Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I feel like I have so much to update y'all on! It's been awhile since I've posted a very interesting post, hasn't it?

Well, you may be sure that lack of posting does not indicate boredom on my part - on the contrary, it most likely indicates a heart that is just too full to speak yet. That happens a lot; my mind is full of emotions and ideas, like a fizzy glass of soda that overflows with bubbles. You have to wait for the bubbles to die down some before you sip it, and I must wait for my thoughts to gather before I write them down. Sometimes that takes awhile.

What shall I share first - the practical or the thoughts? I'll go with practical. That way if you want the stuff that makes sense you can stop reading after I share it, and if you want my thoughts, you'll have to read the whole post. :) :)

By "practical" I mean "stuff I've been doing lately." I have a completed sewing project that I want to share photos of soon - a shirt/tunic made from a wrap-around skirt. I love how it turned out. Oh - I also need to give y'all the answer to my previous post's question!

The quilt I chose was #3. It was a hard choice to make. I've enjoyed seeing what patterns you ladies like - I believe the majority of you mentioned #3, so I guess I made a good choice. :) ...But those of you who chose other patterns needn't feel as if your tastes are slighted! I like all of them - after all, I came up with all of them. :) After settling on #3, I sewed the blocks together and set them aside to wait until I buy batting.

The next morning, I had another layout idea.

I groaned, and said "It'll have to wait for the next quilt. There's no way I'm tearing all the blocks apart now!"

My current sewing project is three shirts for the girls in The King's Strings. Ever since our group has started playing at the market, we've been receiving numerous requests to play at events. Our next date is a festival on August 29th, and we want to have matching t-shirts to wear by then. Guess who volunteered to sew shirts for the girls, and iron logos onto the t-shirts for all 11 members of our group?

How did you guess?

I'll show you pictures when I'm done, I hope. I can't wait to see them all completed!

We are finally getting around to recording a CD for The King's Strings. But that's a post in itself, and I'll save it - and the photos - for a post on The King's Strings blog. Sorry!

Hmmm.... Oh yes; I want to share a new recipe we tried lately. I found it in a Taste of Home recipe book and tweaked it a bit. Mom made it for the first time yesterday (I didn't have time to make it myself), and it turned out marvelous. It's a great way to use up zucchini.

Zippy Beef Bake

1 lb. ground beef
2 TBS butter
4 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced (we left these out...but they probably would have been yummy. ...And I don't even like mushrooms!)
4 TBS chopped onions
3 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3 cups cooked rice (you could probably use 4 if you wanted to stretch this dish farther)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef until no longer pink. Add butter, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions; cook until tender. Drain. Stir in chili powder, salt, and garlic powder. Add rice, sour cream, and 1/2 the cheese. Transfer to a greased 9x18 baking dish; top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

That's it! It's very yummy.

I think that's all the "practical" update I had in mind for tonight. Now for the "thoughts"...

...Which are becoming less important as the night gets later. :)

Actually, in all seriousness, I've been having quite a lot of deep thought lately on the topic of contentment. Contentment can be such a delicate thing - you have it one moment, but one word or look can cause you to lose it the next. Yet the apostle Paul said he had learn in whatsoever state he was to be content. How did he do it?

Reading the book of Philippians gives me a clue. That book is full of two topics; joy, and the mind. Most people know Philippians is the "joy" book, but not so many realize that it's full of instruction on how to guard your mind, and what to fill your mind with, and what to think on, and how to think. It's quite good.

If I can do those two things - get the joy of the Lord and learn to control my mind - I find I am well on the way to contentment as normal state of being. Of course, I think the one sorta creates the other; thinking the right way naturally makes us joyful. But thinking the right way can be hard sometimes.

I don't have any stupendous advice or remarks on this topic, really. I told you these would be my thoughts. The reason I've been thinking about contentment is because I have been in need of it. One thing I have learned is that if I am to have this - and I know it's something Christ wants me to have - I must fight for it. I cannot sit passively and expect to have a joyful, contented heart.

The nature of everything is to break down and slow down, and fall apart (take a look at your hair when you first wake up and you'll see what I mean). Nothing gets better by being left alone. All good things are created, or sent. They don't just happen. That goes for my spiritual welfare, too. I must be striving to have the right thoughts (avoiding things that get me thinking the wrong way, for instance, or singing and reading God's Word to lift my spirits). God must send me joy. And I must ask for it. These things require action. ...And by "action" I don't mean crying and wishing my heart would do what I want it to do. I mean finding out what will give me the results I want, and then doing that.

Do you know one thing that really helps? Having people praying for you. I can't tell you how much my attitudes have improved since I confessed my struggle to some of my close friends (including family!) and asked them to pray for me. Just feeling their prayers is reason enough to be more joyful!

Something else that helps is getting enough sleep.

That's a hint. :) I need to go for now. I hope to post more later.

Talk to you ladies then!

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