Book of dreams

Book of dreams

I was looking through my “book of dreams” tonight that I started sometime in 2010… and got teary when I read the list of what I wrote because some of them have already come to pass! A couple of them are: I ran my second (and third) marathon since then (after being healed of bad knee issues for years), I got my dog (after believing for her for 14 years), and I started writing a book.   Seeing all God has done so far, makes me even MORE excited for what’s to come… like when I actually finish writing a book, when we’re completely debt-free, when I get to go on a missions trip, when I qualify for the Boston Marathon (and some other things I’ll hold a little closer to my heart)… 🙂 Our dreams might seem silly to some people, but that’s okay! The key to all this dreaming business is to hold on to those things the Lord puts in your heart, and don’t let go–no matter what. He put them there for a reason, so trust Him. Write it down, look at it daily, pray over it, and thank God in advance. He will lead and guide you toward it. I love the verse I put on my dream book: “I brought glory to You here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. ~ John 17:4” …it always reminds me that my dreams are not about me. God bless you… and every dream the Lord has ever spoken to your heart. Dream big in 2013,...

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These Boots

These Boots

I wore some boots to work this week with a high heel, and I only chose to wear them because my jeans were too long for any other normal, flat, comfortable shoe. By noon, the balls of my feet ached, and I was reminded of why I only wear these jeans once every couple months. To me, wearing boots is a fashion statement. And that they have a HEEL, well that’s kind of a big deal for me.  Sometimes I wish I cared about fashion, but my life seems complicated enough at times to add another element of something that I invest time, energy, and money into. I’m not saying being into fashion is bad. It’s not, it’s just not me. Everyone is interested in different things and that’s what makes us all so uniquely different from each other. That’s how God intended it.  This whole fashion thing, and my aching feet, got me thinking about my childhood this morning. I remember crying, feeling humiliated, and being angry because my mom made me wear knickers as a child—when NO ONE else was. And if my school clothes weren’t handmade, they came from thrift stores or the Kmart clearance rack. My parents worked hard for our family, but I wished for once I could have something name-brand.  And then came seventh grade, and one of the football players saw the label on my “Zena” jeans from Kmart… and made fun of me. Initially, I felt hurt and angry, but it was at that point in my life where my disinterest in fashion and shopping began. I somehow stopped caring about all of that. I associated name-brand things with mean people, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Of course, I know that’s not true, but our experiences shape the things we think from a young age. It took a long time for me to undo that way of thinking.   I am so thankful to my mom for many reasons, but the simple, yet profound character-building lesson of frugality, resourcefulness, and ‘making do’ has taught me so much. Not being interested or caught-up in the latest styles has, at times, made me feel like an oddball because I’m a WOMAN after all! I should like that stuff, right? But my lack of concern in that area has freed me up to not be distracted by thinking so much about myself (which I probably do enough of already), how I look, or what I’m wearing. I believe this has also prepared me for working and serving the Lord in ministry. People are hurting and have needs, and at church, it’s all about reaching out and being there for them. Let’s not kid ourselves… I’m not into fashion, but I still like to try to look good—and cute. But I won’t spend much time or energy, nor will I pay an arm and a leg for it. If that means I lack style, so be it. I’m starting to rather embrace being an oddball.   Thanks, Mom. Now where did I put those scissors to cut the length on those jeans?  Colossians 3:16-17 ~ And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the...

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Mill City Cafe – Biscones & Gravy!

Mill City Cafe – Biscones & Gravy!

