June 27, 2008

Are You Ready for a Summer Giveaway!

I am so excited  to announce Olive Leaf Ministries' upcoming summer giveaway. Yee-Haw! The feedback from our last giveaway was so fantastic I can't wait for this one to begin.  I am not allowed to spill the beans just yet, but I can tell you it's gonna bless your socks off!

Now here's the best part.  The more entries we receive, the more we give away.  I love givin and gettin so I'm gonna delight in watching it all transpire.  I just wish everyone could be a winner.  

So here's what you can do to increase everyone's odds. Begin telling your blogging buddies now about Olive Leaf Ministries' upcoming giveaway.  Send this link to your friends or announce it in your own blog entry.  Many of you have been kind enough to add my link to your blog page (thank you dear girls) so pointing the way will be easiest for you. 

Now, who says you can't get something for nothing?    

Stay tuned girls.  I'll give you another bean very soon, but only when I am allowed. Don't want to get fired by the boss!

Love ya oodles.

June 26, 2008

Tears Behind Sunglasses

It had been a difficult day with Dani and her Autism.  Our trip home from the workshop began with me being thoroughly frustrated with her disabilities.  

In the midst of it all, however, God chose to give me a glimpse into her warm heart, which often seems cold and uncaring.  For a brief moment we communicated as mother and daughter and it brought tears to my eyes.

It happened while driving home. I saw a man in a wheelchair "walking" his dog and thought she might be interested in seeing the duo.  With arm stretched out, I pointed in the man's direction and said, "Dani look.  The man is walking his dog!" Not expecting a response in return, I was completely surprised when she turned to me and signed, "sorry"  "fix?"  

Dazed at her clarity, it was clear she felt sorry for the man and was asking if he could be fixed. My eyes welled up with tears as I told her, "No.  I am sorry.  The man cannot be fixed."  

As she looked at the man in the wheelchair, I looked at her and her own battle with disabilities. We drove home in silence as I fought back my tears and humbly asked God to forgive me for being so frustrated with her Autism. 

Oh how I long for the day when we will meet her in heaven. Healed of her disabilities we will see her as God originally created her to be.  

Revelation 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

June 21, 2008

Coming Monday June 23rd!

Ladies, I'll be posting OLM's first video devotion Monday!  Your response to the introduction video was very exciting.  Feel free to invite your friends to these weekly devotions (which I hope to post each Monday) and encourage them to join in and share their thoughts and prayer needs.  

It is my earnest prayer that this will be an opportunity to unite and strengthen us together as one in Him. I look forward to seeing you Monday and have a wonderful weekend!

June 19, 2008


Our pool is 15 years old and in dire need of a face lift. After major repairs we're finally ready for summer. Here's the before and after.

Lest you be tempted to think we have it made in the shade, with a pool in our backyard. Come sit by mama and let me tell you a little story. 

Fifteen years ago I was amidst tremendous grief as the reality of our daughter's disabilities began to weigh heavy on my heart.  To compensate for said loss, I felt I deserved a treat. A pool to be exact. Though able to afford the loan, we failed to take into account the cost of yearly chemicals, swimming supplies, and general upkeep.  As a result, in the early years, this long awaited treat quickly became an unwanted burden.  

We eventually paid off the pool and now enjoy it as originally planned, but the experience has taught me a very valuable lesson. Never again will I badger my husband, or God, for something we are all three not in unison on.  Never again do I want to be a modern day Delilah as described in Judges.
Judges 16:16 "With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death."

(I pray I have not take any years of my husband through this behavior!)

June 13, 2008

Coming Monday!

Olive Leaf Ministries will be presenting a new blog feature beginning June 16th. You won't want to miss it.  

See you then!

June 12, 2008

In a Flash

I switched from mini-blinds to 3" blinds thinking they'd be easier to dust and I'd want to clean them more frequently. They are easier to clean, but I still don't clean them as often as I should. I have, however, discovered a remarkably easy way to clean the blinds, which does not involve running a cloth through each slat.

Lightly spray a disposable duster with Pledge (or any dusting spray) and run it over your closed blinds. The spray makes the dust stick to the duster, making your job oodles faster and easier. I cleaned all my blinds in a flash and have the evidence to prove it! (This is about as embarrassing as my facial mask photo.)

If cleanliness is next to godliness, I do believe my blinds have been saved!

What handy cleaning aid do you use to expedite your house cleaning?

June 10, 2008


With the cost of everything from gas to grapes soaring high into the sky, Jimmy and I are making efforts to creatively conserve. Though our budget isn’t as tight as it was when we first got married, everyone’s beginning to feel the crunch one way or another. We are no different.

In times like these I am glad we weren’t raised with a silver spoon in our mouths, because now we have something to fall back on; penny pinching habits we practiced in our younger days.  Here are a few.

Turn Off the Fans and Lights When Not in the Room
Now, this is tough for me. Especially when it come to lighting.  I like a lot of light and often keep lamps on in rooms I'm not inhabiting.  (After all, I might go back.) I also never clean after the sun goes down and prefer not to do it on a cloudy day, because I don’t feel I can see the dust as well. It's a weird little fetish, but it's who I am.

