Monday, December 31, 2012

Thankful for a New Year!!

Happy New Year!! I dare you to be thankfully joyful!!

I have written in 2012 about The Love Dare and I will write more about daring to love my husband and you yours in 2013. There is another dare that has been placed on my heart and that is through Ann Voskamp. I need this dare!!

Ann says, "You've got to figure out a way to stay awake to your one wild and beautiful life."

My life has trials. Beautiful?!

Another trial just arrived.


Yes, beautiful!! When I choose to fully live the way Jesus Christ desires me to live, to live my life in thankfulness and to the glory of God, then I will find JOY.

I am taking the Joy Dare in 2013.

I choose to live fully this wild and beautiful life God is giving me in each moment as I breath, fully breath in the grace He has given me through His gifts. These gifts surround me as they happen in moments of time.

Will you take The Dare with me in 2013??

I am going to learn to 'wake to the wonder of the small.'

I am going to learn to 'find joy in what really matters.'

As I roll the shades up on each day God gives me in 2013, I am going to learn to abide in His JOY as I 'begin to change this one wild life' into the image of His grace.

On January 1st, I am going to start counting the gifts. I am going to start counting all the ways He loves until I get to 1000 before the end of the year. When I get to 1000, I will start to count again, and again, and again.

How about you??

Will  you count to 1000 gifts with me in 2013??

I'd LOVE you to leave a comment!!

Since I live out 'in-the-sticks'... friends, like you are a long ways away!!
Sooo, I'd love you to follow me on: 

Don't forget to linkup your favorite posts:


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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reflections of 2012

The snow is softly falling outside my kitchen window.
Christmas has past; winter has set in for sure!!

The cookies are half eaten; 
Decorations leave memories of a very special week together. 
The last month was a whirlwind, 
My oldest son now has a wonderful new bride.
I am so thankful to the Lord for his new wife, their new life together.

Back to Blogging!!

I have been thinking lately that I need to learn better how to give thanks to God.

My thinking too often focuses and wanders through the mire of negativity.
We all have trials and tribulations in life to some degree or other.
I am no exception!!
I have been thinking deeply over the last month about how I desperately want to change that. 

How about you??

Can I live constantly being thankful and thinking thoughts of praise?
How can I find deep lasting joy that permeates my being and radiates to others?
Is this really possible?

I am convinced it is possible, 
for a melancholy person like me!!

How about you??

Each year I write down goals, thoughts, and some scripture verses which will keep me walking in the right direction on my journey this side of Heaven.

This coming year of 2013, I want to focus on:

Lifting my heart upward and seeking the Lord Jesus Christ 
with all of my being like never before.

As I reflect over the past year of 2012, 
these are a few of the things that I found to be thankful for:

As I post this coming year of 2013,
I intend to WholeHeartedly embrace Thanksgiving, Joyfulness, and Grace to the best of where I am in the moments God gives me.

I hope you drop in often to see what my days bring,
From my Home to your Home.

Here are some links that I found helpful as I prepare for 2013:

  1. Setting up a Bill Planner for 2013?? The Absolute Easiest Way To Track, Pay & Organize Your Household Bills...No Filing Involved!
  2. Perfect read to begin the new year? Really embracing the fullest life? The new One Thousand Gifts Devotional Journal as an e-book for just $3.79 and One Thousand Gifts itself as an e-book for just $3,79
  3. A  Holy Experience This blog daily blesses me and has caused me to take the dare to live fully and seek God wholly with my whole heart this coming year like never before!! I am taking the JOY DARE in 2013!! How about you?!
It is nice to be back to blogging. 

In 2013 as in 2012, my husband and family come first.

My home will be running smoothly before I post, so I may not always have my posts up and running by 5am!!

My goal is NOT to have LOTS of followers or a MEGA blog. This is just my corner of the bloggisphere and if you happen-on-in, I'd be so pleased that you dropped by. Pull up a comfy chair and a cup-of-tea or coffee and visit my 'neck-of-the-woods. Lets share what the Lord has been doing in our lives as we WholeHeartedly serve our family at Home.

I'd LOVE you to leave a comment!!

Since I live out 'in-the-sticks'... friends, like you are a long ways away!!
Sooo, I'd love you to follow me on: 

Don't forget to linkup your favorite posts:


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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WholeHeartedly Serving my Family at Home

"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,
and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;"

Mele Kalikimaka!!!

is postponed until January, 2013
As this is a time totally for family.

I have truly appreciated the fellowship which 
your ladies have provided through your linkups each week.
You are so faithful!!

