Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday Favorites, the last week of Summer break edition

Happy Friday!  I cannot believe that today marks the last day of summer vacation for public schools around here.  That always makes me so sad for the students going back, but I know some of them love this time of year.  I'm still in denial over here on Graham's senior year, though, so don't mind me.

(I keep saying that, but really, I am taking action over his year.  I've done the things I need to do at this time and I will take more steps with each month that comes.  For example, applying for scholarships and grants and such...some of that stuff has to wait until December or so.)

I am linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this post.

This night of dinner on Monday was my favorite thing that I made all week.  In case you missed that post, Mom and I (and Jonah, Noah, and Alex) went to the Farmer's Market again and I bought a one pound bag of speckled butter beans and five giant tomatoes.  On this night I made the beans along with homemade cornbread, macaroni and cheese for the ones who didn't like the beans or BLT's, and the makings for a BLT.  It was the best night of dinner ever and I will DEFINITELY be going back and buying more of these beans.  I think I might make them and freeze them for the fall and winter.  Mom gave me that idea, and it's brilliant.

Also, who in the world knew that some of these boys would devour butter beans?!

If you want to make this for yourself, it's super easy.  You rinse the beans once and drain them by shaking them off, clean out the colander and do that step again.  Once they're rinsed twice and shaken off, put them in a large pot and cover them with water, plus about five more inches of water.  (You want that extra water, because it gets all soupy and the beans will burn if there's not enough.)  Cook on medium high to medium heat for two and a half hours.  I left the lid on for a lot of that time, but I made sure to check on them often to stir them.  Some of that time I left the lid off.

I saw this on Instagram the other day and I shared it on my account and on this blog.  I love the words!  It reminds me of one of my favorite verses.

"Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"  Psalm 46:10

Two things: one, I just noticed that my translation (HCSB) says, "Stop your fighting..." and another says, "Cease striving...".  Isn't that interesting?  I don't know that I've ever paid attention to those other versions of this verse before.

Two: I have seen this to be true this week.  In my quietness at home, I have sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I've been praying more, I've been worshiping Him more in my daily moments (even now, I'm listening to praise and worship music on YouTube again), and I've been still before Him.

If you wonder what that looks like, I will say that for me, I am prompted to pray for something specific all of a sudden.  I will remember a name or a request that I have said I would pray for, and all of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, I will get that name in my mind.

It also means that sometimes, without even really paying attention to what I am doing, I will have started praying.  I mentioned that I listen to music almost all day long in my house, and sometimes a song will minister to me and I'll begin praying those words.  (For example, I love Aaron Shust's new song.  The lyrics say, "Your praise will ever be on my lips."  I will start praying that those lyrics would be true of me, of my husband, of my boys.  That leads to me praying for them in other ways.)

It is in the quiet moments of my daily life when I sense Him the most.  Not in the chaos, not in a service with a bunch of people, but in my own home, in my own personal time, or in my quiet time.  Prayer has been my theme this week.

In other news, my husband is most likely getting his truck from the shop today and I will once again have my car to drive.  I know it might sound silly, but I have LOVED being forced to stay home a lot.  It was only for a short time, I know, but life will once again resume when my suburban is back in the garage.

Speaking of my husband, he is my favorite.  In all of his driving of my vehicle, he's noticed how bad the radio was.  The antennae was bad, I think, and all of the stations are super static-y.  So he bought me a new one and will be installing it tomorrow!  I'm so excited.  I have given him a hard time over the fact that out of all the radios for him to pick for my vehicle, he picked the one that has a spider etched on the knob.  Seriously.  He told me we could put something over it, but when the radio arrived, I saw that it's barely even noticeable.  Isn't that funny?  You know that spiders are NOT my favorite.

My favorite email this week came from a lady who works at the Lifeway headquarters in Nashville telling me I was approved to be on the launch team for Beth Moore's new study coming out in September.  Entrusted.  It's on the book of Second Timothy.  This was a share square I was given this week, and I also posted a video on my Facebook feed that I was asked to share.

I'll post it here for you to's almost thirty minutes long, but she is talking about scripture memorization, which I am passionate about.

It is well worth the time it takes to watch, and I promise, you will come away motivated, if you love memorizing scripture.

In finishing reading Proverbs this week (I got behind on Saturday and Sunday), I came across these verses in Proverbs thirty that I love.

I turned these verses into a prayer, because praying scripture is one of my favorite ways to pray.  I asked the Lord to always give us JUST enough for what we need.  Is that not profound?  These verses, I mean, not my prayer.  You can't tell from this picture, but beside these verses in my bible, I wrote, "YES!"

That is my heartfelt prayer for my family and for my boys and the families that they someday have.

I have witnessed wealth destroy people, and I never want to be in that position.

