Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Those long-promised pictures

(Note: I wrote this post on Wednesday, but it took me until Thursday night to load the pictures and publish it...just so there's no confusion. :)

Oh, there's so much I could catch you up on today! For starters, I just made a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and have a few cookie-making tips to share:

~ If you replace half your butter with shortening in an all-butter cookie recipe, you get softer cookies. (yeah, I know - health goes out the window!) Ditto for replacing white sugar with brown. Reverse the process to get crispier cookies.

~ Don't leave out the salt. It's important to the finished taste and texture. And sea salt is way better than regular table salt.

~ ALWAYS sample your dough! :) :)

Not to switch topics too randomly, but we're having missions conference at my church this week, and it's been wonderful. I'm both sad and happy that it's Wednesday, meaning the week is half over. Every night has been so good! I can't wait for each night, yet I wish I could relive the one before. The preaching has been great, the missionary presentations wonderful, and the fellowship before and after services absolutely uplifting.

That's been my favorite part this year - the fellowship. I love being a part of a church this size, where I can talk directly to the speakers and missionaries and get more stories from them after the service. I love asking fellow members how they are enjoying the week. I love eating supper together before the service, and discussing how the Lord has been working in our lives this week. I love inviting friends to come to church and having them show up!

Also, guess what the 24th of this month was? It was the 3-month anniversary of Heather and Eugene's (my sister and brother-in-law's) wedding! (Incidentally, the day also marked the 1 year anniversary of the time they started courting.)

In memory of that special day, I thought I'd post some of those pictures I keep promising. (These were all taken with our camera, not the professional photographer's.)

Just after their first kiss


Heather with the marriage certificate. :)

My family. We number 9 now!

The wedding party.

That's all for now. Maybe more later. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just a reminder...

...Have you thanked God for your mother today?

I had two separate, yet related, thoughts going through my head a lot today. One was, "I can't wait to be a mother!" and the other was, "what a mother I have!"

I am very different from my mom, and we "butt heads," as she puts it, quite often, but little by little - I hope - I am learning to submit and open my eyes to what this woman does in my life. God didn't make her my mother by accident. She's wonderful. And no matter how many times I tell her that, I can't make up for the times she's told me I'm wonderful, or that she loves me, or that I'm talented, or that I'm a blessing to her. My mom makes me feel so needed and abundant that I can't help wanting to really be those things, and wanting to help her to the utmost of my strength.

My mom excels in encouragement. And I sure appreciate that about her! It's kept me afloat in many a trial. I'm the sort of person who thrives on encouragement, and aches to be told "well done," and...

...what am I saying? We all like that sort of thing! I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm prone to get discouraged easily, and Mom has always been there to encourage me. But because of that I'm prone to take her for granted.

I'm prone to forget that she needs encouragement too. I'm prone to forget that I'm here to help her, and to be her right hand girl. Mothers give, give, give all the time. Someday it will be my turn to do that, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be starting to give a lot now. I shouldn't be taking all the time!

So here's a little reminder, younger ladies; give to your mother. Stop and thank God for her - and thank her, too. She's worth it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A New Website!

Whoever would have thunk it? ...As certain friends of mine would say. :)

I am pleased to announce that I've got a new website!

All of you know that I love to write, and most of you know that I've published a book. Ask Thy Father was published in 2008, and has been well received by those who have read it. It was this book that led to my speaking at the Celebrate the Glory Conference in October, as some of you may remember.

Though it's gone over quite well locally, in the two years it's been around I've never been very good at marketing it anywhere else; I should say that's rather a weak point in my personality. But I've always wanted to sell it on a larger scale, and finally that has stopped being a dream and started looking like a reality!

I also plan to sell other books on my site, as fast as I can get them written and published....and maybe someday branch out into selling books for others. (Did that make any of you writers perk your ears? :) :)

Oh yes - one of those books I hope to publish in the near future is being written because I finally decided to take your advice. Remember all those stories I've written here at The Fruit of Her Hands, based on Bible characters? And remember how you told me I ought to try writing a book along those lines? Well....I'm trying it!

I've gotten stiff shoulders from hunching over my laptop for two days, but it's been great fun. I love designing things! I can't believe I own a website.

