Sep 30, 2009

On the fourth day.... Eve is happy....

What in the world is Eve doing today?

She's jumping for joy, that's what!

She received a package in the mail from Jill....And inside were some fun little trinkets....

And a skirt.

And Eve loves them all!

That was a fun birthday surprise. I think of you every time I wear it. It is fun to receive something that is already made... the pattern and size are perfect. Thanks so much, Jill!

Head on over to Sew A Fine Seam.... she has some new fabric that is screaming your name. I bet she'd make you a skirt too, if you ask nicely.

Shawl, anyone?

I found this yesterday. I have some requirements for fall clothing from Goodwill..... and this fulfills all of them.

1. Brown
2. Vintage
3. Wool
4. Homemade
5. Not Smelly

I probably will never wear this, but I couldn't pass it by. So, if you will wear it and love it like I do.... you can have it. Email me.... and I will send it to you.

Happy Fall!

Not even a crumb....

I made a cake for my birthday.....

I made it in my Williams-Sonoma cake pan and it turned out perfectly. It was the perfect squishyness without any burnt edges and it flipped out of the pan without sticking. It was a work of art, it really was.

But it is gone.

And it was good.

So, I'll share the recipe. This was passed on from Robin Layman to Rita Bower to me....

Sour Cream Pound Cake

3 sticks butter
3 c. sugar

Creamed together.

Add 6 eggs, one at a time, beating each time until fluffy.

1 c. sour cream
2 t. vanilla
3 c. flour

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Side note:
This is really too much to fit in the pan, and it ran over. So I did what any great chef would do....
I put a cookie sheet under it to catch the drips. It made little Pound Cake Blobs that tasted great served with my morning coffee.

And now they're gone too.

You can find them glued to my hips.

Not an ordinary weekend.....

I don't know if ya'll listen to my songs, but since posting a song is the norm for me lately, here's another one, although I must say, Charles Billingsley sings it better.

Extraordinary Women's Conference

extraordinary - adj.

1. beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established
2. exceptional in character, amount, extent, or degree; noteworthy, remarkable

I bought a ticket to the conference thinking that I was going to have the chance to listen to some awesome speakers. Nancy Lee Demoss, Stormie Omartian, Candice Cameron Bure, Natalie Grant, Karen Kingsbury, etc. They were the extraordinary women, not me.

I have a hope, I have a future
I have a destiny that is yet awaiting me
My life’s not over, a new beginning’s just begun
I have a hope, I have this hope

God has a plan, it’s not to harm me
But it’s to prosper me and to hear me when I call
He intercedes for me, working all things for my good
Though trials may come I have this hope

I will yet praise Him, my great Redeemer
I will yet stand up and give Him glory with my life
He takes my darkness and He turns it into light
I will yet praise Him, my Lord my God

My God is for me, He’s not against me
So tell me whom then, tell me whom then shall I fear
He has prepared for me
Great works He’ll help me to complete
I have a hope, I have this hope

Goodness and mercy, they’re gonna follow me
And I’ll forever dwell in the house of my great King
No eye has ever seen all He’s preparing there for me
Though trials may come, I have this hope

There’s still hope for me today
‘Cause the God heaven loves me

But as the women I went to the conference with held hands, cried tears, raised hands in worship, laughed, and snapped pictures..... I realized.

These are the extraordinary women, Nedra, Susan, Betty, Kenlyn, Ashley, Katie P, Katie W, Beth, Megan, Abbie, Sarah, Amber M, Jessica, Judy, Myra, Rita, Amber R, Shirley, Lou Ann, Kelsey, and Regina.

The speakers were great, but it was my friends and family that have the life stories to hear, the shoulders to cry on, the tears that need wiped, the issues to pray for, and the hugs to give. And I really don't know what I would do without them.

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1 The Message

Sep 24, 2009

Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.....

Twenty Nine Years.

He's been faithful to me since 1980 and I don't see that changing any time soon. I had a great birthday... thanks to all you well-wishers out there. You should have seen me run like mad to the computer every time I heard the inbox ding.

