Monday, October 8, 2012

A little late.... (Day 5 & 6)

Intention. It is a wonderful thing. It gives purpose, direction, and helps establish a path to your goal. It can also be an added stress. Occasionally we (read "I") can allow important things to fall by the wayside in order to reach a goal or to follow through on an intention. This is going too far in the other direction. If you lack intention, you drift aimlessly. If you overdo the purpose, then you begin to ignore other important tasks or activities. I am a little late on this post.

I am writing in the wee hours of the Friday night / Saturday morning. I am writing now because follow through is important. In my hustle and bustle to get ready to come on this retreat, finish Friday's school work with the girls, leave something in the crock-pot for their dinner, etc, I did not get to my intention of writing and scheduling posts for days 5, 6, and 7. I was feeling pretty emotional about this earlier, then like a bolt of lighting, God said "Did you live with intention today? Did you leave your family cared for?" WOW. Yes and yes. I think, when I take on a goal like this or losing weight or whatever, I can be too single minded. I can get so focused on that specific purpose that other things fall by the wayside.  Today I chose not to wear myself out.

So my lesson for Day 5 & 6 is relax. Being intentional is important. It is also important to be balanced in our activities and choices.

Lord help me to be balanced today in the choices I make. Caite

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Hurry Hurry Bird (Day 4, 31 Days of Intention)

Photo credit: Dan Pancamo 2010
    He is called a Sanderling. These funny little birds are all over the beaches in North Carolina where we vacationed. I love watching them. They scurry urgently down the beach between waves and hunt for tiny mollusks and crabs in the sand. When the next waves rolls in they rush back up the beach away from the water. It was fun to watch them. They made me want to laugh! As we watched I made up a little dialog in my  head.

   The little bird goes running down the beach thinking:
  "oh oh oh hungry hungry hungry"
 The wave starts to break.
 "Oh Run run run! Whew! I made it."
The wave recedes,
  "oh! hungry hungry hungry!"
"Run away, run away!"

He reminded me of me. When I am fretting.

   I give things to the Lord then I hurry, hurry out of the way of the next wave taking my "things" with me. "oh wait," I think, "I meant to leave this with Him." Hurry, hurry back to Him. Back and forth over and over. Why is it so hard to trust? Why do I insist on doing it myself? Nature, I suppose, a lack of practice trusting. God's word promises so much. Worry and doubt steal our peace.

    But there is more than that at stake here. The Bible says in James 1 that she who doubts is "double minded" and "unstable." I must ask in faith doubting nothing, because those who doubt can expect nothing from the Lord. Our small group just began a study of James. Over the course of the discussion this subject of doubting came up, it is in verse 6 and 7 by the way. I was a little shaken by this idea. I have known that we need to trust God fully. But unstable, because of doubt?? Really? One of the guys in our group said "God wants to be our plan A, period. There shouldn't be a plan b." Talk about needing to trust Him in everything.

   I, as a western Christian, have much. I have freedom, privilege to learn, comfortable home, etc. These things actually do stand in the way of trust sometimes. I am so used to be able to do it on my own that leaving my cares at the feet of Jesus is challenging. Each time though, Jesus calmly takes them from me and reminds me that they shouldn't be my burdens but His. 

  As I focus on being intentional this month, I desire the closeness with God that comes from the intentional choice to trust Him fully. I am getting pictures of the hurry, hurry bird to put up around the house to help remind me that God is in control of my circumstances.