When we all get to heaven it will indeed be heaven to me since there will be no shadow or night. God's glory will give it light! (Revelation 21:23) We won’t need fans either for the coolness of God’s Holy Spirit will prevail. Oh come Lord Jesus. Come!

Consolidate and Coast
Last week I planned out all my trips so they would take me in one big circle. I thought I’d done a good job, only to discover I had to get out again the next day. I gave it an honest try though, and that’s all that matters.   

On both voyages I tried to see how often I could “coast.” If the road angled downward, I would let off the gas and cruise to the signal light or turn. Theoretically this saves a penny or two and it was actually kind of fun to scout out the terrain and calculate whether I could do this without impeding traffic. (Of course this method will go out the window when I’m in a hurry, but it'll be good on the other days.)

Ask God to Curb Your “Wants”
I love Zappos shoes online, Talbots, and Chico’s. I used to shop if I was hungry, full, happy, or sad. I also discovered that I often shop to cope with my husband’s full-time travel. (I'm always a little sad when he leaves town.) He’s been traveling for ten years, so you can imagine how many stores I’ve frequented!

Lately, however, I haven’t been shopping as much because I’ve been asking God to curtail my “wants.” John says, "...ask and you will receive..." (John 16:24) These are great words of wisdom, but believe it or not, they work in reverse too! We can actually ask God to help us not perpetually be in want for things. For me, when it come to the frills in life, this prayer does me a world of good.  You might want to give it a try too.

What are you doing to make ends meet? I have no doubt all my blogging friends know of some very creative and fun ways to cut corners and I'd love for you to share. Even if it's a small idea, please share it!

Isaiah 58:11 "The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

June 9, 2008

The "After" Revealed

Your reactions to my day of pampering (June 5th) were fun to say the least. Some of you were shocked I'd voluntarily show such a vulnerable photo of myself, while others kindly requested an "after" picture.

Since I'm always happy to oblige, and you asked so nicely, here is the "after" result of my Noxzema Deep Cleansing Mask.

Oh!  No!  
This isn't it...hold on...

 Whewww!  Here you go.

"We ain't got no business laughing 
if we can't first laugh at ourselves."

June 8, 2008

Be Still Sunday

Exodus 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping in holy."

June 6, 2008

Pray for Grant

My silly picture with the facial mask seems so trivial as I receive an update from my friend, Emily,  who's 8 year old son has an unknown muscle disorder. They are asking for prayer as the doctors search to find a diagnosis, treatment, and a cure for this life-threatening disorder.

Please pray for little Grant and his family.  They love the Lord with all their hearts, but are weary amidst these great trials.  My husband and I know what it is like to deeply love the Lord, yet ponder the vastness of His will as we helplessly watch our child suffer.  Such are the mysteries of the great I AM.  Who can fathom His great wisdom and knowledge?  Who can measure His great love for us? Far beyond what we can ever comprehend, God is God and we are not. Because of this, we give Him all the power, honor, and glory! Even in the midst of our trials.

You can visit his journal at:  Grant's Site.

Romans 11:36 "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen."

June 5, 2008

A Little Pampering

To "pamper" means to indulge, comfort, or spoil. 

Shouldn't I look more appealing while doing so?

June 4, 2008

This Too Shall Pass

Ecclesiastes and I walk by this beautiful field on our walk each morning. It's absolutely gorgeous any time of the day, but especially breathtaking at sunrise. I was sad to see a sign posted along side the road stating 121 homes would soon be build on this site. It prompts me to savor every moment of this awesome landscape for it shall soon pass.

As I grieved over the thought of construction, noise, and business invading this peaceful scene, God reminded me that just as good things come and go, so will the bad. One day Satan will be tossed into the fiery pit (Rev. 12:9) never to return again, and we will live with God in heaven for eternity. No more sin, sickness, pain, or tragedy. All will be perfect, just as God had originally planned. We will commune with Father God and His Son Jesus Christ forever and His kingdom will never end!

Daniel 6:26b “For He is the living God and He endures forever; His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end."

June 2, 2008

The First Family

This bird house is at least seven years old. For years no bird would set foot in the thing and we think it is because it's on our deck.

Last year one brave couple moved in, laid their eggs, and successfully hatched four beautiful chicks.  We thought the curse had lifted until one morning, as I held a cup of coffee in one hand and opened the back door with the other, I discovered evident of a quadruple homicide. Blood, feathers, and baby chick parts lay all over the deck. The silence was deafening and lasted the rest of the season.

 The house remained vacant all these many months until a few weeks ago when a second brave couple began moving things in.  Fluffy white stuffing, straw, and a myriad of other unknown items were methodically shoved into the tiny front door and arranged to suit their specific need.

Now I am happy to report there is new life on the deck again!  With the sound of sweet little chirps in my ear, I watch the sun rise and praise the Lord each morning.  As this mother and father work diligently to feed their hungry brood, God feeds my hungry soul with His nourishing Word.  Thank you Lord for these blessings each morning!


Their home

Psalm 84:3 "Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young — a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God."