But it's more than that. Yes, it's cool to think that I've got a book with my name on the cover being sold on a real, live website....but it's not truly a huge deal. It doesn't matter that much to me - it's only a passing novelty. What really excites me is the thought that maybe, through this avenue, I'll be able to share my heart with more readers. You know that is what my writing is, don't you? It's my heart.

So this day is more than "exciting" and "cool." It's precious to my heart. It means I'm holding my breath, waiting to see if I'll contact any new friends through this venture. It means I'm praying for God to use ink and pieces of paper. Will you pray for that, too?

Oh yes - just in case you want to see the site .... (I told you I'm bad at advertising!):

Visit Better Books!

And just in case you like it and want to help me out:

Create your own banner at!
Copy this code to your website to display this banner!

Blessings to all of you, ladies!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Tale:

My life is a slow one.

Sometimes I go for hours without seeing anyone; 'specially at night. Humans seem to forget that even though they need sleep, I might get bored with no one to look at. It wouldn't be so bad if they'd leave the lights on while they sleep; at least then I could look at objects...but they have a funny thing of needing the darkness to sleep.

But even objects can get boring after awhile. I love it when the humans move the furniture around, so I have something new to look at. Even better is when they move me to a new wall. It matters so much what one has at one's back, you know? Some walls are all silky and shiny with a recent coat of paint; so smooth you'd hardly know they're there. Others have that awful textured stuff, and make you want to itch so bad. They poke you right in the worst spots. What's really bad is when you get the head of a screw prodding you in the back, making you hang crookedly, or distorting your appearance. You would think the humans would notice it faster than they do!

I don't think they notice me. You see, I get the strangest feeling when they stare at me. I don't think they're seeing me.

Take, for instance, when the girl stands in front of me. She looks right at me, and I know it's me she's looking at, because she's so close she can't be staring at anything else. She turns from side to side, then fluffs her hair with her ringed fingers. Sometimes, when no one else is in the room, she makes funny faces at me, fluttering her eyes, and talking...only she's not really talking. She's just moving her lips and pretending. If her brother is in the room, she always asks "does this shirt make me look fat?" He always gives her the same answer, no matter what she's wearing, so I don't know why she keeps asking.

When the lady of the house stands there, she stands much closer. She puts her face right up to me (her breath smells like peppermint), and tilts back and forth until the light hits her just right. Her left hand comes up to touch the crows eyes around her eyes gently, and she sighs. Then she briefly brushes her gray hairs away from her forehead and sighs again.

What do I care about her gray hair and wrinkles? What does it matter to me if the girl looks fat? What does it benefit me if the little people in the house give me those wet, icky fingerprints all over my nice shiny self, and laugh with delight?It might be nice if they were really talking to me, but they're not. They're not - I can tell!

They are looking right at me, but they don't see me. They see the sunlight, themselves, the room around them and behind them...not me.

I live a lonely life. Never noticed, never appreciated. All they see is what I reflect.

I once hung just outside the door of the bathroom, and my lady friend hung on the wall above the sink in there. When no one was around, we would talk to one another, to pass the time. She was the first of our kind I've met who didn't get depressed over our lonely fate.

"What does it matter if they never see us?" she asked. "Are we that important? We're showing them the truth about what they look like; how would they know, if it weren't for us?"

"Well, they aren't much to look at," I replied. It was an extra dark night, and I was feeling grumpy.

"Ah, you're right there. They aren't. ...But think about what we reflect the most of."


"Oh, come on; you know. Light. We reflect more light than anything else!"

Just the mention of light made the night more comfortable. For you must know that, to our kind, nothing feels so good on our faces as light. It just warms you out to your framework, and makes you want to sing, and shout. I had been taught, before I even left the factory, that it was light bouncing off me that would enable the humans to see themselves - and everything else I showed.

"Isn't our existence worthwhile, even if all we ever did is reflect light?" my lady friend asked.

"You're right," I agreed, grumpiness banished by her cheery purposefulness. "It is not so bad to never been noticed; not when the light is hitting me."

She sent a friendly vibration through the wall, and we both settled down to wait for the morning...and the light.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A video clip I really liked:

(I'm sorry it's so big; I couldn't figure out how to shrink the screen size.)