Twelve years ago, I started a journal for quotes.

Today, I found it…again…seems this poor journal is bound to be buried and forgotten, neglected and alone…much like my blog.  As my husband says, quoting from one of our favorite movies:  “that is something we shall have to remedy, then.”

So, I’ve named my journal Lazarus, and will be locating it back into a more prominent space so that I can add to it.  Many of them are concerning children…and today’s fits well with the theme.  It is a quote by Mother Teresa, one that I think I’d like to have in vinyl on my wall (or stapled to my forehead, whichever proves simplest), for a constant reminder of what seems to be simple advice, but is never easy.

You will teach them to fly, but they will not fly your flight.
You will teach them to dream, but they will not dream your dream.
You will teach them to live, but they will not live your life.
Nevertheless, in every flight, in every life, in every dream,
the print of the way you taught will always remain.        —Mother Teresa


Of Hope

This is a bit late coming, but…better late than never…and I need to get it documented, hopefully before 2020.  My one word for the year 2019 is Hope.

I haven’t had the words, or the time, or the motivation to process where the thought of hope came from…or how or why I think that word is for me this year, in fact, it sometimes feels like I may have picked the wrong word…circumstances have not really changed, my prayers–when finally verbalized or written–seem to hit the ceiling, and return empty to me…but yet…hope.  I know I heard it.  I know it’s mine…and by the Bible dictionary definition, I know there is a lesson in the not seeing, and I am determined to apprehend it in some way this year.

To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.

How I long for these benefits!


All these things, I hope for, but do not see with my eyes yet….Yet…I know they will come to pass, I know I heard God’s gentle whisper to my heart for mercy, trust, obedience, and now hope.  Even (and especially) in the dark…when the waves crash in on me and I feel as if I’m drowning…I find my anchor and hold on as if for dear life…

Even through the ugly…

Illness and Injury
Fretful anxieties
Broken hearts, homes, and families

I picture the father of the prodigal son when I think of the word hope.  That father who watched and waited for his erring son to return, and saw him coming when he was still a long way off.  THAT is hope.

When that foolish boy was leaving the security of home with everything he owned
While he was squandering his inheritance
when his money ran out, and he was left without means to support himself
when his so-called friends had nothing left to gain from him

the father waited in hope.

when in desperation, his beloved son resorted to dining with the swine
When finally coming to his senses
while he hatched the plan to serve his father
while he traveled the long road home, rehearsing his apology,

his father was there, waiting in hope, watching for his return.

And here I am with that father.  Praying.  Waiting.  Watching.  Ready for hope and faith and trust to mature and materialize into what can be seen…touched…and fully apprehended.  Making myself ready for the coming home party.

Last week’s “one thing” collection

This journal collection is fast becoming my favorite part of my day. I love to look back over the week and see how each day’s one thing that stands out from the mass reading builds on the previous day, until there is a theme to reflect on at the end of the week. In this case, obedience, which just so happens to be the word I was given at the beginning of this year, how cool is that!?

Incidentally, I resumed my reading of the catechism again this week which dovetailed beautifully as well, I love how that worked.

This is a good way to reflect on and record what I have learned from Sacred Scripture, and it really only takes a few minutes to do so, but the ability to look back and meditate on that time is so highly beneficial, it saddens me that I didn’t think of it sooner!

One Thing

I have started a new thing in my journal to help me focus on the daily Mass readings, and to meditate on them through the day and reflect on them a week at a time at the end of the week.  This is my first attempt, starting last Sunday and ending yesterday evening.  I love how the readings are diverse enough to get something new each day, but are connected with the desires of my heart and my own personal circumstances in a way that they all dovetail together for a prayer at the end of the week that sums them all up together.  I also love that I can look back on it later, and remember the words that the Holy Spirit whispered into my own spirit, and my response to it.

How do you meditate on the Holy Scriptures?  Would love to hear and learn from your experiences.  Leave me a note, or a picture, or a link to your blog so I can see your stuff.

The “411” for Meddlers, Busybodies, and Gossips

Do you find yourself in the company of a busybody?  Are you tempted to participate in a little “harmless gossip” with the girls?  Do you have an ungodly NEED to know and contribute to the conversations, choices, dilemmas, or private business being discussed about someone who is not present to represent or defend themselves against misinformation or malice?  Or are you hyper aware of the destructive nature of gossip, but as hard as you try, cannot escape the company of tattlers, complainers, and busybodies who deem it their duty to include you in the know.


I think that as women, we have this built in to our genetic sin nature.  Though I know a few men who fall into this pattern, by far, I know many more women who struggle with a critical spirit and sins of the tongue.

Remember the old days of rotary phones when you could dial “411” for information?  I found the “411” information for meddlers and busybodies.  Check it out!

