Thursday, December 3, 2009

In the beginning of Dec...

Dec. is here.Thanksgiving 2009 is history. Life is moving on one day at a time. I have to do something to get myself in the mood for Christmas! Seriously things have been rather stressful at work.I know it's not only me because it's a large group of us wondering "what in the world"! But all that aside the family is still looking forward to me doing something to make this Holiday a wonderful time filled with the things we call traditions.Really ,what is Christmas without the huge tree in the house,the lights twinkling,snowmen lined up in their proper places around the house,chocolates,peppermint mochas,and whatever else makes us feel Christmasy.:) O I love it -I love it all I am just having a hard time believing it's that time. Boy o boy, time (literally) flies.

So...this weekend I believe I will have to get busy.Get busy getting this home ready for the Great Holiday of Christmas.My question to myself is...I my heart filled with Jesus? Is my heart in tune with His? Is his place of residence decorated with the best for Him?Is his home uncluttered and beautiful? You know how we sigh,and gasp when we see a home beautifully decorated for Christmas and it brings warm fuzzy ,homey feelings straight to our heart? Well...that is what I want others to see from my life because they see Jesus in my life.I want them to hunger and thirst for the same thing.Back to my first thought I need to do something to get me in the mood....That could be getting new ideas by going out to stores,visiting my friends house that has already decorated or listening to Christmas music...that is my whole point ...hopefully folks will see my heart,and sense a desire to have the same-Jesus!Have a Great time preparing for Christmas!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I have been enjoying the verses in Psalm 119 this week.Verse 45 caught my attention. "I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments". There is an irony to that truth. Put yourself there. Someone is in command sets "rules" or boundaries and you are under them. Freedom? Do boundaries bring about of freedom?Let's say you went out and bought yourself a book. A book about "How to be a Prayer Warrior".The author gives guidelines for you to follow to progress in this area. But, buying the book does nothing,You have to discipline yourself to actually follow these instructions given by the author to succeed. When I looked up "Disciplines" in the Thesaurus the one word they gave me was “imprisonment“. So, I beg to question ,Disciplines are boundaries, boundaries bring freedom? I say, "absolutely"! There is a free-ness when I know that there are guard rails-if you please- to keep me safe.Not in a legalistic, closed in area kind of way but to know that I am where God wants me to be spiritually growing,morally correct and living my life in His circle of fellowship.I want to live in a way that my Spirit is so in tune with the Holy Spirit that I immediately know I have overstepped those boundaries.
Of Course this whole thinking of FREEDOM has come by the way of thinking about the July 4th Holiday which we celebrated with family.We had a wonderful time picnic-ing by the water,relaxing,and enjoying each other's company.A few of us walked to St. Armand's to get ice cream and a cold drink.

So beautiful! All those people coming together to watch the fireworks and know that someday Jesus will light up the sky with his return and all people will see him! GLORIOUS!
Happy 4th of July weekend to you...enjoy your freedom in Christ!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Heart of God

Lord you have my heart
And I will search for yours
Jesus take my life and lead me on.

Lord you have my heart
And I will search for yours
Let me be to you a sacrifice.

(men) And I will praise you Lord
(ladies) I will praise you Lord
(men) And I will sing of love come down
(ladies) I will sing of love come down
(men) And as you show your face
(ladies) Show your face
(together) We'll see your glory here.
Written by Martin Smith ©1994 Curious? Music UK

On Sunday evening the worship team led us in this great song of worship and at the time I enjoyed the song but didn't realize the impact on my heart! By Monday eve. it had woven it's way into my mind and into my soul. I began pondering about searching the heart of God.
On Monday while working I imagined the heart of God and what it would be like. Today while running errands I was again thinking about it and the first thing that came to my mind was "He is about'people'".
Think about it, when Jesus walked the face of the earth it wasn't to see how much he could consume,or collect,It was to "draw men unto him".The whole plan was for Jesus to redeem us.When I typed "God's heart" into the Bible search on my blog the scripture reference,John 3:16 popped up "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Love...that is God's heart...For people.About people.