On Instagram, this was a serious picture with a similar caption.  Todd was called out Tuesday night and again Wednesday night to search for a missing teenage boy that had been in or near a river.  They found him yesterday, and I cannot imagine the grief his parents are experiencing.  Please pray for his family.

I posted this picture, because I was up early Wednesday morning with Todd, getting his coffee and water ready in his to-go cups, and this was my second cup of coffee for the morning.  (I allow myself two cups a day, and I was done drinking my allotment by seven fifteen.  That is so sad to me.)

This coffee cup is one of my favorites that is in the cabinet, but it's not mine.  It's Drew's.  Emma gave it to him for his birthday.

These verses just about overwhelmed me yesterday.  I'm still plugging away at my scripture writing, and I kid you not: this was the THIRD TIME THIS WEEK that I have read or heard or seen these verses from Galatians five.

This goes down as a favorite moment from the week.

I'm studying the fruits of the Spirit, I mentioned that earlier this week, and in the video session Tuesday night, she mentioned these verses.

Also, remember how I love to memorize scripture?  Well, the Lord has been working on my heart to get this started again.  I had started strong in January, memorizing Psalm 23, Ephesians 6:10-18 and Colossians 3, and I wrote out my next passage to memorize, but I haven't really looked at it since then.  My next passage to memorize was Galatians five, and I've not forgotten that this is what I wanted to work on next, so this passage is always on my brain.

Then, yesterday, in writing out the scripture for that day, guess where it was from?  You guessed it.  Galatians five.

That is no coincidence, my friends.  God is in all the little small details like these I mentioned above, and nothing ever comes as a surprise to Him.

So, that leads me to another favorite that I started again yesterday.  Scripture memorization.  I had to refresh for most of the day the passages I'd already memorized, then I started on Galatians five, and by God's grace, have already committed most of it to memory.

I do not say that to brag.  My brain is mush half the time, folks.

But I laid out my index cards with the passages written on them yesterday and I committed them all to Him.  I asked Him to bring back my desire to do this and to help recall to my mind what I've already learned.  I reached out to some of my girls to help hold me accountable and to invite them to do this with me, and I privately texted one senior girl and one dear best friend.  They want to join me in this, and we will all help hold one another accountable.

If this is something you want to do, watch the video above.  She is so good at explaining why this is so important.  And then, let me know if you're going to join me.  I have found that it's easier for me to remember an entire passage of scripture, rather than just a couple of random verses.  That is not the case for everyone, but find your niche.  It's there, I promise, and we should be hiding His word in our hearts so that we will not sin against Him.  (Psalm 119:11)

I saved my favorite for the last.  Last night we went to my dad's and stepmom's for dinner.  This is home to me.  It's where I grew up.  They invited us over because they wanted to hear about our mission trip to the Navajo reservation.  For TWO HOURS, we sat and talked.  I warned them that I had so many stories, and it was wonderful to share it with them.  I am so thankful I wrote all of it down in my journal and that I wrote blog posts about it, because those things helped me to commit to memory what went on while we were there.

And we all had stories.

My eyes filled with tears a couple of times as I told some of mine, and my dear sweet Daddy cried at one point and got so choked up that he couldn't even speak.  Do you happen to remember that old song by Ray Boltz called Thank You?  If not, go find it on YouTube and watch it then come back.  Or Google the lyrics and come back.  He was saying that we may never know what kind of impact we had until we get to heaven someday.

I cannot even write that without weeping.

It was like a blessing that he gave us, and as I write, I'm reminded of him coming over the day before we left.  He specifically came to pray for us on our trip.  Then while we were gone, we kept in contact the entire time, either by texting but also to talk a couple of times.  I later found out that he had specifically been asking God to provide for me a special place to sleep.  And my friend Cathy offered me the second bed in their camper...that was just a small thing, I thought, but when I heard what my dad had been praying, I was amazed.  Also, he told me one day that he felt like the prayers of those that were here at home praying for us were holding back the forces of evil that we kept encountering.

Um, chills, anyone?

That was such a spiritual picture of Ephesians 6:10-18 to me.  We are NOT aware of what goes on in the heavenly realms, and we are told in that passage that there are spiritual forces of evil around us.

Wow.  Last night brought back so many memories from our trip, and they loved hearing of our experiences of things we saw while traveling Interstate 40.  That is their favorite part of the country, and they've traveled it many times.

Also?  I am so thankful to God for the legacy of faith that Todd and I have had in our families.  We are each products of praying parents and praying grandparents, or at least, grandmothers.  I am so grateful to Him for those prayers!  The prayers of the righteous are worth much.  (James 5:16)  I was overwhelmed (again) by that yesterday.  Also, our boys are already products of praying parents and praying grandparents.  I want their kids to someday be products of this, too.  So, Mom, Dad, Phyllis, Wiley?  Thank you.  I know at least a couple of you read this.

Well, I suppose that is enough for today.  This was long...again.  Thanks for reading, though!

Love to all.

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Friday Favorites

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