Sunday, November 22, 2009

Exercise quiet, sweet, diligence in your work...

I have been feeling really overwhelmed lately. This year has been a stressful year for me. Although I have had many blessings and many good happy times, I have also had many things that have burdened me. On top of some of my stressors, I have been trying to organize my whole house by cleaning cabinets and closets, moving things around and throwing things out. Then, right around the corner, is Christmas and all that that entails! I am feeling like the lady above.
I feel like I am doing a lot of things, but I am not doing anything well. I have not been happy with myself. I feel like the girl above, I look fine on the outside, but inside, I'm feeling out of control, a little angry and not happy. I'm not trusting God.

Any way, I was feeling down this morning and started praying. I got down on my knees and prayed in the spirit. I just gave all of my troubles to Him. When I was done praying I opened my little devotional book called Streams in the Dessert and this is what I read:

Talk to God about whatever may be pressuring you

and then commit the entire matter into His hands.

Do so to be free from the conflicts and cares that fill the world today.

In fact, anytime you are undergoing some trial or

simply pursuing your normal business, tell the Father about it.

Acquaint Him with it; yes, even burden Him with it,

and you will have put the concerns and cares behind you.

From that point forward, exercise quiet, sweet, diligence in your work, recognizing your dependence on Him to carry the matter for you.”

R. Leighton, Streams in the Dessert, 11-21, edited

What stood out to me is the part that says after we give the Lord our burdens this is what we need to do:

From that point forward, exercise quiet, sweet, diligence in your work

So that is what I'm going to do. I have decided that although there are some stressful things in my life that I cannot control, one thing I can control is giving it all to the Lord. Then I need to continue to do the work that the Lord has put upon me, which is being a good wife and mother and making my home a wonderful cozy sanctuary for my family with yummy meals and fresh baked sweets. This is the true desire of my heart anyway and I keep letting other things get in my way. I also have been called to work outside my home at my little part-time job and I need to work there with the same heart and same attitude. That little book just hit me when it said to give it all to the Lord and just continue to work, but not just work, exercise quiet, sweet, diligence in my work! This little passage was just a gift from God this morning.
I believe that we are not fighting a battle of flesh and blood, it is a spiritual battle. I feel that in my Christian walk, I just go up and down all the time. Good news than bad news. I know this is how life is, but I do believe the enemy is trying to rob me of my joy. Although it is true that 2009 has brought some big issues on the old stress test, the Lord also has answered so many prayers for us and I'm talking amazing prayers and long term prayers that I never thought would get answered! He is so good! Why do I let things get to me? Where's my faith? I feel like I am such a light-weight Christian. I want to be strong like my Grandma Ethel and my Grandma Margaret. I need to continue to get on my knees and give all of it to Him and keep trusting.
From that point forward, exercise quiet, sweet, diligence in your work
I have concluded that the beginning steps to exercising quiet, sweet diligence in my work, I need to be a better steward with my time. I have decided to quit blogging for a bit. I am not sure for how long, perhaps a month or two with perhaps a few little posts in between. I will just see how the Lord directs me. I will miss all of you, but I will be checking your blogs often to keep up on your lives.

I also want to be more thankful for all my blessings. I am going to start a thankful journal and list all my many blessings. Our pastor said if you list all the things you are grateful for you won't have any time left to dwell on the negative things!
This is how I want to be, carefree, joyful, happy and trusting in the Lord! I pray the same for all of you.

I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

May the Lord richly bless you!

"Commit your way to the Lord." Psalm 37:5

Love, Sharon

Friday, November 20, 2009

Voice to Spirit Concert!

This is my son, Mackenzie, and his gorgeous wife, Brittany. They have created a musical group together called Voice to Spirit. They perform electronica worship music and they are really, really good! She sings and writes songs and he plays all the instruments, sings and writes songs. They are so talented and I am so very proud of them!
A few weeks ago they had a concert and my family attended. I took pictures of us "with the band" before the concert! We know people in high places! LOL! Here's my Dad and Hayden standing with them.
And here's my Dad and me standing with them. My hubby, Eric, was there too and also our other sons, Cameron and Grayson, but I didn't get pictures of them. :0(
My sisters and their kids showed up too!
They did such a great job!
They sang many songs from their first album........
.....and sang a few new songs, which were soooo good!
I wish you could hear them, the music is so amazing and Brittany's voice is so beautiful.
I am so proud of my kids because they are using their talents to bless the Lord and to minister to people. This is an answer to Mackenzie's prayers. He has been interested in creating music since he was in middle school and it is so neat that the Lord brought him a wife who is so musically talented and that they create it together and perform together!!!

"Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!" Psalm 150

Love, Sharon

P.S. Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement. I am feeling better and getting back into my routine. You are all so sweet and kind. I would like to come and visit all of you this weekend.

