Monday, December 31, 2007

Martha Stewart's Handmade Christmas

About ten years ago, I bought several books on Christmas. Martha Stewart's Handmade Christmas was one of them. It is a lovely book with tons of entertaining and decorating ideas done up as only Martha and her team of little elves can do.

Today as I was laying in bed cuddling with my daughter, I looked over at the bookshelf and saw this book. I realized that this was the first year in 10 years that I didn't pull it out and search the pages for decorating ideas or recipes.

In the past, I felt like I was always trying to measure up to someone else's standard. I was always trying to make my family as perfect as my best friend's, whose mother is the real Betty Crocker. I was trying to be as artistic and creative as our favorite domestic goddess, Martha Stewart, or better yet, my friend, Liz Pope, who so desparately needs to write a cookbook, get noticed by the Food Network and start her own TV show. I can see it now....Entertaining with the Pope....although she went and got married, so she isn't a Pope anymore. Hmmmmm

Oh well, I guess I'm content with my life, my husband, my bonus sons and my daughter. I'm content with my little house in south Louisiana and my situation. Sure I get frustrated with my job, how dirty the house gets and relationships, but overall, I have a great life. I am truly blessed! No need to be Martha Stewart after all.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Harvest time!

Well today was a warm day, 75 right now at 5pm, so I decided to harvest my bins. I'm not sure that they were completely done, but I wanted to get it done before the cold front comes through tonight. In the future, I am going to have the worms self-harvest either by doing the divided bin method or making a flow thru bin. I haven't decided which would be better, but I spent several hours on this project and DH kept commenting about it.

So, here are some photos....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A look at our Christmas

A look at our Christmas 2007

Vermiculture--Worms, Worms, Worms!

In October, I decided to start using more organic methods of raising my family's vegetable garden. Wanting to replace the chemical fertilizer, I studied up on compost, humus, manure, etc. I came across studies on vermiculture. I studied up on various types of worm bins and because of budget restraints, decided to do the old Rubbermade bin (only my Wal-Mart didn't sell Rubbermaid, so I had to get a cheaper kind).

I drilled holes in the sides and bottom, tore up countless amounts of cardboard, newspaper, egg cartons, and toilet paper rolls. I probably should have put more holes in the bin, but my bugabo doesn't like the sound of the drill. Worms not only consume green kitchen scraps, but they also will turn paper into compost for the garden. Mine have consumed many credit card offers! Take that Chase Bank! What better way to protect your identity and your environment. I just shred and put junk mail into the worm bin.
Now it is December and I have fed, turned and cared for my worms for almost 3 months and the time is almost here to harvest them! I will take photos when I decide to do it, but until then keep reading!

One more photo of the worming process. This last photo was taken about two weeks after the bin was started. It is amazing how quickly these little guys turn trash into black gold. If you visit my myspace page you can check out the tags for more information.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas! Time to Diet!

Well, Christmas has come. The gifts have all been opened and my little bugaboo is snug in her bed now. It is amazing how Christmas used to be about what I was getting and now it is about what I'm giving!

We opened gifts at the grandparents house last night. Bugaboo opened the Mega Bloks first and was pretty much done at that point. She was so excited about the blocks that she didn't want to open anything else. We were on a time deadline, so we encouraged her to keep going so everyone would get to see her open the gifts that they bought her. This morning, we took a different approach. We allowed her to open them at her own pace. She would open a gift, play with it and then go open another. I like this approach. It spread the gifts out and she enjoyed them more.

It seems to me that we could all learn a lesson from Bugaboo. Often in life, we want all the gifts that God has for us at one time. Gimme, gimme, gimme! We stuff our faces with not just enough food to fill us, but enough to feed 3 people; we stuff our houses with every imaginable item of technology, every type of kitchen gadget, every possible piece of junk. Our closets overflow with clothes, fat clothes, skinny clothes, warm weather clothes, cold weather clothes, work clothes, workout clothes, play clothes, dressy clothes and casual clothes. We continue to want more and can't even find all that we already have.

When we pray, we look for instant answers instead of being still and knowing that God will meet all our needs.

As we enjoy this Christmas season, let's take time to slow down and enjoy the gifts that God is giving us one at a time. By slowing down, we can truly savor the blessings we have today.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Self image....

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "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. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Strange how what doesn't makes sense in our worldly nature is exactly the opposite of what God says. As a society, we started teaching our children that they were "special" in school; not telling them why they were special. Just telling them that they were special because they were them. Fast forward 15 years, now we have the most egocentric generations ever.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cry In My Heart

We sing this song at church that I love. It seems to stick with me all week when we sing it and so I sing it to Ellie. It is like her own special lullaby. It quiets her down and makes her smile. Sometimes she "sings" with me. I so want her to know God's love for her!

"Cry In My Heart" by Starfield
There's a cry in my heart
For Your glory to fall
For Your presence to fill up my senses
There's a yearning again
A thirst for discipline
A hunger for things that are deeper
Could You take me beyond?
Could You carry me through?
If I open my heart?
Could I go there with You?
(For I've been here before
But I know there's still more
Oh, Lord, I need to know You)
For what do I have
If I don't have You, Jesus?
What in this life
Could mean any more?
You are my rock
You are my glory
You are the lifter
Of my head
Lifter of this head

For what do I have if I don't have You, Jesus? nothing.

Is it me????

