Tuesday, March 25, 2014

He *wants* to help us!

"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart; I have overcome the world."

~Jesus (quoted in John 16:33)

He loves us!  He wants to help us!  He's trying to tell us things... so we need to read His Word (the Bible)!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Baking soda, my hero

Yes, strange as it may sound, baking soda has become my hero!  I am convinced it can clean up virtually anything sticky or greazy.  (Yes, I spelled that with a Z on purpose.)

It all started a few months ago when my in-laws were visiting.  I was lamenting to my mother-in-law how diligently I 'd been trying to keep my new stove top free of cooked-on stains, but I despaired that I had lost the battle.  She inquired, "Have you tried baking soda?"

Seriously.  I have tried everything under the sun—everything short of a hammer and chisel.  Soaking the spot with boiling water.  Lots of dishsoap.  Vinegar.  Goo-gone.  Even the harshest chemical cleaners won't budge those cooked-on spots!

So there she went and dumped a small amount of baking soda next to the burner, and with a wet washcloth she dabbed at the baking soda and began to gently rub it in circles on the stain.  Voila!  With minimal effort, the cooked-on spots disappeared!  I was astounded!  (I may have even danced a little jig, but my memory doesn't serve me very well these days...)

Now baking soda is my "go-to" cleaner.  I have used it on sticky countertops, pans with baked-on cooking spray, and even the bathtub!  Better yet, it's not harsh on your hands (or your nostrils).  And it's cheap!

Go ahead and try it!  Once you pick your jaw up off the floor, you'll be grinning from ear to ear.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It's a ...

"Ohhh ... a guinea pig...."

That was the kind cashier's smiling response to Ryan's declaration at Barnes & Noble today.  We visited the retailer because the boys had each earned a "prize" by reading 25 books—a little incentive program I set up.

The prize is the book of their choosing, under $10.  Ryan's "guinea pig" was a delight that he chose to spend his own money on.  He has a tender spot for animals... at least of the stuffed variety.  "Aww, it's so cute!" he had cooed when he spotted the roly-poly rabbit... er, guinea pig.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What HE has done!

I was journaling on a chunk of verses from Romans chapter 4.  Here's the part that really struck me:

...God will also count us as righteous if we believe in Him—the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God. (Romans 4:24-25)

As I began to apply this to my own life, I started writing,

"God will also count me as righteous if I believe in Him" (verse 24).  The word righteous has gotten me hung up in the past  "Me? Righteous? Hasn't He seen what I've done?!"

And right there He spoke to my heart, "Of course I have—but haven't you seen what my Son has done?!!!"

That was such a sweet interchange—God showing me that what Jesus did (dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins) is far greater than my sin could ever be!  This is part of why I am loving the SOAP journaling—because it is a tool for God to affect you deeply... to speak to you in a very personal way... it brings God's Word to life in the depths of your heart and soul!  I urge you to try it (see my blog entry here: http://www.onelife2liv.blogspot.com/2013/12/have-you-heard-of-soaping.html).  I believe it will change your life!

(To get more of the context of this Scripture passage, read Romans 4:21-25.  Or for that matter, read the whole chapter... or the whole book of Romans!  Especially in the New Living Translation (NLT)—I find it to be the most understandable and profound!)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My husband the soup maker

My husband has always been a pretty good cook.  When we first got married (nearly 13 years) he did all the cooking!  But when we started having babies... and I was at home all day with our newborn son... Jon posed the question.  THE question.  Wouldn't it make more sense for me to cook supper, since I'm home all day?  Hmph.

Well, I did end up taking over the helm in the kitchen—albeit reluctantly at first—and I must say I've learned a lot in the 8 years that I've been "head chef"—and my cooking skills have become "not too shabby" in my book!  I even kind of like it!

Now that Jon is home all the time (due to a layoff) he occasionally assists me with meal prep.  And this man makes some amazing soup! 

Just look at that!  Chicken and rice soup—waaaay better than the stuff from a can!  He even made his own chicken stock from the leftover bones of a rotisserie chicken!  Just had to brag on my man. :)