As far as my blog being slow, I think it must be because I have nearly 800 posts. I think I need to open up a second blog and will be looking into that soon. I will probably call it Rose of Sharon II or Roses of you guys have any good suggestions?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I want to go back.....

Knott's Berry Farm at Night
November 2009

I want to go back on vacation! Since I've been back there's been drama at work, trouble with my parents and my brother, sad news about a niece, sad news about a friend, disappointing news about a house for sale, and it's been pouring down rain. I want to go back to the sunshine and back to being carefree on vacation.

I have today off and my day is loaded with plans including cleaning, going to the store, going through a lot of paperwork, making phone calls, writing and sending out Christmas party invitations, making a good dinner, making cookies etc. I am hoping to have a few hours this afternoon to catch up with my blogging. I love to blog, but I need more hours in my day! I have heard from a few of you that my blog has been slow to load. I do not know why, I have not done anything differently. I went in and changed it from loading ten pages to just five, so hopefully that will speed things up. Please let me know if you're still having trouble.

Hope you have a great day!

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Isaiah 40:29

Love, Sharon

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm baaack......

We're back from our vacation down to sunny California! Eric, Grayson, Hayden and I stayed a week down in Huntington Beach. We had a wonderful vacation! The Lord was so good and blessed us with so many good memories, safety, fun and great traffic conditions! It was just right, it was great to be there, but also so great to be back home. We got home yesterday afternoon and we had all the kids here for dinner and a movie last night, which was fun, and today we are all back to our regular routines. I have lots to share; I took 732 pictures!!! Thank you for leaving your sweet comments last week, I will try to get back with all of you in the next couple of days and I am hoping to get back to my regular blogging this week.

Have a great day!

" I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His rightness and justice, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High." Psalm 7: 17

Love, Sharon

Friday, November 13, 2009

Leaf napkin rings....

I wanted to share with you my new fun fall find!!! Actually, I found these beautiful leaf napkin rings on clearance a year ago and tucked them away until the Autumn came around.
They are made of a heavy bronzed metal.
I like the detail of them.
I got such a great deal too! They originally were two for $11.99. and I bought six sets. If I paid the full price it would be $71.94, but they were marked down to $2.99 which would have been $17.94, but all the clearance was an additional 50% off, so I was able to get 12 beautiful metal leaf napkin rings for only $8.97!!! Score!!!!
Don't they look pretty!
I think they look perfect with my brown transferware dishes, gold chargers, amber stemware, fall floral table cloth and burgundy napkins!
As Martha would say, "It's a good thing"!!!!

Hope you're having a great week! I'll be back Monday!

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

Love, Sharon

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pork chop, stuffing & apple casserole

Here's the recipe of the good old fashioned home cook dinner that I made for my parents the other night. It's easy, economical and delicious!
It's called Pork chop, stuffing and apple pie filling casserole. My sister Kathi found this recipe for me. My family loves it!
I doubled the recipe to feed nine people. I used two boxes of stuffing mix...
...three cans of apple pie filing...
...and a large tray of pork chops. First you need to brown the pork chops...
...and make the stuffing according to the directions on the box.
Spread the apple pie filing in the bottom of a greased 13x9 casserole dish.
Lay the browned pork chops on top of the apples.
Then spread the stuffing on top of the meat. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes.
Delicious! They will gobble it all up!!!

"I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11

Have a wonderful day!!!

In Him ~ Sharon

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunday dinner with my Mom and Dad

I wanted to share one more of our Sunday dinner's with you. A few weeks ago we had my parents over for a big Sunday dinner with the family. Here's the table all set and ready for company. I set the table for a fall cozy dinner with gold chargers and placed brown and moss green transferware china on top of them. I used my amber stemware and serving dishes. I think the amber glass looks so pretty with the transferware dishes. I used burgundy linen napkins and placed them in my new metal leaf napkin rings. I will be sharing more about the napkin rings later this week.
My Mom and I were sitting out on the back porch watching the boys play on trampoline. This was a special day because we don't get together with my parents that often. My mother's health has declined and she does not often feel up to going to gatherings. I was glad that she came on this day. My mother has been very good to me and she has taught me very much. We used to spend a lot of time together and I miss her. I love my Mom!
Mackenzie and Brittany came over too. Brittany is so sweet to my mother!
Here's all the guys visiting on the back deck. My father is on the far left and he is so proud of all of his grandsons!
We had a nice dinner. I made a good stick to your ribs casserole made of pork chops, stuffing and apple pie filing. I will share the recipe with you in a few days. We had lemon pudding cheesecake for dessert!
I love it when we can all get together for a meal.
We had a lovely meal and a nice evening together. When you put a little effort into it and just simply make the plans, they will come!

I am going to be taking a few days off from blogging, but I have written a few posts this week that are scheduled to be published. I hope that all of you have a wonderful week!

