Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gold Dust

Several years ago as I was sorting through a box of papers and old family photos, I stumbled across a small, worn notebook. Curiously, I opened the pages and discovered an assortment of quotes, sayings, and poems -- all written in my mother's beautiful handwriting.

"During my teen years, when I read or heard something that inspired, encouraged, and challenged me, I wanted to write it down and keep record of it," Mommy replied to my questions about the small book. I thoroughly enjoyed browsing through it, reading little tidbits that had impressed her when she had been my age…

and I was inspired.

Which led to the habit of always (trying!) to have a pen and paper nearby when I read a book in order to copy down words that I found insightful. I also copied down short phrases from sermons...words of advice from my dad...special conversations with my sisters...excerpts pulled from a letter from a friend. These were all words I wanted to remember. Words I wanted to live by. Words that encouraged my heart. Words that made me smile. Words that challenged me to pursue Christ. Words that exhorted me to live whole heartedly. Words that made me laugh. Words that gave me much to ponder.

As time passed, I filled up my own little book.
and another one.
and another one!

And I have been blessed. When I first began my blog several years ago, my lil' book was the source of the inspiration for many, many posts, and still continues to be! For they are words that have encouraged me, and I pray -- bless you, too.

I think there is value in noting certain passages that are helpful. Recently I found a tiny book entitle “Gold Dust” that had been published in 1907. I enjoyed reading its preface, which summed it up quite well, I think:

"When you sometimes find in books advice or examples that you think may be of service, you take care to copy it... Write down the counsels and precepts that you hear or read; then, from time to time, study this little collection, which you will not prize the less that you have made it all yourself. This will be a collection of thoughts chosen because you liked them; counsels you have given yourself; moral receipts you have discovered, and of which, perhaps, you have proved the efficacy.

Gather then, these little counsels; gather them with watchfulness; let them for a moment penetrate deep into your heart; then scatter them abroad again, that they may go with their good words to the help of others. This is gold dust -- teachings which sparkle, enlighten, and inspire for a moment…."

Friday, February 25, 2011


enjoying a shopping trip with my sis, Anna
--and so excited to have her here all weekend!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stovetop Granola

Melt oil in saucepan over medium.
(I used coconut oil and it added a delicious flavor to the granola)


Add old-fashioned rolled oats to the pan and toast for 4 minutes.

Spread the oatmeal on a cookie sheet to cool.

Using the same pan, melt butter, molasses, honey, vanilla, and a lil' brown sugar -- if you'd like.
Stir constantly till well mixed and bubbly.

Add oatmeal and a cup of any other dried fruits, seeds or nuts that you might prefer. (Sadly, I didn't have any on hand when I tried this recipe, but it still turned out fabulous! I'm sure it is only enhanced with your choice of toppings!)
Cook and stir for another 4-5 minutes.

Then spread on a cookie sheet to cool.
If you like little clusters of granola, spread it out very loosely and don't over-handle.

Place in a 170 degree oven for a few minutes. Turn oven off and let granola rest for another 2-3 minutes before removing from oven. Let cool and store in an airtight container. This gave me a perfect granola! But if you like a softer granola, skip this step altogether. If you prefer it more crunchy, let it remain in the oven for a little longer -- but watch it closely as it harden while cooling.

And there you have it!

Serve it up with some fruit and yogurt --

and breakfast is ready!

The specifics:
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon molasses
1 cup dried fruit and nuts

Hope you enjoy!

(For those of you who have requested this
bread recipe, hopefully I'll post it next week. I found the recipe in a library book and thought I had copied it before returning the book, but realized today that I hadn't! Oops! )

Saturday, February 19, 2011


the first cookout of the season

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh, to be married

to the one you do love...

...and love most tenderly and devotedly.
That is the bliss beyond the power of words to express or imagination conceive. Every day as it shows more of the mind of your beloved, when you have such a treasure as mine, makes you only more proud, more happy, more humbly thankful to the Giver of all good for this best of earthly gifts.

-Hudson Taylor

Saturday, February 12, 2011

John 8:29

"I always do those things that please Him..."

Our aim in life is for "Christ to be magnified in our bodies whether by life or by death." (Philippians 1:19-20). In other words, with Paul, we do care - really care - about what others think of Christ. Their salvation hangs on what they think of Christ. And our lives are to display His truth and beauty. So we must care what others think of us as representative of Christ.
Love demands it.
But notice where the accent falls: not on our value or our excellence or our virtue or our power and wisdom. It falls on whether Christ is honored by the way people think of us. Does Christ look great because of the way we live? It matters to us whether He does.

John Piper

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Our first anniversary

...was celebrated by going on a trip to the Bahamas on a cruise ship!

We had wanted to go on a cruise for our honeymoon, but timing-wise it just didn't work out. What a special blessing that Lord gave us the desire of our hearts a year later and worked out the details enabling us to go for our first anniversary! We had such a wonderful time! Nine amazing days to relax and enjoy time together, find a few new adventures, discover new foods, and delight in God's beautiful creation.

The ship departed from Baltimore, Maryland.

First stop: Key West, Florida

We saw the amazing butterflies, enjoyed the lil' touristy shops, climbed all the way up to the top of a lighthouse...and found ourselves ready for a snack!

And a cookie hit the spot...

...a half a pound of cookie, to be exact. [grin]

Our ship

We had several days at sea and enjoyed the time to talk, read, look back over the past year, and write out some goals for the coming year.

While at Paradise Island in the Bahamas, we were able to go snorkeling!
My man also took me for a thrilling jet-ski ride. What a blast! We rode the waves, caught some good air, and had only one spill.

CocoCay was another island we stopped at for the day.

While walking along the beach, we found this huge starfish! The water was so clear it was easy to see fish and other wildlife. (Though it didn't enable Dan to see the stingray buried in the sand...and he stepped on it!)

I love this man!

Palm trees, sand, a warm southern breeze...

...and a very blue ocean!

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits...
Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies..."

Psalms 103:4

Thursday, February 03, 2011


results of a delicious new bread recipe

Tuesday, February 01, 2011