I am looking forward to the year ahead. Yesterday morning, as I was watching out the window while the fog was dissipating and the sprinkles were beginning, I was moved to tears thinking about my past year. Morning by morning, new mercies I have seen.

I have overcome tears, sadness, bitterness, anger, and anxiety. And I have never been more thankful for all He has provided. He has pardoned my sins, granted me an everlasting peace, cheered me with His enduring presence, and given me a bright hope for tomorrow. And I never could have done it alone.

We stayed home last night to celebrate. I can't believe that I am at that stage. Home never sounded so good as it did yesterday. As we sat down to supper, Drew prayed, and he thanked God for letting his mom have another birthday. And that was my gift.

That, and a new house phone. I never knew that fresh batteries could last so long.

On the third day ...... Eve celebrates......

Stop in here and meet Eve if you don't know her yet.

It is Eve's birthday and she really wants to wear her favorite skirt.
But there is one small problem.
It has a rip in it. It has been mended, but the scar remains.

You know Eve. She doesn't want to admit she ate the fruit. She wants to look perfect on the outside, even though in her heart she is just like everyone else. What will people think of her if they notice her flaws?

The reality is, she is still a sinner. She has many flaws. But Adam still loves her. And more importantly, so does her Creator.

The scars? They only show that she has been healed.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.... Isaiah 61:10

Sep 20, 2009

Tweet tweet

So, I haven't gotten into the whole Twitter thing. Not being able to receive text messages really hinders my ability to become Technology Awesome. I have been following our new friend Lee Ann through her website on the right. See some of her latest tweets?

cruising the internet for inspiration pics for my vintage airstream remodel...soooo's gonna be fierce!! law
9:10 AM Sep 19th from TweetDeck

bucketlist item you are going to DO in 2010? Work on my vintage airstream trailer!! law
9:54 PM Sep 13th from TweetDeck

We, too, are soooo excited law!!!

Sep 18, 2009

Let me now go to the orchard and glean apples?

So, Mama Lucille and Amber invited me to go with them and glean apples from Jamison's Orchard to can. I decided I didn't have time. So, they sent me pictures.

And now I have a few regrets.

Entreat me not on a busy day to glean apples, but get a bag for me: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God, and thy pies shall be my pies.

Sep 15, 2009

On the second day..... Eve meets a celebrity

Eve is nervous.

She is getting ready to meet another celebrity. She has no idea what to wear.

She met Adam, God, and Satan wearing no clothes, and we all know how well that turned out.

She is afraid that the celebrity will turn to her and say, "Eve, how darling.... what designer?" And Eve will have to say, "Ummmmm...... my son Good Will made it."

So she dug around in her closet and pulled out the skirt made from fabric designed by Anna Maria Horner.

And the scarf designed by Wal-Mart.

And she headed to Nashville.

And the celebrity never asked.

So much for abandoned and thrown away....

New Again - Lee Ann Womack

Daddy took my sister's bike
Before I knew it, it was like
He bought it just for me down at the store
And mama bought a Goodwill gown
Added lace and beads she found
So I could wear what Cinderella wore

So much for used and abused
Abandoned, thrown away
Some things are destined to live another day
It takes a certain kind
To look deep enough to find
The beauty within
And I thank God for those
Who make the old new again

And to my baggage filled with broken things
I threw in all my hopes and dreams
And on my sleeve I wore my broken heart
I thought forever'd be how long I'd wait
Before I met the man who'd make it better
And give me a brand new start

We're all lost and found, damaged goods
Cast aside, misunderstood
Scratched and dented, needing paint
A sin away from a saint

I thank God for those who saw the beauty within our Airstream and will make the old, new again. People like Lee Ann Womack, her sister Jenny, and daughter Aubrey.

You really should take the extra time to listen to my new favorite song by our new favorite artist...

And of course, a shout out goes to Jesus Christ, the Man that can make things better and give us all a brand new start...

It's been a wild couple of days, but we will never, ever forget our experience!

P.S. Isn't it interesting that Lee Ann knows Good Will?

Sep 11, 2009

Ups and Downs

Good news.... Emma Jo turned One Year Old.

