they flew away over the weekend.

And, of course, the ponds are full of baby fish and tadpoles. That means lots of baby frogs soon, singing away all day. Ah, spring on the property is so much fun!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Homemade Protein Bars

For a healthy change to your normal snacking, try making your own protein bars. Not only are they fun and easy, but you'll exactly what's going into your food. Plus, they taste amazing.

Note - the first batch I made was very dry and powdery, as this recipe calls for quite a bit more dry ingredients than wet. Adjust your wet ingredients accordingly, and add some almond milk if you need to add some more moisture.

2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup honey
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup protein powder
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

1. Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Press mixture into the baking dish evenly. Refrigerate to help them set and firm up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You Are My Sunshine Centerpieces

 We had an amazing day Saturday at our church's Mother/Daughter luncheon. We had an enormous salad bar and lemonade bar set up for lunch, and several of our ladies spoke about what they had learned from their mothers and grandmothers that they're passing down to their girls.

Then all of the young girls sang You Are My Sunshine for their moms. It was the cutest thing ever, and they held up big yellow sunshines to complete the picture.

And our speaker, Sandi Nihart, was such a blessing to our hearts. She spoke about how God is our sunshine, but we're also a sunshine to Him. It fit in so perfectly with our ladies Sunday School lesson the next morning and Pastor's message in the morning service that we wondered if they'd all been talking together and planning it.

Our You Are My Sunshine theme was perfect for decorating in pink and yellow and lemonade. These were the center pieces we used on the tables, which were covered in pink and yellow tablecloths.

Start by slicing a lemon in half, and then make three or four thin slices. You want to leave a good chunk of the end.

You'll use that end to make "florist foam" that you don't have to cover up. These flowers were four for $1 at the dollar store, so we were able to use two per goblet.

Once in the goblet, you can push them in further, so the stems come out the bottom of the lemon. Then just arrange the lemon slices around the edges and fill it with water. They were absolutely beautiful on the tables, and we put several of them out in the sanctuary for Sunday services.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Weekend Of Comforted Hearts

Has anything happened lately that got your heart racing? Something that caused your heart to skip a beat or feel like it was going to pound out of your chest?

Whether it's anxiety, surprise, fear, over-exertion, worry or just plain old uneasiness, our heart gets put through its paces every day. We don't treat them very kindly as we hurry and worry and fill our thoughts and days with more.

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Paul is praying here that as God has promised them eternal consolation, He will now give them comfort and comfort abundantly. He prayed that they would find themselves grounded and established in their current situation and all that was to come. They had been promised comforted hearts, and now Paul was reminding them to find the pleasures and joys that God was showering on them.

Make this a weekend of allowing God to comfort your heart. Whatever has your pulse racing, lay it at His feet. Trade your pounding heart for a heart full of peace and comfort - two blessings that can only come from God Himself. This is where His perfect peace comes from, and a comforted heart is a joyful heart.

Friday, May 15, 2015

When The Wall Falls Down

The one project I wanted to complete last week was getting the corner flower garden by the big garage dug up and replanted. I found two packages of Iowa wildflowers that I very much wanted to use, and the weather was going to be perfect.

But when I went outside to get started, a corner of the retaining wall fell down. I felt very much like an inhabitant of Jericho as stone after stone let gravity have its way. 

So before I could do anything else, Danny had to take down the entire section of wall and start over. It wasn't the project we had intended for the day, but it greatly needed it. Over time, the dirt had settled and pushed some of the blocks out of place. All we had to do was dig them out, level the ground and put them back in.

It took close to three hours, but the wall looks wonderful once again and I was able to get my garden dug out at the same time. I got my seeds in place and even have a few little sprouts. I was so proud of that, and I went running in to tell Danny. When he went to get the truck out to go to work the next day, he couldn't help but laugh. "You know that's grass growing in there, right?" We'll see.