There is a tremendous amount of hustle and bustle around here!!
(no matter what I wrote about last month, LOL)

As my oldest son happily married the sweetest girl
They love the Lord so my heart is truly warmed this Christmas!!

I am so sorry, but no linkups until 2013
Your family 


I will only post if I really get the gift of time but will not be linking up
as that takes a tremendous amount of time...that I don't have!!

So, if you want any possible random posts between now and January,
please linkup along my sidebar.

I'd LOVE you to leave a comment!!

Since I live out 'in-the-sticks'... friends, like you are a long ways away!!
Sooo, I'd love you to follow me on: 

Don't forget to linkup your favorite posts:


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Monday, December 17, 2012

Sweet Smelling Aroma as Christ at Christmas

I love the aromas of Christmas with cookies or sweet breads baking in the oven, or special things being simmered on the stove giving off that wintry aroma of spices. 

Sweet smelling aromas remind me of prayer.

As my potpourri simmers on the stove for awhile now, it reminds me to pray. Aromas send their sweet smells up into the room just like my prayers should do. 

My children are grown, four out-of-the-home, one just married, identical twins in the spring from my daughter, my oldest daughter sewing downstairs for her business, my youngest daughter off taking a two college exams, and my youngest son working for the day.

No one is begging to make cookies, no one begging to do a Christmas craft. What's a mamma to do?! 

Make them anyways!!

So, I finally sat down for a few moments, precious, God-Gifted moments, at 11am to finally eat now that the house was cleaned up and laundry going to look up some ideas to make, so it will smell like Christmas. Christ's aroma in me, in you.

I decided to 'do' what I was reading about and make my moment breathe deeply of God's Holy Spirit sending up a sweet savory aroma (hopefully of my life) represented by the potpourri simmering in my make-shift fancy simmerer.

Spicy Simmering Potpourri
From Jacqueline over at Deep Roots at Home

You can smell the simmering aroma, right??

  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup whole cloves
  • 2 heaping tsp. powdered allspice
Place your potpourri - along with about a quart of water - in a medium saucepan or slow cooker. Simmer on low heat, adding water as needed. Remains effective for days.

Yesterday, I made these sweet rustic hearts to hang in my windows or give away.

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments
Hey... this one is an original with WholeHearted Home!!

  • 1 cup cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoons nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Tacky Glue (I have always used Elmer's)
Combine spices, add applesauce and glue. Work mixture with hands for 2-3 minutes to form a ball. If the mixture is too dry - add applesauce, if it is too wet - add cinnamon. Knead on a cinnamon sprinkled surface until it holds together well. Divide into 4 portions and roll out each ball to 1/4" thick and cut with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheets. Make a small hole for hanging with pencil. Air dry, turning once. This takes from 3-5 days. Or you may dry them in a slow oven (250-300) for several hours. I did a combination of oven drying (1 hour) and the rest air drying for a couple of days. The ornaments will curl if they dry too quickly and start to burn if dried too long in the oven. Insert ribbon into hole after drying. Use as air fresheners, package decorations, tree ornaments, or even make delicious smelling garland!!!

Remember, to be a sweet smelling aroma in the Spirit you give off this Season, and every season, praying continually throughout your day. 


Be that sweet smell, like the spice potpourri and cinnamon applesauce hearts. 

Be the action and not the reaction of Christ dwelling within you permeating out-of-you to others. 

Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Be.

In Christ Alone,

Don't forget to linkup your favorite posts:


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Friday, December 14, 2012

Looking Unto Jesus this Christmas

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; 
It is expedient for you that I go away: 
for if I go not away: the Comforter will not come unto you; 
but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, 
and of righteousness, and of judgment;
Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, 
and ye see me no more;"
~John 16:7-14~

Even though you have tried to keep up with your Christmas preparations, there is  a house to keep clean, laundry that keeps appearing, and a husband and children to care for and love. 

Are you keeping the right spirit throughout December?? Did you know that keeping the 'right' spirit is keeping the 'righteous' Spirit and not the self-righteous Martha spirit?!

I like the story about Martha in the Bible. I love the tenderness that Jesus speaks her name in a soft but sure rebuke. I get overwhelmed easily and if I'm not careful, those overwhelmed feelings turn into stress.

The other day, I could hear the Holy Spirit softly speaking to me. 

I had gotten too busy. Too tired. I lost my perspective. I was seeing everything as a dark and rainy picture (and it was rainy and cold out) with a dismal outlook!!

I needed to trust.

I needed to rest.

Not in my own self-righteousness and strength but rest in God's Holy Spirit so that I am a responder and not a reactor. How about you?