Bad news.... Not a big fan of Uncle Nate's sugars.

Good news.... She enjoyed her cake.

Bad news.... She is teething.

Good news.... Nate got a sheep that had unknowingly died hauled off and buried...

Bad news.... That is not wool that you can see.

Good news.... The smell wasn't too bad....

Bad news.... Nate's outfit was.

Good news.... Drew has a friend...

Bad news.... She's a girl.

Bad news.... Finn got stung three times and had an allergic reaction...

Good news.... He has stopped screaming and double doses of Benadryl helped.

Sep 8, 2009

On the first day... Eve created a vest....


I base my decisions on what to wear on three things....

1. God's Word.
2. Nate's opinion.
3. My heart.

I have many sisters in Christ, in varying churches, with varied opinions on modesty. I try to not gauge myself compared to anyone else. I continually gauge myself on the three things above, and I do not and cannot judge anyone else but me. More times than I want to admit, I have had judgmental feelings and then they do or say something from their heart that humbles me and makes me realize that I was looking on the outside and God was looking at our hearts. And I was the one that was sinning.

Please remember that my posts are my opinion and they might not be yours. But I know that we have three things in common... we desire to be a blessing to our families, we desire to know Jesus more intimately, and we read blogs for inspiration. I want nothing more than to have some fun dressing Eve and getting some ideas out of my head.... To God be all the glory.


Introducing Eve....

I have named my mannequin Eve for obvious reasons.

She remembers her days in the garden and how glorious her life was before...
Before sin.

She has wide hips from bearing children, her work is never done, she is responsible for feeding Cain and Abel (who argue all the time,) and to be honest, she wishes that she could pop some Fruit into the microwave every night.

And now she has to worry about clothes, of all things. As if she isn't busy enough. Fig leaves worked for a while, but then Adam thought they were immodest.

Fall is approaching rapidly and Eve needs some new clothes. God didn't tell them how brisk fall evenings can be...

So she began thinking.....

She needed a sweater. No, not quite yet. She needed a sweater without sleeves. Yes, that's it! A vest.

She loved the multi-colored vest that her son, Boden, made. But he charged a lot of money for something that awesome.

Her daughter, J. Jill, knew her taste, but she would have to can a lot of vegetables to pay for that. So she sighed.

She would have to depend on her son, Good Will.
Good Will always has something she can afford.

She was in luck. Will rummaged around and found a homemade knitted vest in her favorite color of the season... purple.

Then Will said, "Sorry, Mom, there are no more vests here, but maybe Dad would like this sweater made from the wool of a ram?" And she thought, "Forget Dad. I could wash that thing in hot water then dry it so it will shrink, and then I'll cut off the sleeves...."

So she did.

Adam just rolled his eyes and said, "Thank goodness for Good Will."

And then Eve rested. She had another week until her vests were dirty and she had to find something else to wear.

Sep 6, 2009

The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!

We have a pasture in our front yard that we put in not long after we moved. I had a vision of fluffy white sheep that would follow us around baaing softly. We got our first lamb, a Tunis sheep that we named Pesakh (Hebrew for Passover).

Little did we know it was the beginning of a long, heart-breaking road. The problems began with our first batch of sheep that we got to keep him company. We had a few red lambs, and a few sets of twins that caused great excitement at our house.

The mama's were great, and we never had to do a thing except oooh and aaah and take pictures of their first wobbly steps. Time moved on and Pesakh died after a battle with another ram. Babies were born and then disappeared in the night. One mama labored for three days with high blood pressure and had to be put down. The final straw was a baby that got kicked by our donkey (another story) and then would not eat. As Nate milked the mama and I rubbed the baby's throat to coax it to suckle, tears ran down my cheeks and I said, "No more. I can't handle the hardships." I felt extremely guilty when babies died, and the fear in the sheep's eyes with high blood pressure when I would peek in on her still haunts me. I didn't know when we brought home Pesakh that farm animals would cause such great heartache.

I have been searching my heart for a quick and easy blog post, but I have not had any flashes of brilliance. There are many references for sheep and shepherds in just the New Testament alone, and I was not sure where to go with this.