1 Thessalonians 4:11  …aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your [own] hands, as we instructed you

Now, doesn’t that sound simple?  The NIV reads:  “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.  You should mind your own business and work with your hands…”

I love that.  Aren’t we prone to have certain ambitions in life?  To make good money, have a family, and etc.  I wonder what would happen in this society if we changed the priority of our ambitions, and started with making it our ambition to live a quiet life, minding our own business.

The next time you find yourself in the middle of a gossip fest, do this.  Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, mind your own business…find something to do with your hands.  Here’s a great idea for lent…a couple weeks late, maybe for the rest of lent this year or put it on your calendar for next year…give up tearing people down by gossiping and meddling…take up a productive hobby…knitting…or carpentry…or writing notes of encouragement to your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Practice building up.  Now that is ambition!

Sacred Scripture – what’s the point?

My poor, neglected blog…I wonder if I can remember how to do this.

I have been mostly on track with my resolution to read through the entire Bible in 2017. I fell off the wagon a few times when life got a little busier than my schedule could compensate for, and I am still playing catch up, but if my calculations are correct, I should be finishing the New Testament in a couple weeks, and the Old Testament by the end of December.

This is a first for me on several levels. One, I have never kept a New Year’s Resolution any deeper than the resolution not to have any resolutions. Two, I have been a baptized Christian, attended Bible School, Christian School, and attended church faithfully since I was six years old; I have read a lot of Scripture, done countless Bible studies, even memorized large portions of Scripture, but have not ever read through the entire Bible, until this year. It is SO COOL to see the big picture. All those passages that I have committed to memory take on a whole new level of understanding when read in the context of the whole story of salvation. If you have not done this, I highly encourage you to do so. I also encourage you to memorize portions of Scripture. You will be amazed at the times those words that you have put to memory will come to mind in a season of need.

So…what is the point of reading and memorizing Scripture?

There are several (Biblical) reasons why reading and memorizing Scripture is beneficial.  I will list the first few that came to my mind, and if you have others, I would love to see some discussion here at New Things…leave me a comment, and let’s chat!

Psalm 119:11 I treasure you word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.

Romans 1:16 says that Scripture is God’s power that leads every believer to salvation.

Hebrews 4:12 states that Scripture is active and powerful; sharper than a double-edged sword, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Isaiah 55:11 reassures us that God’s Word does not return to Him void (or wasted, or empty), but accomplishes all that He desires, and will prosper according to His intentions.

2 Timothy 3:16,17 instructs us that Sacred Scripture is inspired by God; it is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, to make us competent, and equip us for every good work.

Sacred Scripture is God’s recorded voice. It is His words, given to us, His creation, for the sake of a relationship!  The very thought!  The same God who created this world and everything in it wants a relationship with me!

He speaks His words to me in these Scriptures…warning, comforting, and reminding me of His loving will for me, His own beloved child.

Seeking God through Sacred Scripture in faith, hope, and love is part of prayer. We are much more familiar with the prayer that WE speak to God, but can easily forget that prayer is a two way street.  He is speaking to us as well…prayer is both speaking and listening…just like any healthy relationship.

How would you feel if your best friend monopolized all your conversations with all the details of her life, her drama, her joys, sorrows, and various issues, but never gave you the chance to get a word in edgewise? It would get old.  Isn’t that what we do to God?  No wonder He seems so quiet sometimes, huh?

Reading and learning Sacred Scripture is our loving response to the God of the Universe who stepped down from His glory for the sake of a conversation with His creation. Seeking Him and His will through His Word is our response to His initiation of a relationship with Him. It is us affirming that what He has to say to us is important, and in obedience, we enter into His Presence by opening the door, His Word.

It is no surprise, then, that Jesus is called “the Word” (John 1), and also “the Door” (John 10).

We enter into the Presence of God through Christ (Hebrews 10), who boldly stated that His very words are spirit and life (John 6:63). When we treasure God’s Word in our hearts, it becomes active and powerful in us and discerns our innermost thoughts and intentions of our heart. Jesus, the Word,  is God’s power in us, leading us to eternal life with Him. When we treasure Him in our hearts, He will accomplish everything that God wills in our lives, and none of it will not return void–or empty–or wasted to the Father.

Jesus gave us an example of how to rightly use Sacred Scripture to overcome temptation. Rich Mullins referred to this as “quoting Deuteronomy to the devil”. When Jesus was tempted by satan in the wilderness, he responded with Sacred Scripture. We can too! When we are tempted to doubt the love of God, we can pull up a defense of the love of God from His very words to us in Sacred Scripture. When fearful circumstances arise, and we are tempted to fret, we can answer with confidence, “The Lord is my helper!” and be assured that His Word is true…because He cannot lie. We can actually use Scripture to retrain our brain, did you know that? In fact, we are INSTRUCTED to do so.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform yourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

When our minds are renewed, we can understand what God wants from us.