"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to the strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." II Chronicles 16:9

Hugs, Sharon

Friday, November 6, 2009

Good morning????

Serenity now!!!! I wanted to share with you what my week day mornings have been like. I take Hayden to school every morning and three days a week after I drop him off I head off to my job at the clinic. He got his permit this past summer and the Oregon law is that teens need to have 100 hours of driving under the supervision of an adult before they can take the test for their driver's license. It takes about a year to accumulate 100 hours, so I let him drive as much as I can and driving to school every day is a great way to get the hours.
Hayden is a really good driver, but I'm sure you can imagine the stress of teaching a teenage boy how to drive on the way to school while in a hurry not only to get to the school but then to my job by 8:00am!
Well, just mix in this little situation.....road work ahead! The sign should say Major Road Work Ahead or better yet.....Stressful Major Road Work Ahead, Please Stay Calm!
Oh my gosh, it is about all I can take trying to get him to school and then get myself to work on time! There are dump trucks and tractors, school buses, children on bikes, work men in the road and other mother's just like me and all of us seem to be in a hurry! But what we do is hurry up and wait!
Normally the route to school and then to the clinic just takes about 5 minutes, but during the construction it averaged about 20 minutes and sometimes longer! We started leaving the house a half hour in advance just to make sure we weren't late.
Everywhere we went we saw construction equipment. Hayden got some excellent driving experience with learning how to drive around big trucks, tractors and heavy equipment as well as multiple flaggers and traffic jams!
We have about three routes to chose from to get from our house to the school and if one day we took a certain route and it was clogged up with traffic or had roads closed, then the next day we would try another route only to find that it had road closures and traffic jams as well.
I took these pictures over a couple of days, but every day was the same. Stress and frustration. We always pray in the car on the way to school and I'm thankful that God was in the car with us, especially me with my stress level! I always feel that prayer really does help me keep my attitude in check!
Hayden actually has been doing such a great job. He seems to be a natural and is coming along really great.
But with all the stress, even my coffee doesn't seem to help!!! :0) I get so extra stressed because my boss is a stickler and does not tolerate tardiness. I can't be late! I can't be late!
Everywhere we look... construction!
Okay, stop and smell the roses......I thought these barriers looked neat all staked up together. LOL!
Actually there is much to be grateful for. I am thankful that all these workmen have jobs!!! They started this project in the spring when the economy was really at it's lowest, so this is a good thing.
Also, the fact that we are getting brand new roads and sidewalks are such a blessing. We had so many potholes in our old street and there was no sidewalk, so it was dangerous for the kids to walk to school. It just would have been nice for all the busy parents if they got it done before school started. I am sure it was hard and stressful on the construction workers as well as the bus drivers too.
Finally, we made it to the high school!
"Bye Hayden, I love you, have a nice day!"

He gets out of the drivers seat, I get out of the passenger seat we meet in the middle with a big hug and a wave goodbye. (Isn't he cute!!!)

I am proud to say that I never swear, yell or do hand gestures at other drivers or construction workers while driving and I do stay pretty calm, especially in front of my kids. I want to teach them that it doesn't help the situation to get like that. My problem is that I internalize it and my stomach gets in a big knot and my heart rate goes way up by the time I'm done! LOL!
Now I jump in the driver's seat....7:57, oh my gosh, I've got three minutes to get to work!
What, my short cut is closed??!!!
Slow? You want me to drive slow??? Do you realize I'm trying to get to work here????
Abrupt edge, how about abrupt woman who's gonna be late for work!!!
Come on!!!!
Finally, there's the clinic, I made it to work!
And on this particular day.....just in time!
I better run! I need 200 cc of coffee STAT!
I am just being funny here and poking fun at myself. This is such a small thing to put up with when there are so many people out there with really serious problems. I am just trying to make light of a daily nuisance we had for a few weeks. I have so much to be thankful for; I'm thankful that my kids were able to get an excellent free education and that I have a good job. I'm thankful for our awesome high school. I'm thankful for my wonderful son! I am thankful that I have a car to take my son to school with. I'm just sharing with you one of those daily aggravating situations we can have in our lives.

As mother's we need to remember our children are watching us all the time and watching and learning how we deal with stressful situations. I want to always try to be calm, patient and loving during these times. But, even if we lose our tempers for a moment, we need to remember to be quick to apologize and really try to learn from it and not do it again! Life isn't always perfect and we have to put up with little irritants and we need to be able to deal with them in a graceful manner, which I, unfortunately, do not always do!

Well, since I have taken these pictures, I am happy to report that the road work has ended! Now we are back to our happy, stress-free mornings and we can get to the school in 3 minutes and I can get to the office in another 2. Life is good!

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

"A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly." Proverbs 14:29

xoxo, Sharon
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