Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I just can't help but be thankful this morning. Thankful for a God who looks beyond all outward appearances and talents and goes straight to the heart of His people.

Last weekend Pastor Frank continued his series entitled 'Psalms ~ Desiring God'. In order to better understand the author, David, he took us to the book of Samuel; all the way back to when David was still a boy, working in his father's field. The Lord had sent Samuel to anoint one of Jesse's sons to be the future King of Israel. After Samuel assumed it would be Eliab, the obvious choice, comes this verse:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a persons thoughts & intentions.” 1Samuel 16:7 New Living Translation

I don't know about you, but that is very encouraging to me.

God sees things inside of not only me, but each one of us that we can't even think or imagine. Take David for example. Of all the sons that Jesse had, David was the one least likely to be a candidate to be anointed as the future King of Israel. He was so unlikely a choice that Jesse didn't even call him out of the field when Samuel had him call his sons in. After all, he was the youngest. And it's not like he was already out leading people, showing his leadership skills at an early age. He worked out in the field, watching over sheep. And yet God saw in him a heart that would follow hard after God. He didn't see one who would be perfect or who wouldn't make mistakes. But, God saw something that no one else saw. He saw a future King.

The truth is, it's the outward appearance and abilities one has that impress people. But it's the thoughts and intentions within the heart that impress God. People have the ability to look ahead and see where someone's abilities may take them. But it's what is deep in a person's heart that can take one to places that only God can fathom.

I think this is a great lesson for all of us Moms. To not only be open to God using us in ways we can't imagine, but also being aware of this thought as we raise up our children. It's a great lesson as to how we should be as parents, not just noticing what is obvious in our children, but also seeing into their hearts and recognizing things within them that they don't see for themselves.

Let's let today be a day of believing God for things that seem unimaginable!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fruitful Fridays - Biscuits and Gravy

I am a huge fan of "Breakfast for Dinner Nights". One of my favorite dishes to make is Biscuits and Gravy. This dish is so easy and quick, too!

For those of you that need an exact ingredient amount, you might want to skip reading how I make this. I never measure for this recipe, so I'll give you a link that sounds about right to me, though I've never tried it.
1 lb. Breakfast Sausage
When I make Biscuits and Gravy I like to use 1 pound of breakfast sausage (did I mention this is not a low-fat dish???) and brown it in a large skillet. Then I stir in about 2-4 heaping tablespoons of flour. Once all of the flour is absorbed, I stir in about 2-4 more scoops of flour. I like to add a lot of flour because I like my gravy really thick. If you prefer a thinner gravy, go easy on the flour. Once all my flour is stirred in, I let it simmer on medium for about 3-4 minutes, lightly cooking the flour. Lowering heat, I begin adding milk slowly. I add just enough to stir in to and make a thick paste. I continue to add milk and then stop to stir. I do this until it is a little thinner than I want it to be. Allow it to simmer on low for a few minutes to and it will thicken.

For Biscuits, I use several options. The simplest version is a piece of toast. My mom would make this and call it S.O.S. ('stuff' on a shingle ;-). Next option is a tube of biscuits baked in the oven. If I want to make biscuits from scratch, they're not that difficult. Here's a recipe I use:
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp vegetable shorting
1 cup buttermilk (or regular milk if I'm in a pinch)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix dry ingredients and cut in the shortening. Add milk slowly forming a rough dough. Do not "over" kneed. Roll out and cut into biscuits or dollop mounds on to a baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes.


Thursday, September 17, 2009


As moms, we often wonder what goes through little children’s minds in different situations. Other times, we are fortunate enough to have them speak what’s on their minds. The other day was one of those times. I have to share this one with you because...well, just because it made my day...and it’s really cute.

The other day my 4 year old grandson had spent the afternoon with his little friend after preschool. The friend’s mom dropped him off at my house and had the following conversation afterward.

Friend: “It’s not fair that ‘T’ has two Mommies.”

Friend’s Mommy: “What do you mean?”

Friend: “It’s not fair that ‘T’ has two Mommies and I only have one Mommy.”

Friend’s Mommy: “‘E’, he only has one Mommy. Susan’s not his Mommy, she’s his Grandma.”

Friend: “She is NOT his Grandma.”

Friend’s Mommy: “‘E’, what makes you think she’s ‘T’s Mommy instead of his Grandma?

Friend: “She’s not his Grandma, ''cause she’s NOT OLD.”

Well there you have it. I’m not old, even in the eyes of a 5 year old child. Yep, MADE. MY. DAY. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mom2Mom Cafe Resumes Next Tuesday

Now that summer is over and the big kids are back in school, we will be resuming our weekly Mom2Mom Cafe get together. Next Tuesday, not only we will be back together on the Rocky Butte, 217 and Mill Plain campuses, but, we will also be meeting for the first time at our new Pearl Campus location. I'm so excited I just can't hardly stand it.