How do we renew our minds? How can we hide God’s Word in our hearts? This is what I have been asked to share, and hope to so in the coming weeks. I believe the first step is the simplest, ask Him to plant and grow His Word. As you seek Him, He promises to be found. Make yourself available and ready to hear and obey what He tells you in His Word.

A disclaimer here: ATTENTION! Reading and memorizing God’s Word will do you NO GOOD if you are not willing to do what He tells you in it.

If you are not ready to obey His Word, memorizing it will only make you headsmart…(and probably obnoxious to others) and you will miss the mark of storing it in your heart by 18 inches.

Heavenly Father, thank you that you have not hidden from us, but have revealed yourself and your will to us through your Holy Scriptures.  Thank you that they are a lamp for our our feet and a light for our journey.  Teach us to read and obey what you have spoken to us. Comfort us in our sorrows with the consolations contained there and help us to speak forth your Word at appropriate times to build up your body, the Church here on earth. Most of all, Lord, we ask that your Word will guide us into doing your will. May we be doers of your word, and not hearers only as James instructed. In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we ask, for your glory only. Amen.

Scripture testifies of itself

One of my resolutions for 2017 was to read through the entire Bible.  I heard that if you read a chapter from the NT and 2 from the OT, you can just about get through the entire Bible in 365 days, so I decided to give it a try.  Just in case I reach a slump, as I have heard is a common occurrence, I determined to read two chapters from the OT Law/Prophets/History, one from a book of Wisdom/Poetry, and one from the NT.

This has been one of the best gifts I have ever, ever given myself.  Seriously, I am disappointed with myself for missing out on all the blessings and special graces included in this venture for as long as I did.  I have been a Christian since I was a young child, attended Sunday School, and Christian school, memorized Awana verses with my kids, and listened to awesome Bible teachers, but none of these, as good as they are, have given me the insight of just reading through the Word with the help of the Holy Spirit and His Holy Church.  Reading in the OT and the NT simultaneously, has been a fun dynamic to watch unfold.  I have always been told that the OT points to the New, and the New testifies of the Old…it is seriously awesome to see it with my own eyes!

A good example of this happened last night.  I was listening to John’s account of the Resurrection in John 20, and just as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard:  “But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet”; and I had a vivid flashback to what I learned about the ark of the covenant.  Remember the two angels (cherubim) at either side?  Two angels guarding the ark which held the manna, Aaron’s rod, and the stone tablets (also called the Word of God).  This is a picture of John’s account thousands of years prior….and here they are again, one at the head, the other at the feet…where was laid the Bread of Life, our High Priest, and the Word.  Shivers.  Angels have been accompanying Him since the Annunciation.  We see them at His birth, in His agony at Gethsemane, and here in His empty tomb.  WOW!

Have you ever read through the entire Bible?  I would love to hear some of the God Whispers that your received in your quest.  I plan to make this an ongoing resolution, not stopping in December, but starting again.  I also plan to incorporate reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church from front to back, if I wait until January to start that, I would love to find a one year Bible reading plan that incorporates it in…I wonder if there is such a creature?

My Amazing “I can’t believe it’s low carb” Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes last summer, and we have been on a journey of discovery in the kitchen.  Learning to cook low carb has been a fun challenge, and he has lost over 50# since we started.

He has never been big on sweets, so that part has been easier than it would be for me. Still, he occasionally does want a cookie, and his favorites are oatmeal craisin.  I have been playing with a few recipes I found online and have finally got it to what I consider the perfect cookie.

Here it is.  Don’t say I never gave ya anything.


1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup SPLENDA® Sugar Blend

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon molasses

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups steel cut oats, uncooked

1 cup craisins

1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir together flours, soda, and spices in a separate bowl for later.

Beat butter and SPLENDA® Sugar Blend at medium speed in the Bosch Universal (using whisk attachment) until fluffy. Add eggs, molasses and vanilla, beating until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Change to cookie paddles, as this gets very thick and will bend your wire whips.

Stir in oats and craisins.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto lightly greased baking sheets.  

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.  The consistency of these cookies is very dense, so I like to kind of smoosh them flat after putting them on the cookie sheet, otherwise they cook in the rounded shape, and get too done on the outside and not enough on the inside.  Smooshing seems to do the trick 😉

I make a double recipe of this, unless we are having a crowd over, then I triple it.  While the first batch is baking, I drop dough as above onto a parchment lined cookie sheet (as many as will fit on that sheet, barely touching) and place in the freezer for later.  When they are frozen, I collect them all into a large ziplock baggie and keep on hand for a rainy day.  These last about forever for just the two of us, but they are nice to have on hand when the grands come over and help us eat them.

These make GREAT breakfast cookies, they are so filling and satisfying.  In the future, I may add sugar free chocolate chips to the mix, just for grins and giggles.