Have you ever been in church when the preacher says that he is opening up the altar for people to come be prayed for and that he is sure that there is one person who needs a touch from God? A person who God has laid on his heart that they need prayer? This person needs to submit to God?
Have you ever stood there wondering..."Is it me?"
I cried in worship today. We were singing, "Your love, Lord, amazes me! ....You take my broken heart and bring relief." And my heart was broken.
So many times I just fight with God. I don't trust Him to meet my family's needs. I keep thinking that I should just be able to do more. I forget that His grace is enough. He wants to take care of me, if I would just let Him.
I fight with my husband, not that he knows it....most of the fights begin and end in my head before ever getting him involved. Usually, it is best that way. I struggle with submission. I want to do things my way and in my time, but now that I am joined to another human being, it doesn't work that way. I struggle with how our relationship has changed since we got married.
So, there I stood. Pastor Doug calling for people to come to the altar. Calling for one person in particular to come to the altar. (this doesn't happen in the Baptist churches of my upbringing, or if it does, no one ever thinks much of it because the power of the Holy Spirit is limited by the rules and proper ways to do this and that) So I stood there... Asking myself, Is it me? Am I the one he is talking about? I don't want to be the cause of keeping God from working in the service today. But then again...I didn't even really WANT to go to church today. I was stressed because of all the STUFF that I had to do. Worried about needing a new water pump, new tires, a mower, why is the toilet making that noise when we flush it? All the worries of the world...BTW...the pastor was preaching on worry today he said, but I had pictures to be printed and cut out for the little kids in children's church and knew I wouldn't be in the service today.
I went down and was prayed for/with. Tears streaming down my face...all the while fighting within myself and not knowing why. Struggling with my fears and arguing in my head with what the pastor is praying about! "Dear Lord come in to Lori's life. Live in her." What you don't think God lives in me! Why can't I just let go? Let God control me?
My dad always talks about how hard it is to be a living sacrifice because we keep crawling off the altar. That is me! I want God to control my life, but just when I give it to Him, I take it back. Ellie does that with me. She will bring me her Gracie doll to put together so it will sing or pray, but she doesn't have the patience with me sometimes and she grabs it out of my hands. The pure joy on her face when she leaves it in my hands long enough for me to make it work tells me that she loves her doll, but too often she is like me with God. She snatches it back and tries to do it herself.
When will we learn?


I was saved at the age of 3 at my parents' bedside one night in September. I don't have one of those exciting testimonies with tales of drinking and drugs, sex and rock and roll. My testimony is of a quiet moment shared with my mom and dad.
For a long time, I didn't think that I mattered in the Kingdom of God. I didn't have a rousing testimony that would bring sinners to their knees before my loving and forgiving God. Who would want to hear about a little girl praying the sinner's prayer at her parents' bedside? It just didn't have the Hollywood glamour of other people's testimonies.
But then I went to a funeral Saturday, Mrs. Barbara Clukey's funeral. As people spoke about this strong woman of faith, who spent countless hours in God's Word and prayer for friends and family. I realized how special her quiet testimony was. I don't know the how or when of her salvation experience, but I do know how she lived her life. I know that she was a prayer warrior. I know she loved people and gave of her time and talents to anyone she met. She loved God's word. Her deep desire to know the WHOLE Bible impressed me.
I realized that is the type of testimony I want to have. Not one with a Hollywood ending, but a quiet faith that spans the decades of my life. I want to be known by everyone that I meet as a follower of Christ. I don't want to stand on the great pulpits of our time and proclaim what a great sinner I was and how God changed my life. I just want people to know that God continues to work in my life day by day. I want people to look at my Bible when I a gone to Heaven and say, "Wow, she really wore this book out." I want people to know not who I was before Christ, but who I am because of Christ.
Most of all I want to be an example to Ellie. I want her to understand the principal that what is important isn't how much you sinned before you were saved, but what God does with your life after you are saved that matters.

Advice to Your Younger Self: What Would You Say?

Dear Lori,
1. Don't worry about the funny looks people give you when you act weird. Most of the time they just wish they could act weird too.
2. Follow your dreams more often.
3. Take pottery classes in college, then save money for your own wheel. It is something you love, so do it!
4. Don't limit yourself by what you think everyone else thinks you should do with your life. It is your life, and while you should see wise council, it is your life and ultimately, you are the one who has to live it.
5. Credit cards are evil! Listen to your sister's advice on this one.
6. Just because you went to college for one thing, doesn't mean that you are stuck in a career that you hate.
7. Dance! Who cares if you look funny!
8. Most of all, slow down and look where you are going! You won't end up laying in the ditch with a sprained ankle so often.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Living the life of a Princess

It is what we all dream about right? From the time little girls are about two years old, their heads are filled with dreams of castles and tiaras. Prince Charming stealing a dance with us in the forrest as the animals look on and we sing "Some Day My Prince Will Come." (Big Sigh!)

As time passes, we grow up. Life comes at us and we start to realize that people look at you funny when you wear your tiara to Wal-Mart; your castle is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with a toilet that clogs everytime someone puts more than one sheet of tissue in it; sometimes Prince Charming is late coming and when he does show up...he burps, farts, gets upset when you disturb him during a football game and has really bad breath in the morning.

So, where did the fairytale go? I'm still living it. Prince Charming, woodland creatures (worms live in the woods, don't they?) and my own little princess. No, it isn't what I dreamed of as a child, but it is what God gave me and I love it!