If you have never come out for the weekly gathering, now is a great time to start. This is a playgroup style get together where Moms are able to sit and have coffee, pastries and enjoy each other's company while the little ones are playing. We provide the brewed coffee and pastries, you provide the conversation. We also encourage you to bring a friend. (Click here for more information.)

Also, our Fall kick-off for Bible Studies is next Wednesday.

The Bible Studies will be happening on the Rocky Butte, 217 and Mill Plain campuses only. You can choose morning or evening, depending on your schedule. We will be doing a six week study called 'Discerning The Voice Of God' by Priscilla Shirer. You can click here to get more information.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Psalms ~ Desiring God

Seven Weeks In The Book Of Psalms

As Karen mentioned yesterday, Pastor Frank started a seven week series this past Sunday on the Psalms. It doesn't matter how many times I've read through the Psalms, I still find something new each time I read them again. No matter what any of us are going through or dealing with in our personal lives today, there is a Psalm that can minister to us. This is because David spoke from the depths of his heart and soul out of what he was experiencing at the moment. His words prove to us that he was just as human as each one of us. He sinned. He felt lonely. He felt betrayed. He felt abandoned. He felt forgotten. He felt forgiveness. He felt relief. He felt overwhelming joy. You get the point. No matter what we feel, there is a Psalm we can relate to.

John Calvin said it like this:

Psalms are an anatomy of all the parts of the soul. For no one will find in himself a single feeling of which the image is not reflected in this mirror.

I encourage you to join with us in reading through the Psalms over the next 7 weeks by reading a Psalm or two each day. If you read three Psalms a day you will make it through the book of Psalms in just over seven weeks. The other option is to read through the same Psalm each day for the week prior to Pastor Frank preaching on it. I personally like this option. I am looking forward to meditating on one chapter all week to see what God speaks to me personally, and then hearing Pastor Frank preach about it the following Sunday. (You can click here to listen online and subscribe to these messages.)

Week One ~ Psalm 63

1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself;
how I praise you!
4 I will honor you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest of foods.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
6 I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
7 I think how much you have helped me;
I sing for joy in the shadow of your protecting wings.
8 I follow close behind you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.
9 But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin.
They will go down into the depths of the earth.
10 They will die by the sword
and become the food of jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God.
All who trust in him will praise him,
while liars will be silenced.
(New Living Translation)

Prayer is the breath of my relationship with God. It is what brings life to that relationship. This morning the words from verse 1 jump off the page at me. "I earnestly search for you." Webster's Dictionary defines 'earnestly' as: "characterized by or proceeding from an intense and serious state of mind." Today I am challenged to come to God, not just in casual prayer, but to come with an intensity; to come with a seriousness, calling on the name of the Lord. To come not just as one coming for a quick little drink at the brook, but to come as one who's very soul is thirsty. To come into His presence as one who is serious about meeting with my God. And to come as one who depends on God to sustain me.

Lord, today I search earnestly for you ~ I thirst for you ~ I long for you ~ I honor you ~ I think about you ~ I praise you ~ I follow close behind you.

We'd love to hear feedback from you. Leave us a comment and let us know what it is that God is speaking to you as we read through the Psalms together.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Parenthood Can Be Cruel

Thank you to Dyane Davis for this post:

As we begin another school year, I wanted to take an opportunity to share some thoughts I wrote down last year, the first day of Kindergarten for my oldest child. Having been an elementary teacher for several years (including Kindergarten 1 year!) , I thought I was more prepared for this monumental event. But little did I know how incredibly difficult this step into a new season of life would be. So whether you have said goodbye to your firstborn, your youngest, or are still cuddling your sweet child and wondering how long these days will last…. I hope you will enjoy these personal thoughts.

Today I must humbly apologize for the times I wondered why in the world parents had such a hard time leaving their children the first day at school when I was teaching. I thought some Moms had a hard time letting go, didn’t trust me as a teacher, or were just too attached. Today I became THAT mom.

I managed to hold my tears until I left the class, but it ripped my heart out that I had to leave my boy in tears too. Where did all the years go? I vividly remember those two pink lines on November 12, 2002 that told me I was going to be a mommy. I remember the 6 incredibly long days I was overdue with him and begging him to come out. I recall the 3 intense hours of pushing I endured, which I would gladly do over again for that moment I heard his first cry and held him close to my heart.

I also remember the times I was too tired to read "just one more story" or build "just one more airport." If I had known how quickly time would go, I would gladly go back and read that story and build that airport with my little boy as he's safe at home with me. All the regrets come flooding back as I hand him off to his teacher....

Does she know how special he is? Does she know that he knows the names of most types of fighter jets and can hit a golf ball over 100 yards? Does she know that he likes silly voices when we read stories and that he can count to 1000? Does she know that he was in children's hospital when he was 15 months old and was so sick we didn't know if he would be okay? Does she know what a gift he is to me?