I sat at the kitchen table, sipping my coffee, looking out the window, and to my delight, these male and female cardinals landed at the feeder. Aren’t they pretty? My bird-watching didn’t last too long though. I had to get showered and ready for the day because it was Saturday morning, and we decided we were going to go try a new restaurant in the city–one of our favorite new hobbies. *** So, Jon and I and Hannah got in the car and drove to Minneapolis for breakfast. To the intersection of NE California Street and NE 22nd Avenue to be exact. This time, our new restaurant stop was Mill City Cafe. It’s in a very old and charming building, and the front entrance couldn’t be more welcoming. *** We walked in and had to wait about 20 minutes to be seated, along with the 6-8 people who were waiting before us. It’s always good to see that a new place you’re trying out is popular, so we didn’t mind. We made our way through the dining area to the back entrance, where we waited on a pew they had in the hall, just outside the dining area. One of the hostesses offered us something to drink while we waited, and not only brought us coffee, but a small plate of fruit as well–with napkins even. That was really hospitable and going above and beyond in my book. I was sold on this place from that point. I thought, who does that?! It was one of those little things that made you feel like your business means a lot to them. She said a few different times, very genuinely, how much she appreciates that we’re waiting. I was impressed from the get-go. *** One neat thing about waiting anywhere is that you have the opportunity to look around. We sat there and observed a middle-aged guy sitting at a small school-type desk, minding his own business and doing some type of artwork. I always wonder what people’s stories are in times like that. Then right behind him was an out-of-commission freight elevator, where we noticed that the restrooms were–actually IN the elevator. We’ve seen over and over the creative use of space in those old buildings. I just love that. Just as I was going to get a photo of that, our hostess came back to seat us. Dang! The dining area was cozy, and all three of us loved it. There were large windows with strings of white lights around them, surrounded by old brick walls, and open beam ceilings.  *** This is what I got. It’s called Biscones and Gravy. Does it look delectable OR WHAT? It is a cross between a homemade biscuit & scone, topped with your choice of portabella mushroom gravy or Italian sausage gravy. I couldn’t decide, so I asked our waitress what she likes better. She said she likes to get hers with half of each. That was the best solution to my indecisiveness, and I was glad she offered that as an option so I could try both. WOW!!!!! Both gravies were out of this world, as were the biscones! On top of the biscones & gravy are two eggs, prepared to your liking. My favorite is scrambled, so at least that was an easy decision. On the side were roasted potatoes. Oh my goodness. It was love at first taste. We all agreed that the service was unparalleled. And the prices were reasonable too. We paid less than $9 per plate. Jon and Hannah are getting weary of getting their pictures taken while eating, hence my lack of additional photos to share of our time there. Actually, they’re not really digging being in any of my photos lately, but it’s okay. This too shall pass. 🙂 Jon got a traditional breakfast of eggs, toast, sausage, and roasted potatoes. Hannah stepped out and took a risk on the quiche. She doesn’t usually try new things, so for her to try a bacon, kale, and cheddar quiche was kind of a big deal. Jon and Hannah liked and enjoyed their food, but weren’t about to shout from the rooftops about it, quite like I was about mine. Being somewhat of a dramatic personality, I tend to shout from the rooftops frequently, but TRUST me… you should go there if you’re in town. And if you try the biscones & gravy, come back and tell me if we can sing in unison and shout from the rooftops together! Some things are just worth shouting...

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Spicy chicken with broccoli

Spicy chicken with broccoli

365 Project: Day 93 This was dinner on Friday night. It’s a recipe for Spicy Chicken with Broccoli that I have made for a bazillion years. Well, the splattered and rippled page indicates at least 15. *** Here it is in our well-seasoned wok. Lots of yummy Chinese food has been made in this wok.  *** I didn’t know if the above photo would turn out or not so, working quickly (before everything got cold), I started assembling the rice and and all rest on my plate for an alternate photo op. As I was piling it on and trying to see what would look like a good picture, I didn’t even realize I had probably doubled what would be a normal portion size for me. Oops… I’m such a rookie. Sigh. By that time, it was too late, and I couldn’t take any off without totally messing up my plate for this GREAT photo. See the mess I made in trying to move the broccoli in front because it was too far away from the rest? Dang it, I wanted to turn back the clock 3 seconds and undo that. Oh well, I’m learning. What lengths I go to to share the fumbles and bumbles of my 365 project with you. 🙂  Thanks for reading. P.S. In case you wondered… I did eat every...

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