But my mind doesn't rest with that! How do I search his heart?Communication.Real communication with him through His word and prayer. Yet I ask;What part of his heart does he want me to find , search, display ? When I think of His heart I imagine it to be so large with many different avenues. I wonder are there parts that I need to focus on and others that you need to?
Still it all boils down to people.Humans.Flesh and blood.Loving them.I do think the "different" for each person is how we demonstrate it.
I did a little more research on this whole idea and one author stated that first you discover God's heart than follow with obedience.Is what God calls me to different than you?
In the midst of all the pondering I did get some errands done.I also got a call from my husband asking me if I could bring a tool to his job site that he had forgotten this morning.To be real honest I was frustrated because I had my plan for the day.My agenda marked out. I selfishly ranted a bit.That's when I thought about the other part of the song that states "I will praise you" How much easier to praise if my day went as planned .I had prayed earlier "show me your heart",and He gave me a chance to see if I could really demonstrate a part of his heart in real life , I so easily forgot.I ask God and my husband to forgive me.
Well,my thoughts seem a little rambly butI am still not finished thinking about this...but life in my day is calling to be continued would be fitting!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Our Main St. market

On Saturday morning I gave my mom a call and we decided to enjoy a local activity that happens every Saturday in town but we never make use of it! The City closes down part of a street in Downtown Sarasota and people set up shop to sell baked goods, fruits, vegetables and locally hand-made crafts. It's an exiting place to fill part of your Saturday.I like it too because it's close to "Pastry Art"; a delightful coffee shop that has been chosen "Sarasota's Best".You can believe it because of the amount of folks that frequent it. I actually enjoy it more on week-day mornings when it is a bit more quiet.I purchased some yummy smoked cheddar cheese,vegetables and a cranberry/orange muffin. mmmm...mmmm! I also thought I would try something new bananas. I took a bite and was not impressed!It completely dried out my mouth.I was so glad to have water on hand! I swished and swished the water in my mouth but it was still an awful feeling in my mouth. I went back to the stand and the lady said she would gladly give my money back but than explained to me that I needed to wait till the bananas turned brown-ish. So, now they are sitting ,ripening ion my counter waiting to be ready to eat! Hopefully I will enjoy the 2nd try better.:)

Proverbs 18:20 (The Message)
" Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Marshmallows,Wal-mart and VBS

VBS is here! The kids are always exited although Logan who's 14 and going into 9Th grade says it's a little boring.Well, everyone in church jumps in and lends a helping hand where they can.I signed up to bring in food stuffs to help with the snacks(which anyone knows is essential for kids!)I put my name down for several items including 4 bags of marshmallows.

I,being a chronic procrastinator suddenly remembered this.On Saturday I,with my list went to the local publix and filled my cart with lots of goodies. As I was unloading my cart I noticed that I had forgotten to pick up those white puffy things!The cashier nicely told me which isle they could be found... but than the kind soul behind me promptly offered to go after them for me...As soon as she walked away my money saving ,frugal mind thought "oh please, I hope she get's me the store brand!" But what was I to do? I continued to empty my cart!Soon my new servant friend came back laden with 4 bags of "Jet Puffed" name brand marshmallows! I hope my face did not fall.I kindly thanked her than watched as the cashier ran them across the scanner to display $2.39 a bag!Take that x 4 and you have $9.00 worth of sweet,puffy, white delights that will surely bring a smile to many Bible shool children's faces! Of course, everyone in the isle,the cashier and bagger wanted to know what I was to do with all these marshmalows! I explained that it was for a VBS project and hope that my face displayed a christ-like spirit while inside I was trying to figure out should I just leave it be ,afterall; they were a church donation! But till I got home and was thinking about how much I could have saved at at Wal-mart. I decided that Monday I would still have time to do the exchange.Sure enough today I needed to go to Wally world anyway I did the whole exchange,Publix was very kind and did't ask any questions.That is my story about the Marshmallows.Moral? not sure there is one ...:)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer and refreshment

