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Archive for January, 2011

Inside

all of us

is that little place that is set back from all other places within.

 
We sometimes forget it’s there.

 

The gardener pushes away the soil, making room for the massive root system of the spring bulb she plants with anticipation. She has hopes that in the spring this beautiful bulb with bring forth exquisite blooms for her enjoyment. She has other bulbs and works diligently to settle them in for the winter. She gazes over the rest of her garden, remembering how it looked last spring, appreciating the fact that her garden needs this winter repose. The coldness of winter is like a renewal to her beautiful flowers. She thinks, “They need this rest. They need this quiet slumber. The restfulness will bring forth newness and physical strength for the plants and beautiful blooms.” She sits on a large rock situated by her largest lavender plant and muses, “But can I wait for spring to relish the results of this winter rest? Yes, for I will also rest and pause.”

Months go by with snowfall and crystal ice covering the dried leaves of the garden. The small tear-shaped crystals cling to the leaves creating a fairy winter garden. There is stillness in this garden.

But soon the earth is devouring the fresh rain as it pours from the heavens. The earth can’t get enough. It rains and rains. The spring rains forces small green shoots among the dead, dried debris. The air is alive with newness.

A while later, the garden gate groans as it is pushed open for the first time since the fall. The gardener pauses as she observes her garden. What changes have taken place? “There is life here!” she thinks. “I can see it and smell it. My garden is renewed again!” She steps carefully and quickly over the stepping stones, finding her way to the other side of the garden to start her work in unburdening the new life…tearing the old away….letting the tender green leaves feel free to grow and expand.

This is what she has been waiting for. She has been rejuvenated and strengthened again along with her astonishing garden. With wisdom, she knew that she also profited from the time away from her garden work. But now, with the excitement of a child, she throws herself into the weeding, pulling and digging, so that the blooms and new growth will soon show themselves.

 

Like the gardener and her garden, we too need time to pull away from the here and now. Things that pull us toward the nervousness and strife of life. 

If I am troubled and full of stress. If I am not remembering little things. If I have too many obligations. If I am not sleeping well. If I am always feeling physically poor. If I have too many words going through my mind. I need renewal.

Take time away, pause and listen. One scripture comes to my mind;  “Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10 Getting by yourself at a regular time and meditate on just one verse from God’s word is a prescription for peace and renewal.

We women especially require this time to ourselves. But time not to read a novel, or watch a favorite TV program. But time to sit quietly and listen. Open up that little place that is set back from all other places within you. Fill it with the peace that passes all understanding. Fill it with God’s peace and renewal.

Don’t let it be your secret garden anymore.

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Chicken Pie

What do you think of when someone mentions Chicken Pie? If you live in Florida, you may think of chicken Quiche. If you live in Ohio, you may think of chicken with carrots and peas with crust on top. BUT…in North Carolina, it’s not what you think…..at least to me.

See, a few years ago, I used to have lunches at my house every Tuesday for the people who used to work at Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet in Newton, NC. I would not charge them anything but would take donations only. (That’s why I stopped doing this!!) I would fax over the menu for that day…usually some kind of soup or Quiche, salad and pie. Also I made a wonderful cinnamon bread that reminded me of a place I loved to eat lunch in Florida called *Whole Note Acres*. Basically, I copied their entire menu and tried to make it as authentic as I could. Although I knew I was taking a chance knowing most of the people who came to my lunches were guys that worked at this dealership…Dale Earnhard’s dealership!

Well, one Tuesday I was having Chicken Pie. Mmmmm…I had a full house that day. Well, it was so hilarious when I started serving…..you should have seen the look on their faces when they saw *my* chicken pie….it was actually a chicken quiche. Bless their hearts, they ate it anyway!!

Since then I have learned to make the real authentic North Carolina Chicken Pie. Just chicken, no veggies, in a gravy with homemade pie crust. Very yum yum.

It’ll probably be gone when I go back in the dining room after posting this on my blog…as I just made it and left it with Jim. See, there isn’t much left!

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Sometimes I utterly hate face book. I hate the fact that people think they can post whatever they want. I hate the fact that our kids are slowly thinking things that we wouldn’t touch with a 10ft pole 10 years ago…or even 5 years ago,  that things like that they now accept. I hate the fact that there is so much out there for our eyes to see and for our minds to wrap around…..but not good things. I hate the fact that even we are slowly wandering in the middle of such garbage. I hate that we parents and grandparents are *afraid* to say anything……what’s happened?

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A pie once a week?

