The Clock is Ticking

alarm_clock_10It’s the last day of 2014. My mind is swirling with thoughts of this past year. Most of this past year contains good memories. Then, there are some days that I’d rather forget. Even with the good and the bad, time keeps moving forward.

The clock of LIFE is ticking.

I can’t help but know that the trials of 2014 have brought forth some growth, too. As I sit here and think about what happened, it’s hard to grasp that so much of the events were not under my control. I have learned a great lesson in 2014: I can only control my attitude and my effort. Everything else is in God’s hands. With this great lesson embraced, I can look at 2015 and smile.

My Ways are not His Ways

As I go to sleep tonight, I am hopeful that tomorrow, January 1, 2015, will be a metaphorical fresh start. My job description, as a child of God, is to walk by faith. My Father in Heaven knows my path. He knows what steps I will take. He knows the number of my days. He knows His Will and His Way for me. I am choosing to face the future with a fresh perspective. Some days are much easier to accept, and I have to cling to those easy days. For when the turbulent days abound, and Lord knows they will come, I can hang on stronger because of the foundation laid in days past.

I have no idea…

What to expect. Sure, I can plan out my calendar. I can make a to-do list. I have my ten goals that I plan to reach. I will keep pushing forward. Yet, in all of this surety, I really have no idea what will come to fruition. Isn’t that how life works, anyway? That’s why faith, courage, strength, hope, and love are so crucial to understanding and fulfilling our lives on earth. I have learned to live with my palms open, face down, waiting for God to take my hand and lead me on.

My footprints, His footprints

One of my favorite poems is titled, Footprints. It’s a small script of a person who notices that there are two sets of footprints in the sand. But, when there was a point of hardship, the person noticed only one set of footprints. The end of the poem resolves this person’s fear by saying that the one set represents God and God alone. The person was being carried by God during the time of hardship.

My hope and prayer for 2015 is that I will see two sets of footprints on the good days. I want to be walking side by side with my Jesus. And then, on the hardship days, I will know without a shadow of a doubt that the one set of footprints will be my heavenly Father’s footprints… for I will be carried in his loving arms.

My prayer for you, dear reader, is to fall into the arms of Jesus. Let Him take you by the hand, walk beside Him, and lean on Him when the storm may come.

May 2015 be your year to reconcile, reconnect, and restore relationships.



Nine Fruits: Number Nine ~ Self-Control

figure8The ninth and final “Fruit of the Spirit” is self-control.

Oh boy, do I feel unworthy about writing on a topic such as this.

For one thing, self-control is a complex topic, and there is not one person on the planet who has mastered it with full success.

Yet, the good news is that there is always hope toward understanding and incorporating self-control into one’s daily life.

The diagram to the right is an amateur’s rendering of the different aspects of life. The top circle of the figure 8 represents the physical side of a person’s life. The middle connector is the spiritual point. And, the bottom circle represents the other main features that complete the life of a human: the social side.

Self-control is necessary in each of these ten points of a person’s life. In order to achieve balance, focus, organization, goals, and success, the ten points must be given a rank or priority and work together in harmony.

So, how does one begin to achieve self-control? How will self-control manifest as a “fruit” in a person’s life? In my experience, self-control has always been a “mind over matter” issue. If I was determined to set a weight loss goal, my self-control for sugar or portion control would have to kick in to high gear in order to see results.

Another example for self-control is in the area of finances. Now, I’m no Dave Ramsey, but I do know a thing or two about finances. It’s actually very similar to calories and weight control. Self-control is the key to controlling how much is deposited (saved or energy ingested) or withdrawn (spent or energy burned).

I didn’t want to wait until January 1st, 2015, to start following a friend’s recommendation called the “30 Day Push.” This is a free and simple accountability program designed by Chalene Johnson that helps an individual decide to take control, yes ~ self-control, over all of the ten major points in his/her life. I was so excited to find this freebie because I need that accountability. I need that encouragement.

I am always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and experience in better living. I believe that God wants us all to embrace these nine “fruits” so that we may have the best life possible. He wants us to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. And when we finally embrace all of these fruits, and use them and share them to the best of our abilities, then we are glorifying Him and fulfilling our purpose here on earth.

Self-control is not easy. But, it is doable. It is achievable on all levels. And, it is one of the best reminders of how much strength we really do have by saying yes or no or wait. It is through self-control that we show respect to ourselves and integrity to others.


Chocolate Tiramisu Cupcakes – yum!!

For the cake batter:

2 sticks butter, melted

4 tbsp baking cocoa

1 cup boiling water

1 tsp vanilla

Mix these together in a saucepan.

Add chocolate mixture to 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Finally, mix in 2eggs, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1tsp baking soda.

Use cupcake liners!!

Spoon 1/4 cup into each cupcake divot. Bake for 15 min at 350. Cool.

Optional: glaze the tops with a coffee liqueur (1/4 cup boiling water, 1/4 cup sugar – stir to melt – 1 tsp run extract, 1 tbsp instant coffee granules).

For topping, mix 8oz cream cheese – room temp – with 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Spread over tops of cooled glazed cupcakes 🙂