Summertime is here. School is closed and what a great time to make fantastic family memories. The season brings longer days so we can enjoy vacations, cookouts, picnics or beach outings. Often these activities are taken as a means of rest from a busy schedule . Of course, this time of year also brings higher temperatures and humidity. The other day while in a grocery isle I noticed that magazine covers are focusing on “summertime” recipes to help keep us cool. I remember as a little girl watching my dad mow lawn on these hot, summer Florida days. Often I would fix ice cold water and take it out to him. Right there he would stop the mower, take the glass ,tip his head back and completely drain it of the thirst-quenching liquid .I also remember being the little girl who was watching her daddy enjoy that “gift” of refreshment. It perfectly delighted me. So, now that I have your thoughts on hot days and refreshments, let me remind you that Jesus wants us to enjoy his gifts in our lives. Not only does he prepare these gifts for us ,but he stands by, waiting for us to enjoy them to the last drop. It perfectly delights him too. Take the time to stop whatever is consuming your time and enjoy Jesus with complete abandonment! John 1:16”We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift.” Psalm 23:2-3 “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.”

Written for "life Talk with Caroline "

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Power in Numbers

This Morning, I was reading in Nehemiah about some happenings during the rebuilding of the wall. I noticed an interesting part that reminded me about the strength of families and groups that have one goal; standing together against the enemy.
Nehemiah 4:10-15 (New International Version)
10 “Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, "The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall."
11 Also our enemies said, "Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work."
12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, "Wherever you turn, they will attack us."
13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting
them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."
15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.”

What a strong leader! Nehemiah helped these people work through something they feared. Puttting them together in units, (namely family units) to collectively fight against the enemy and save their homes. God blessed these people and frustrated the enemy who than retreated, the people returned to the work of the wall.
So much can be learned in this small portion of a bigger story. Sometimes our own portions of work need to be put on hold to band together to save the “whole family”. Whatever your “whole family” may be. I ask myself ,do I notice when a friend or sister needs strength in numbers? Am I willing to lay down my “stuff” for a bit and come to the aide of this need?
Hopefully this will encourage you too!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Recently I made a recipe of a beverage we love during the summer.Iced Coffee.We keep the concentrate in the fridge and it's simple and very quick to make a refreshing treat in the afternoon or evening.

Easy and delicious iced coffee

2 Cups boiling water
1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup Instant coffee
1/4 Cup Caramel syrup (Or your own favorite)
1 tsp. Vanilla
Mix all together and chill

1 serving of coffee =

4 oz. ice
1/4 cup mix
1 cup milk
Stir and top with Whipped Cream

For a low calorie treat
~ replace sugar with Splenda
~use coffee syrup that is calorie, sugar and fat free
~use a lower fat content milk

I love Raspberries! I love Ice cream!Somewhere I came across this wonderful recipe combining these 2 ingredients and tried it...not only does it look beautiful it tasted WONDERFUL!

Raspberry Cheesecake Shake

1 12-oz. pkg. frozen raspberries, thawed
1 3-oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 qt. vanilla ice cream, softened
1 12-oz. cans cream soda

Combine raspberries, cream cheese, almond extract, half the ice cream and 1/2 cup of the cream soda in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth.

Divide mixture into tall chilled glasses. Add a scoop of ice cream to each drink and top with remaining cream soda. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

If you get a chance try one and be refreshed!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Dilemma (and joys)of Dinner

What's for dinner? I wonder how many mother's really dread that question. Such a simple one tho! You would think it would be easy! I enjoy cooking.I think I am pretty good at it actually. I try to have things in the pantry and freezer to make this time of the evening easier but yet sometimes my brain freezes and I can't make the simple decision of what to put together.Actually, as I am writing this a casserole that I put together is sitting on my counter top ready to be devoured by my family,I have one problem with it...I put buttered bread crumbs on top, put it in the oven on broil to nicely toast it and FORGOT ABOUT IT! Well,it's still good but just a little burnt flavor on top(scrape it off if you don't like the burnt touch!)
once the food is prepared and on the table... I enjoy family dinner time.With the kids being older the conversation gets a little interesting at times.Sometimes we can get downright silly and laugh till the cows come home..(Oh wait we don't have cows!):)
I think that dinner has lost it's "wonder" in the American home. I had a co- worker who knows I am married and have a family ask me in a surprised tone "You cook dinner every night?" I hope to always keep that tradition of family dinner around the table.I remember it growing up and would have it no different here in my own home.
So,in thinking about this whole thing of having to come up with something for my family to eat every evening has more meaning than just consuming food.It also provides a time for the family to stop what they are doing, join around the table,have a chance to talk about their day and maybe share a new joke so we all can laugh together.
Hmmm....I smell dinner(burnt bread crumbs and all)I think it's time to gather the family around...
Till later Caroline

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day!