   Lord, today I give you my worry, my fretting, my concern for the future, and myself. You are the director of my play. Lead me. Strengthen me to have no plan b, but to look to You every minute of every day.  Caite

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

First Steps - 31 days of intention

      Yesterday, I chose to be very intentional about school. We did ok. Everyday is a journey. Our journey yesterday felt rocky to me. I know that we all have off days and new beginnings can be rough. But, Dang it! I wanted to be able to say "Hey! This living with intention makes days easier, the day has flow, we accomplished all that we set before ourselves to accomplish." Alas, I cannot say those things to you. That would be grossly misrepresenting how our day went.  Yet, in speaking with my girls, their view of the day was radically different from mine. Pixie said "It was a good day, Mama. I liked it." It seems that our first step into being intentional was a positive one in their eyes.
       First steps are always challenging. Babies take one or two steps, then PLOP! on their bottoms. You learn a new skill and the first few times you do it you feel awkward and out of sorts. You start a lifestyle change and you stumble. Then you pick yourself up and try again and again, until you aren't stumbling anymore but walking with confidence. This adjustment time isn't always exciting. It isn't always fun. But it is important. Taking time to commit to a new beginning and to yourself, even through the speed bumps helps to build your confidence. 
       Today is day three. I return to being intentional with our schoolwork. We have a meeting out of the house and piano lessons so getting our schoolwork done will take an extra measure of discipline. Being focused on the task at hand instead of having my attention divided between my stuff and their work will be the order of the day. That always means tasks take them longer to complete because I am not helping them to focus. Today we will do what we set out to. We may also make some time for something fun as well.
Lord I ask for your hand on our day today. Would you guide me, us? THank you for the honor to stay home and teach these two precious hearts. Thank you that you are big enough for my days and my problems. Thank you for reminding I do not have to be perfect the first, third or twentieth time I do something.   Caite

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall is Yummy

Fall is yummy! Many of my favorite recipes are made in the fall. Warm hearty food. Chili and pie, soups and casseroles, mmmm just thinking of it makes me hungry. Christin at Joyful Mothering asked for a fall recipe link up. It is very hard for me to decide but this time I have decided to share my favorite soup recipe. This is fairly healthy and very quick to make.

Ham and Potato Soup 

          12 to 16oz ham cubed
          1 medium onion cubed
          2-3 carrots diced
          2 stalks celery diced
                     (adjust so that you have similar amounts of each of the veggies)
          3-5 Tbsp butter
          1-2 cloves of garlic sliced
          1/4 to 1/2 cup flour
          4 cups chicken stock
          2 cups water
          1-1/2 lbs potatoes diced

           salt, pepper,cayenne - to taste

Melt butter in large stock pot, allow to brown slightly then add diced veggies, ham and sliced garlic.

Saute until veggies are tender. Add flour in to make a roux. Stir in flour until all moisture is absorbs then add cold stock a little bit at a time. 

Allow to simmer while you prep potatoes (15min). 

Check taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed, then add potatoes.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes - until potatoes are done. 

Then mash potatoes lightly with a masher to break them up a little. You can do this to your texture preference.

Remove from heat and add 1 cup heavy cream ( may substitute milk) and a dash of cayenne. 

Serve with crusty bread.

My kids love this stuff and would like me to make it repeatedly I think. I go light on the cayenne when making it for the kids. It is yummy, comfort, food. A dish that makes me happy on long fall nights. Enjoy!


Thirty-one days of intention...


I wasn't going to do this.  But the Lord keeps tugging at my heart. There is a large group of bloggers like me who juggle many, many, hats. They are coming together in October to write for 31 days straight. Their topics are widely varied but the commitment is to tell the story of life based on their chosen theme for 31 days straight. I have to tell you, committing to publishing something readable for 31 days straight scares me. However, God keeps nudging. His small voice saying go on, you can.

Okay "I can."

My 31 days topic is intention. As a homeschooling mom, as a christian, as a wife I want to live with intention. I want to stop drifting through my days and possibly accomplish something.  I want to be intentional and aware of my actions or non actions. I want to be aware of my tone when speaking. I want to be intentional about my relationships. Yesterday's post detailed our long summer hiatus, full of activities and travel. Those things were for the most part planned, lived, and enjoyed with abandon. Now we are returning to a routine that we are still defining. I am asking the Lord to give us clear direction on the wheat and the chaff in our schedule. That we may be wise through His guidance in the use of our time.

