This blog is all about the things in life so many of us need to slow down and enjoy, such as, family, the seasons, food, music, and whatever else causes inspiration. I hope to write as often as I can and it is my desire for you to be able to take a break and enjoy my entries with a cup of tea.
I think we all know what it’s like to go through trials in our lives. They’re never pleasant but often we come out better for having endured the hardship and seeing God refine us through our troubles and times of pain.
Here’s a story I found online that reminds me how God is always at work in our lives, especially during the challenging times. It’s called the Silversmith. Read it and really let it soak into your heart today. I think you’ll find it a blessing and a great moment of reflection for your life.
There was a group of women in a Bible study of the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three, which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.
That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God allowing us to be in fires of life; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.
The man answered that yes. He not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"
He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire --whatever your troubles may be, remember that God has his eye on you and is refining you until He sees His image in you.
As summer slowly drifts to fall, you may want to get out in the yard and garden and prepare for next spring. Here are some ideas for your fall gardening schedule that will help you plan for next year’s beauty.
Remember also to weed and compost as often as possible and provide a little seed to the birds as they begin their winter migrations. Who knows…some may even stick around your area if they know they have a steady food source.
Just a few suggestions for your fall gardening. May God’s peace rest upon you as you enjoy this wonderful fall season.
With the summer heat, you know the kiddos will be clamoring for some cool and refreshing summertime snacks. Try these ideas to give them something you know they’ll love.
Ice Cold Drinks
Try lemonade with a cup of cranberry juice and some fresh fruit like cherries or lime. Orange smoothies are also good with orange juice concentrate, milk, water, sugar, and ice. Just blend and serve.
Cherry Fizzes are also a favorite. All you need is sweet cherry juice and ginger ale. Mix it in a pitcher and enjoy.
Popsicles are the perfect treat idea for summer. Plus, they’re easy to make. Pour fruit juice in popcicle molds or ice trays. Prop sticks up with plastic wrap for ice trays. Let freeze and you’re done.
Frozen fruits also make great treats. Wash some grapes and pull them off the stem, put in baggy and put in freezer till frozen. Kids love them—plus, they’re healthy.
And, what’s better than watermelon? Use some cookie cutters to make cool looking shapes and watch your kids enjoy.
Snacks Even Kids Can Make
Make your own trail mix. Mix together cereal like Cheerios or Rice Krispies with gold fish, crackers, raisins or pretzel sticks. Then put in baggies for the kids to take on the go.
Another idea—Smores. Put some graham crackers on tin foil and put chocolate chips and marshmallows on them. Wrap them up and put in warm toaster oven for a few minutes or just out in the sun. The’re done when toppings are melted. Pretty yummy.
Just a few snack ideas your kids will love. Try them this summer and enjoy.
It’s funny how certain tastes will bring back memories from the past or certain seasons of our lives. I call these memory foods because they stir up so much of the emotions that we associate with them and lead us back in our minds to a different time and place.
Take the taste of watermelon, for instance. For most of us, it’s synonymous with summertime fun and the carefree days of childhood. There’s no other food I can think of, that so captures the heart of summer and its refreshing and relaxing vibe.
I can remember as a kid having to go outside to eat it because it was so messy to consume. You probably do too. Remember mom booting you out to the backyard? She had a good sense about the physics involved and the probability of the sticky juice getting everywhere.
But, that’s the great part about eating watermelon. You don’t hold back. There’s no etiquette. No rules to follow. No care for appearance. No criticisms, except from mom. Nothing...just pleasure.
You just devour it with gusto and enjoyment, and try not to hit anyone spitting out the seeds.
So often, I think our approach to life should be the same way. No holding back. We should just live life with gusto and enjoy the simple pleasures God has given us.
I think we forget how short life really is and that tomorrow quickly comes and goes. There’s no better time than now to enjoy the moment with the people we love and care for.
Remember, life is a gift from God to cherish and enjoy, but it doesn’t last forever.
Savor the here and now like a sweet, refreshing fruit you remember from childhood.
Enjoy it with gusto…and always remember to spit out the seeds.
Here they all come…those delightful sights and sounds of spring. If you’re like me, you can’t help but absolutely love this time of year.
Everything’s in bloom, and the incredible fragrance of flowers wafting through the air is heavenly. To me, spring is more than just a season after winter and an opening act for summer. It’s an important symbol of God’s renewing hope and grace for us all.
Believe me, if you’ve ever felt dead and lifeless, especially during the lost days of winter, now’s the time to start enjoying the renewing spirit of the season.
Here are a few of my tips for making the most of this time of year:
I can’t tell you how these things have helped me. But, above all, take some time and thank God for those in your life that make it worth living. They are the true source of what brings us joy each day of our lives.