What is Mother's day to me? I totally enjoy this day to the fullest! It always lands on Sunday of course so that means my family is together.No one is at school or at work.I can be lazy and not have to organize anything! Although It's hard for me to keep my fingers out of stuff and try to help.
We head off to church and generally there is a sermon on mother's and usually it is about all that we do and the respect and love we should get from our families.I have been thinking about this and wondering if maybe I needed more of a sermon on how to be a better mom. A reminder of the fact that the respect I show him greatly affects my children's attitude towards Dad.Of how patience is always better than getting all fires up so quickly.
If it weren't for my children I would not be a mom(Obviously) so why do people look at children as an extra work load? Sure they cause more laundry,they make life more expensive, my freedom was more limited, but the joy they bring totally outweighs all that! I want their respect.I want their love. I want them to think I know how to have fun.But who teaches these children of mine to respect,to love and to appreciate their mom? ME! I try to teach my kids that life and family takes working together.That a family doesn't work by any part of us sitting by getting stuff handed to us.We are a unit,each separate but yet together we get things accomplished!
My children are not little anymore! Island park is a favorite spot of mine .That's where we are taking a picnic today.It makes me happy.They are willingly going along but not with the glee that they used to.:) it's fun to watch them change but some of those fun things that I think still ought to be fun ,they are rather bored...*sigh* life goes on.

I love Mother's day! I thank God for my husband and the 3 great kids I have with him...God bless them all for putting up with me!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Day off

What to do? One day off a week and I have to decide am I going to allow some free time for myself or be real domestic and scurry through the house getting everything done that a good "housewife" would do? *sigh* I have that guilty feeling nagging at me when I look at the clock and think of how little I've accomplished! I have been playing around on my computer having a high old time making my new header...I must confess I was real pleased to finally have figured out a few I just need someone to help me make it a 3 column blog...everything takes time...

More seriously,I don't mind having my mind distracted from what is brewing in the back all day.Chip's brother Jr. found out there is a spot of cancer in his body and is going for more tests today.That "C" word brings pain to my heart!Everything in me wants to deny and just forget about it but....So,today I am praying for him and his wife Becky...such a wionderful couple and lovely family...bring healing God Please~!

Tomorrow is our Ladies Mom/Daughter banquet at Troyer's Dutch Heritage.They have asked me to speak,which I love to do.I have been rolling those thoughts around and around in my head.It's no wonder I feel a little "full brained"... :)! My plan is to talk abot the wardrobe God has created or us.
Well,the housewife in me is winning over now,my dryer has stopped again the wash will not fold itself! Till later ~Caroline

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Encouragement for everday

( Phil.4:4-9)The Message
4-5Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
6-7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
8-9Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies

Seriously! This is such a great method for day to day living! Get along with people. Work together. If they don’t know Jesus~ hopefully by the time you leave they have a glimpse of him through you. “Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.”(Phil. 2:15)
Here you go, Do not worry…it just isn’t worth the effort or the time. Than in place of that worry fill your mind with good things. It gives you a list to start on. Finally in verse 24 we are reminded to “Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.” Enjoy God and your relationship with him. He wants what is completely and totally the best for you.


Today is "National Dance day"! What a fun ! Just this morning one of the patients had some really great oldies music playing in their room and those of us working couldn't help ourselves...we just had to dance a little funny thig is, we didn't even know this little bit of wacky information.:)Actually the kids came home from school and said it was National Skipping day..I guess one is as much fun as the other! Are you dancing? come on...if nothing else it's good exercise!