There have been many nights of chasing wandering sheep and I have felt the power of Luke 15:4... searching for one lost sheep.

There have been wild dogs in the fence and I felt the power of John 10:12... wolf scattering the sheep.

I have watched the sheep come running at meal time and felt the power of John 10:4... my sheep know my voice.

I have watched Nate running wildly around the field with a shepherd's hook when it was time to shear and have felt the power of Matthew 9:36.... sheep scattered abroad as if they have no shepherd.

I have braved the cold and creature infested barn to gather grain and I have felt the power of John 21:16... feed my sheep.

And I have shed tears when babies died and felt the power of John 10:11... a good shepherd gives his life for his sheep.

I have been putting off a blog about sheep, because I knew it was not going to be an easy one. This weekend I got my answer.

Friday night, we received our new book for our bible study, One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven. And Sunday, we were urged to pray for an open door to share the gospel with someone. I began to doubt.... Oh no, Lord. Not me. Not this. I'm unequipped and unsure. I fumble and stutter when asked questions about my faith. I can write it but can I say it? I nervously read the first chapter in the book and slammed it down quickly. Outreach is great... for someone else. Show me your pictures of mission trips and I will cry along with you.
But don't. ask. me. to. do. this.

But in my research I found this....

Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 10:6-7

There are three reasons that I have "ignored" this verse until now.

1. Jesus is preaching to the disciples, not me.
2. I can't preach, I am a woman.
3. I can't go to another country, I am called to be a mom and wife here in the USA.

And Satan loves to remind me of this.

Yet the Bible reveals a little more....

1. In the same speech as Matthew 10, given by Jesus, he says "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." I have always considered this to apply in my life so how can I pick and choose which verses are for only the disciples, and which ones include me?

2. My blog is Minister Grace. Do I think that I am A minister? No. Have I been called TO minister? Absolutely. We all have.
...not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God: who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit... 2 Cor. 3:5-6

3. Are there lost sheep in the USA? Are there lost sheep in Virginia? Are there lost sheep at our elementary schools? Are there lost sheep in our families?
...if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not... 2 Cor.4:3-4

So, I am ready. I desire for the Lord to use me, in some small way, to reach out to the lost. One soul or ten. I cannot save someone. Only He can. But He can steady my hands, give me words, grant me the ability, and increase my strength to be able to be used as a vessel in reaching out to someone. I don't know who, what, when, where, or why, but I do know Him. And He's all I need.

We sold all of our sheep to a woman in Floyd that had a large flock of Tunis and they fit right in. Our pasture was empty for a little bit until we were approached by a woman that trains sheepdogs. So she leases the field for sheep so she can come and practice with her dog.

We feel like we get the better end of the deal, we get to watch her out the window, taking care of them, feeding them, fixing fences, and herding them at night. I have absolutely no idea how you train the dogs. All I know is that she says, Come Down, Lie Down, and whistles a lot. I have a video to share with you on herding sheep. Nate likes to tease her about putting on a show this winter....

Sep 2, 2009

Welcome to the Minister Grace Giftshop....

This tiny franchise in the heart of Franklin County, Virginia specializes in homemade note cards with all proceeds to benefit a family with a calling in Honduras. The cards feature pictures taken by Denise in Honduras and Guatemala and are printed on heavy white card stock. They are priced at 5 Cards for $5.00 (One for $1.25.) Postcards are $.75 a piece. There are many different cards, so unless you're a choosy customer, I will pick out the bundles myself.

Garden Design
Scripture Verses
California 09

Just Surprise Me

There are around 35 different pictures, and they are all awesome so you won't be disappointed. I received an entire box of cards from Denise, so help me out.... it's for a great cause. Here's is a preview of some of my favorites:

If interested in buying some cards.... contact me at and tell me how many you want, which theme, and your address and I will pop them into the mail. All joking aside, I would love to help this family out... so let's rally, bloggers, and show 'em what we're made of! (Little too much football around here...) Feel free to "grab" a picture and add it to your blog page linking it to this post...