Jim loves pie. I love pie but not as much as Jim. But I had to find a way to give in to his craving without adding to his or I mean, our calories!! Then I remembered that I had a small….7 inches….pie plate that came from my Grandma. The day that she fell (and soon later had a stroke) she had made a pie for herself in this very pie plate. At 87 years old, she still made pies…and for herself! I feel blessed to have this plate. Getting back to Jim’s pie….I thought since Grandma’s plate was so small (the average pie plate measures 10 inches) why not make a pie a week in this little pie plate?

I had to cut up the apples smaller than I usually do for a bigger pie. It took me literally minutes to make.

And I always like to decorate a 2 crust pie with something. In this one, I used a teeny tiny cookie cutter.

I just purchased this milk glass 7 inch pie plate just a few days ago. And I love the way my Grandma’s plate has etchings on it.

This by far, is my favorite thing to bake now. And yes, a pie once a week is grand!! Jim is in 7th heaven!!

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Forgotten Words

by Charles R. Swindoll

Matthew 20:26; 3 John 1:9-10

 

“Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26).

 

Forgotten words. 

Truth be told, even in our churches we tend to get so caught up in a success-and-size race that we lose sight of our primary calling as followers of Christ. The “celebrity syndrome” so present in our Christian thought and activities just doesn’t square with the attitudes and messages of Jesus. We have skidded into a pattern whereby the celebrities and top dogs in our church life call the shots . . . and it is difficult to be a servant when you’re used to telling others what to do. 

Maybe I need to clarify what I mean. In the body of Christ, there is one Head. Christ Jesus is Lord of His body.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. (Colossians 1:15-18)

 

No human being dare take that position. A man named Diotrephes, mentioned in verses 9 and 10 of John’s third letter, attempted to do so and was openly rebuked by the apostle. Diotrephes’s account is a warning to anyone who desires to become the “church boss.”

It may be a board member, a pastor, a teacher, a musician, a former officer or former pastor in a church. No matter who, the Diotrephes mentality has no place in the body. Only Christ is the Head. All the rest of us are in the class Jesus spoke of in Matthew 20: servants

You’re probably saying, “But there must be leadership to get the job done.” Yes, I agree. But it must be servant-hearted leadership among all.

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My husband got me a new cello this Christmas, along with a new bow and case. I got to pick out the color of the case and picked out red. As I was waiting on the case to be shipped, I thought maybe I might have made a mistake in the color red….after all, red is so wild and crazy!! But after I saw it, I do love it! And my new cello…..well, it is just wonderful and it has made my practice a joy!! I play every day! Just wanted to share my joy with you all!

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Book Review

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I’ve just finished reading this book and wanted to share a few things about what I did like about it. Gene Stone, the author, has interviewed 25 different people who have shared with him some of their reasons that they are healthy. Some are quite old, others not. I would imagine that the younger ones should live a little longer to see if their tips really work!
 
There are 25 chapters with each “secret” revealed and a little biography of the person that’s revealed his or her secret to long life. My favorite three are:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Well, yeah, it should keep you from getting ill from overeating…but there’s a little more to this than meets the eye. “Recent studies at the University of Wisconsin have shown that calorie restriction can result in a reduced incidence of age-related disorders, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes in monkeys, while another study…..found monkeys were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.”
 
Ok, what about humans, you ask? “Several studies on humans have indicated that a calorie-restricted diet in which participants eat up to 25% less than they would normally eat reduces overall cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and blood pressure.”
Napping not only improves your health, but they make you smarter…..make sure they aren’t longer than 30 minutes. And they may also be the reason people that make this their daily habit never come down with colds or the flu. I think it’s a great idea! I love to nap in the middle of the day, for just 25 minutes and awake very refreshed.
You’ve always heard your Mom or Grandma say, “You are what you eat”…well, you are what you think about too!! I’ve always believed that people that always look at the glass half full, instead of half empty, seem to survive better in this world. We all could stay home from work with just a sniffle and a bad case of the blahs….but as I always told my daughters, “Get up and take a shower…you’ll feel better.” Having a positive attitude can change your day around unbelievably!
Some more chapters in this book include titles such as these:
~Bewer’s Yeast
~Chicken Soup
~Eating Dirt (you’ll have to read the book!)
~Friends (another one of my favorite chapters)
~Good Genes
~Stretching
~Vitamin C
This was a fun book to read….some of the “secrets” were kind of weird and that was where the fun part of the book came in play. But I did enjoy the book. 

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