All of this leads me to the conclusion that PARENTHOOD CAN BE CRUEL. You lose your heart to your children and fall completely in love with them only to have to let them go little by little for the rest of their lives. This is one of the first stages of letting go... and it hurts. But I better learn how to do it well and embrace every new season in his life so that he can become the man I know God has intended him to be.

Psalm 1

Not that we would post all 150 Psalms on the blog...I just woke up this morning excited about being in a church with a Pastor who seeks after the heart of God.

In case you were not able to attend City Bible Church the past weekend, over the next several weeks, Pastor Frank will be teaching out of the Psalms. (Click here to subscribe to these messages.) He is exhorting us to have a passionate desire for God, the way David did in the Psalms. He asked everyone to read at least one Psalm a day during this series.

Here is Psalm 1 from the New Living Translation:
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
4 But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
The verse that stands out to me today is verse 3. I want to bear fruit in every season. Whether summer or winter...I want to bear fruit.

We are so fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest because the trees and shrubs do actually bear fruit year round. We have an abundance of rain and mild temperatures. Other areas of the world are not so fortunate. Climates can be very harsh and there are seasons NOTHING grows.

By purposefully planting myself in the House of the Lord, I can know that He will always supply an abundance of His Spirit. And where His Spirit is...there is freedom and peace. I can be in the darkest season of my life, yet He will come through for me.

Thank you Jesus that I can trust Your love for me will never run dry. When I plant myself near you, I will never have to fear a drought. I can count on the fact that You will provide for me, even in the darkest of times. Allow my life to soak up every word You have for me. Yes, let me bear fruit no matter the season. Let this be a witness to Your faithfulness and love.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fruitful Fridays - Choice Bins

Hello Mommies!!! Hope you all had a great summer.

Fruitful Friday posts are all about food! Sometimes we have recipes, reviews of products, stores or restaurants, menu suggestions and overall goodies that can make life in the kitchen easier.

For today, I thought I would take a moment to honor all of those moms with children returning to school - GOOD job. Being a mother of three in elementary school, getting them out the door in the morning can be the hardest part of the day (with only bedtimes being the exception).

I want to share a tip I figured out this summer with you that might make life a bit easier...AND the good news is this tip will work for Moms of preschoolers, too!!

Get yourself two storage bins; bigger than a shoe box, but no bigger than your child could carry easily. Make one a DRINK CHOICE bin. Fill this bin with juice boxes, CapriSun packets, mini water bottles, etc. Go ahead, mix them together!

Make the other a SNACK CHOICE bin. Fill these with all those little snack items we buy the kids. Be liberated from storing all the granola bars in boxes - dump them in with the fruit snacks, the pretzel sticks, the applesauce containers, etc. Put all their choices in front of them and save you the time and hassle of giving them the rundown of options, only to find an empty box for the one they choose. :~)

Here's a picture of our bins:

I like to buy my prepackaged snacky stuff from Grocery Outlet, watch for the 10 for 10 sale at Albertsons and there's always Costco (but you have to have a membership or a friend grab some for you).

Otherwise, never underestimate the pure goodness of the snack-size ziplock baggie. You can save your self a ton of money and time by buying the big bag of pretzels or box of Kix cereal and take 5 minutes to package them up. When you're done, throw them in the snack bin. You're good to GO!

These bins have made my life easier because inevitably they all want something different anyway, and I love empowering them to make their choices. Summer or school-time, whenever I pack a lunch I send them to the bins to make 1 drink choice and 1-2 snack choices. It also works when they are feeling hungry. I tell them to go to the bin rather than rummaging around my pantry.

Hope this any of you have any tips for making brown bag lunches easier? Check back next week and I'll share some menu suggestions for packing lunches.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We're Baaaaack....And Thankful Thursday

Well, Hello Moms!!! I have to say that I have missed getting together with you all over the summer and I am so looking forward to mom2mom cafe starting back up in just 12 days. Yay!! September 22 to be exact. But, we'll be posting more information on that in the days to come.

Even though I really did want to keep the blog updated over the Summer, I have come to realize that I am just no good at posting in the summertime. I know, I know...acknowledging the problem is the first step to overcoming it. ;)

Well, Fall is here and with it are my very best intentions to do better. Our heart for this blog here at mom2mom cafe is that it would be a blessing to you. So...what I would like from you is to know what is on your heart? What are your biggest concerns as a mom that you would like us to address? Just leave us a comment or email us at and let us know what topics you would like to see posts about.

Until then, I will leave you with a few of the things I am thankful for on this Thankful Thursday...

1. Jesus ~ And the grace of God that flows over my life.
2. My husband ~ He is the most amazing man I've ever known. And he really is my hero!!
3. Having my youngest grandson all snuggled up to me watching a movie as I type this. :)
4. My family ~ I have truly been blessed.
5. My prayer partners ~ Don't know what I'd do without them.
6. My Church.
And last, but really one of the things I am MOST grateful for today is:
7. Answered prayers ~ Jaycee Lee Dugard was found and returned to her family. (For 18 years I have prayed for this family.)

What is it you are thankful for today?