Ps. 37:8b

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“do not fret—it only leads to evil.”

David warns against even fretting (or worrying) about the evil ways of others, not because it is evil in and of itself, but because it only leads to evil. No good can come out of it. When someone does something against me, I have a tendency to really fret over it.

“why did they do that?
Did I do something to them first that they took as offensive?
It really bothers me that……
If they were here right now, I’d tell them a thing or two.
Man, that really eats at me.
How can I punish them?”

All of that: questions to assumptions to dwelling to unloading to planning revenge (and eventually carrying some of it out) can rush over me more quickly than it took to write it all down—or type it out. That which simply started as “fretting” led to evil. If fretting only leads to evil, then it NEVER, ever, ever, ever leads to good. No matter how many times I try to convince myself—If I just think about this a little bit, I can come up with a way to “fix” it. It’s not. gonna. happen. It will only lead to EVIL.


Resolve for Each New Day

Happy New Year! What is it that makes January 1st different from December 31st? Not much. Except that we see it as a new beginning.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” 

Lamentations 3:22-23

There are so many new year’s resolutions being thrown about this time of year.  For the past few years, I have resolved NOT to make any resolutions, so as to not break promises.  This year, I have decided to try something different.  I want to make my resolutions not based on the year, but based on the DAY.  I want to wake up each morning saying: “This day I will be committed to serving God and living out my beliefs practically.  [read: live like I say I believe]”

I used to get so disappointed when I would break a New Year’s resolution.  Once I had failed, it was no use, I had failed until the next year.  If I fail my New Day’s resolution, I have only failed for that 24 hour period and can start fresh tomorrow.  (Perhaps I should do New Second’s resolutions…?)

God has been faithful throughout 2012 (as always).  He has provided for all our needs.  We have seen His hand at work in our lives.  It seems almost counter intuitive, but it has been wonderful to have the hard times.  It gave us a chance to see God move on our behalf, to show His love for us in tangible ways.

Five Star FLOP

“Pride cometh before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” 

 Well, I was so stinking proud of myself, I should have seen it coming.  I had planned out a VERY budget friendly menu for the week.  I had done a “perfect” shopping trip: I actually got everything I needed for the week, without missing anything.  I stuck to the list, without the optional “write-in.”  I used coupons.  I hit sales.  I was AMAZ-O-MOM!!!!  I. I. I.  It was all about ME. Saturday meal: perfect.  Sunday: perfect.  Monday: flawless. Tuesday: wonderful.  Wednesday: uh….

I had put myself pretty high up on the pedestal for about half of the week.  Wednesday’s scheduled meal was supposed to be slow cooked roast beef with brown gravy, onions, carrots, potatoes, buttermilk muffins, and a tossed salad.  Sounds great.  Especially considering I had high hopes for the leftovers to become Thursday’s meal.

So….about noon I decided it was time to put the roast in the crockpot so it wouldn’t be overdone by dinnertime.  I went to the fridge and much to my surprise, there was NO roast.  I know I bought one.  I stood in the aisle for 10 minutes deciding on which one to get. (The smaller more expensive one or the HUGE cheaper one that was also marked down because it was close to date?)  I found my receipt.  Yup.  I was right.  I bought the roast.  BUT where is it???  I looked in every nook and cranny of the crazy fridge.  NOT there. period.  By now, I was frustrated.  I’ve already lost my keys today.  and my purse.  and the phone.  and…. and… and.  Then. it. hit. me.  I bought the cheaper one.  I had been sooooo proud of myself for that buy.  I stuck it in the freezer to make sure it didn’t go bad.  Well, now, isn’t this a pretty pickle? It was SOLID.  It certainly won’t be overcooked.

I needed a plan B.  In most cases, that would have been Thursday dinner.  Whoops!  Thursday is based on Wednesday’s leftovers!!!  argh!  Friday’s dinner, you ask?  No can do.  Fridays are special.  We always have homemade pizza on Fridays.  Saturday?  No plan yet.  I plan for Saturday to Friday.  Sooooo….  Quick check of the pantry and fridge. Here’s what I came up with.  Pigs in a blanket. carrots.  left-over-from-four-days-ago hot dogs with mac & cheese.  grapes.

So that’s what I did.  I whipped it together.  And went into dinner feeling defeated.  No one likes steamed carrots.  I didn’t even use butter.  I learned my lesson.  I will not be so prideful about menus again.

It turned out that after I learned my lesson, I got the good news.  Buddy asked for thirds (and fourths, but we were out).  Ben gave the carrots 5 stars (if you know him, that’s hard to do; loaded mocha brownies only got 4).  The whole family commented that it was GREAT!!

Thankfully, God had been working on me enough to keep that pride from rising back up in me.  I’m still humbled, however, I’m also thankful that I discovered a way to make “5-star” (according to Ben) carrots.

That said, here’s what I did.

Put 1/2 pound baby carrots (or regular carrots cut to about that size) into a pan that has a lid with about a 1/8″ water.  Heat covered until the fire alarm goes off. (Not really, but mine did.)  The goal here is to get the carrots soft.  If and when the pan goes dry, add about a 1/4 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Add 1/4 c. sugar, 1/4-1/2 t. rosemary, and 1/2 t. garlic powder.  Continue to cook covered until they are soft enough to easily bite through.  Serve hot.


Well, I messed up again.  I noticed that I hadn’t had many views on OAF this past week with a new post and all.  Then I realized my new post was scheduled to post in Jan of 2013.  Whoops!  So, here it is.  A little late, but not as late as it could’ve been.

I learned a lesson this week.   I had a full skein of yarn.  For those to whom that phrase may be foreign…this is a skein of yarn.

Essentially, it is a LOT of string.

Our home is old.  It is also in a circle.  Puddi found this 1 lb. skein of yarn and, while she was to be tidying the living room and I was working on getting some coloring sheets for the kids off the internet upstairs, she proceeded to run the yarn around the entire “circle” about 3 or 4 times.  She was also sure to wrap it around EVERY table leg, chair leg, and doorknob in the house.  When I came down with the coloring pages, I was greeted with what looked like a GIANT spider had spun its web ALL through my ENTIRE house (living room, kitchen, dining room, laundry room, bathroom, kid’s room).  It was a-w-e-f-u-l!  So, I did what any sane mom would’ve done.  I told her to pick it all up and bring it to me.  So, along she went collecting a bigger and bigger mess of tangled yarn.  When at last she arrived with it, it was ONE. BIG. TANGLE.  

I then told her we were going to untie it together.  So we began on our LONG  journey of un-knotting the yarn.  It took forrrevvvverrrr.

I started pulling out long untangled strands just to find that the knots in the ball would seem to get smaller, but tighter.  During this process, I saw a lesson.  When we come to the Father, our lives are a tangled mess.  He begins the process of pulling the threads apart and loosening the strands.  We begin to look more and more like yarn and less like tangles.  However, our knots seem to become more concentrated, and sometimes FEEL a lot tighter (read: conviction).  It takes a lifetime to completely unravel the mess that sin has made of our lives.  But, God is patient.  He keeps working on us.  Because He LOVES us.

Well, as it turns out, I asked Puddi to keep working on the yarn while I ran to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer.  When I came back, she had found a GOOD, SHARP pair of scissors and proceeded to chop every last bit of that yarn into bits no bigger than an inch.  I guess that just goes to show how we are not as patient as our Father who loves us.  All of that yarn ended up in the burn box.  BUT, the lesson I learned will hopefully last longer than the yarn.