Ouch, you say?? Me too!!

Make sure you are not basing your life on feelings. 

Slow down, sit back in a nice comfy chair for a few minutes and reflect on why you are feeling the way you are. 

Think of the Holy Spirit. 

If you are saved, God lives inside of you. His Holy Spirit abides in us and fills us with Himself so that we can love others instead of getting stressed out and reacting, responding in love.

Most of our problems in life come back to our relationship with the Holy Spirit. 

Have you ever seen sarcasm fly between siblings as cutting remarks, cutting responses shooting back and forth between your family filled with souls who love each other? 

Stand strong in humility and with a quiet Spirit keeping your eyes on Jesus. 

You don't have to allow the tense feelings to permeate your heart but instead you can be an example, realizing that the destroyer-of-souls is working triple-time to ruin relationships. 

If you find your little ones (or older ones) snipping at each other: you don't have to be a reactor, snapping reactionary  comments. 

Even if this seems totally impossible, you CAN be a responder and either keep silent and peaceful or quietly respond. 

In time you will be heard as your children become accustomed to mamma being softer and sweeter.

It takes time for our family to change the image they have of us. Maybe years. Maybe they can't change because they are reactionary themselves and their hearts closed to grace.

How do you know if you are of the Spirit of God? When God gives you His Holy Spirit....the Spirit bears witness to us.

You won't be cranky, irritable, unkind, but instead will bear the fruit of His Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace...)

Be a responder; not a reactor!!

When issues and people in your life get tough on you, and when you have a relationship with the Holy Spirit (are you saved?) then, the Holy Spirit inside of you will comfort and be your helper.

Sometimes life gets so rough that in confusion and the chaos of the moment, I can only see THAT moment. 

Just know that God is there in THAT moment and when you turn to Him, He will guide your thoughts and heart and mind. 

So, don't get swallowed up in each moment as Christmas approaches so that you can't see THAT moment. 

Experience the Holy Spirit's calming touch on your life. 

Slow down. 

Enjoy each moment as He gives you the gift this Christmas of His Holy Spirit :




and loving through you as you serve your family.

Looking unto Jesus!!

In Christ Alone,

I'd LOVE you to leave a comment!!

Since I live out 'in-the-sticks'... friends, like you are a long ways away!!
Sooo, I'd love you to follow me on: 

Don't forget to linkup your favorite posts:


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe

Here are some Oatmeal Raisin Cookies that I have baking in the oven!!
There is a WONDERFUL video tutorial on making these cookies
with the printable recipe at the bottom.

Click the Pic!!
I found the recipe through Pinterest 
And you can find the recipe over at:

Here are my cookies fresh out of the oven!!
Would you like one or two with hot chocolate??
If you insist on coffee, I'll be glad to serve you some.

This oatmeal raisin cookie recipe makes cookies that are soft in the middle, a little chewy on the outside and full of warm flavors like cinnamon and vanilla. They are very easy to make and you don’t need any fancy equipment – only a hand mixer. We use two types of raisins in these oatmeal cookies for color and extra texture (the golden raisins are slightly softer). You could, however, choose to only use one kind and they will still be fantastic.

Created By: 
Serves: 16
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 cup (210 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (110 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups (270 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add raisins to a small bowl then cover with hot water. The hot water helps the raisins to become plump and juicy. Set the bowl aside for about 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the room temperature butter and sugar with a hand blender until creamy, about 2 minutes. (You can also use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment).
  4. Add the egg and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract then beat until combined, about 1 minute.

  5. Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe Step 1
  6. In another bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Next, add the oats then stir until well combined.
  7. Now, add the oat mixture to the butter and sugar mixture in thirds, beating after each addition until incorporated.Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe Step 2

  8. Drain the raisins then gently press down or squeeze them to remove any extra water. Stir them into the cookie batter. (Use a spatula or spoon for this, not the mixer).
  9. Drop dough by two tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. (You can also use a large cookie scoop for this). Then, wet the tips of your fingers with water and gently press cookies down until they are about 1/2-inch thick. If some of the cookies have no raisins showing on top, steal a few raisins from the bowl and add to the tops of the cookies (they are prettier this way).Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe Step 3
  10. Bake cookies 10 to 14 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown, the center is still soft. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking’s Oatmeal Cookies.  

Don’t forget to watch our Chewy Oatmeal Cookie Recipe Video on our YouTube page.
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I'd LOVE you to leave a comment!!

Since I live out 'in-the-sticks'... friends, like you are a long ways away!!
Sooo, I'd love you to follow me on: 

Don't forget to linkup your favorite posts:


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