Day 2 Today my focus is intentional school. As a home schooler it is so easy to allow morning to drift quietly by and accomplish nothing. Then we are still doing spelling at the dinner table. ugh. Today I got up with my alarm, had a few minutes of quiet with the Admiral before he left for work, and I am now ready to wake the girls. I feel peaceful and prepared to face the day. It is a good feeling.


Monday, October 1, 2012


Time flies...

Just about five months have flown past between posts. What a packed five months it has been!

I find it interesting that my last post was about savoring time together with my spouse and now I am writing about taking a break. I hadn't planned to take a break from Whisper. Life got really busy and I lost momentum. So here is a brief synopsis if my hiatus.

*** We finished our first year homeschooling. WOW! I really enjoyed the school year. I am excited about our upcoming year! We are adding a couple of subjects and planning some fabulous learning trips.

*** My folks came for a good visit. Always a good family time.

*** Trip to Goodlettsville, Tennessee for the Annual Gathering of the Advisory Council and Board of Directors meeting of Aldersgate Renewal Ministries. This trip is always a little like going home. A two day meeting interspersed with prayer, worship and family time.

*** We did costuming for a local theater group. All For One Productions is a faith based theater company that does great shows. I was privileged to work on "Emma" in January. Then in I also did a costume for "Women of Lockerbie" in April. I enjoyed working on both shows and look forward to future collaborations. This coming season has some amazing shows.

*** "Life in the Spirit Seminar" is a weekend, local church, renewal event. It is one of several such events that are facilitated by Aldersgate Renewal Ministries. I got to serve on a team that went to Woodstock IL in late April. I always go on these teams wanting to give of myself and whatever the Lord is telling me to share. I always come home blessed beyond my imaginings. I love doing this!

*** In May ... Unplanned Surgery. Sigh. I woke up early one Monday morning and my chest burned whenever I would breathe deeply. Off to the Doctor, then from there to the emergency room. You know when your doctor is offering to call an ambulance, you freak out slightly. We arrived at the E.R. and the Doctor there listened to my complaints and said "I think it is your gall bladder." My first thought was " I haven't had tummy troubles?" But sure enough the sonogram showed gall stones and major inflammation. Admitted to the hospital and scheduled for surgery. WOW did that throw me for a loop. Suddenly I cannot even get off the couch without help. Mom came for a week and helped out. I am so blessed by my mom and hubby. They took great care of me, helped with the girls, and generally helped me cope with the upheaval. So for six to eight weeks I was on lifting restriction. Pixie ran around saying " Mama! Should you be lifting that?" " Mama, I need to carry that for you!" "Mama! Put that down!" So I had no chance to push the envelope, I had to behave. UGH.

*** July brought kitchen renovations, Aldersgate conference in Charleston, WV, Mystic Mountain Summer camp for the girls. Camp Blast for T while Pixie went to Camp Powtowatami here in town. Then our friends from Vienna Austria arrived for a few days stay. The next thing we knew it was August.

*** August was full with a trip to Aunt Linn & Uncle John's for the girls and softball tournament for me. I am so glad I chose to play softball with my church's team! I learned a lot and I am looking forward to next season. We also participated in our only living history event this summer at the end of August. Hopefully we will get to do a few more events next year.

*** September rolled in with a roar! A visit from Busia and Grandpa - the Admiral's folks. A sprinkly day spent at terrific air show. Then the next week we left for vacation. which you will hear more about in the coming week.

As you can see it was jam packed summer full of planned and unplanned adventures. Through it all I can say that Jesus walked us through, providing what we needed as we fielded each curve ball. Reminding me along they way of how incredibly blessed we are and how fortunate. We all have hurts we carry, dark valley's we walk through, people we care for who are walking through dark valley's of their own, we can turn to Him. He will carry us through. We can trust Him in every situation good, bad, and ugly. We can give him our pain, frustration, and uncertainty and He will return to us our joy!

Lord help me to turn to you everyday with the small things as well as the big, Help me to trust that you see the big picture and know what is best for my life. Thank you for providing before I even know we have a need. Thank you for giving comfort in the midst of seeming chaos.