Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Former Life

Well, today (last Sunday) something happened that changed me forever. When I say that I'm not sure what you might be thinking. Was there some catastrophe? Some epiphany? Some destiny? that came my way?

No, it was none of those things. It was a small framed picture with a smudgy image in the center of the photo. Yes, it's the moment I've been waiting for that changes absolutely everything.

A BABY!!! I'm no longer just Betsy, Elizabeth, wife, mother, sister, friend.....I am now Granny, Nanny, Mimi or whatever this little peanut decides to name me. Baby Greer is only the size of an olive (I LOVE olives) but has managed to turn my day, my week, my year, my life upsidedown. I'm changed. It's that simple.

WARNING!!!!! I will be bonkers crazy in love with this child and don't plan to contain, manage, or care what anyone thinks about how I act.

Come quickly June 2nd. Really quickly.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bite Size Brain Snack

Every so often our brains just need a little kick in the pants. I thoughtful diversion from the mindless drone of what runs through our brains in the course of the day. My Bite Size Brain Snacks are meant to do just that. Someday I'll share where the term came from.

A bite size brain snack is a little something to capture your attention and make you think - kind of like the old "thought for the day".

There are three most important things to learn in life - to teach to your children - and to practice.

1. To be kind

2. To be kind

3. To be kind

Life is not as complicated as we've made it to be.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hymn Hum

Are you hungry today for healing and grace??
The hymn below is one of my favorites! The words are so rich and full of encouragement and affirmation about who God is and what He wants to do in your life. If you don't have this on your ipod...get Let it enrich your soul. The version I have is from Phillips, Craig and Dean..beautiful harmonies and orchestration.


Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and friend
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we're falling before Your throne

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Monday, October 18, 2010


I love u-turns. It's the whole idea of options and a complete change of perspective. It's alot about correcting your course when you've headed in a direction you didn't intend. It happened to me today in Chicago. I was flustered and hurried with my mind abuzz with a million details. I missed my turn. The little blue dot on my gps confirmed it. I immediately began to look for a turn around place. Most people look for a left turn onto a side street but I always look first for a place I can just whip around and be headed back in the right direction. People who ride with me tell that's dangerous. So is going farther in the wrong direction. My motto in driving is the same as my motto for life. If you are headed in the wrong direction, as soon as you know it, whip around and get back on the right path. It's not rocket science. It just makes good sense.

Do you find yourself in a place today that you never intended to be? Most people find that they don't even know exactly how it happened. They just kept making choices and then one day they look around and are disappointed with what they see. Sometimes they're really desperate.

My suggestion is a course correction. Use the internal GPS of your spirit and allow it to speak to you. "You are approaching a U-turn. Take the U-turn". If you are a Christ-follower, your GPS is the Holy Spirit. If you are not, the Bible is a "true north" guide to deep peace and satisfaction.

It's always good to do a little internal evaluation. Take stock of the landscape of your life. You can change. Really. People do it every day. Set your heart on courage, draw from the strength God has given you and then move in the direction you want to go. You can do it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Back Of Your Hair

I have a confession to make. I'm quite concerned about the back of my hair. When I get ready each morning I get in a "zone" when it's time to do my hair. Unfortunately, a good hair day can make or break my day. And trust me - I don't have a lot going for me in the raw materials for making that happen. My hair is thin, limp, fragile, color - treated and getting drier with each passing month. As result, I infuse a lot - yes, a lot - of product into trying to guarantee I have a good day.

As a result of that, I have to shampoo every day. My wonderful hairdresser, Julie, keeps trying to convince me to try "second-day" hair. Really? Try to redo the mess I wake up with into something even resembling a good hair day seems ludicrous to me. I don't like the feel or the look of "second day" hair. Even more convincing is when I look at other people with "second day" hair and know it immediately. Okay, now that you are calling me vain and obsessed, let me share what's really on my mind about the back of your hair.

When I'm in the "zone" of my hairstyling routine it MUST involve a mirror where I can see the back of my hair as I make progress. Just blowing it around or using a brush or my fingers does not guarantee that strands will fall into place. They need guidance and direction. They need purposeful strokes to get them to behave in just the right way for just the right result. On a good day, they will land in the place of my choosing.

"Why is the back so important?", you may be thinking. Well, consider this. In most of every day life, the back of your hair is seen as much or more than
the front. While the front is important too, since it frames your face, the back has just as much visibility. Plus, if it looks good, people may not notice what's not so good below your shoulders. :):)

I have a place in the back of my hair that drives me crazy. It doesn't matter what style I have at the moment - and that's a constant moving target - a
flavor of the week, if you will. It's a place on the "crown of my head which is not, well, a crown at all. It's a small cluster of hairs that refuse to be tamed. They are so completely annoying. Every day they require more than 80% of my hair attention. They are dry and unruly. I apply product, brushes, blow dryer and sometimes a straightener. Even with all that effort when the final "fluffing" is taking place - they do their own thing. They split into a perfect part, or frizz up to a fuzz ball, or lay there flat and disobedient. UGH!!! Leaving them to alone is even worse!

So as I was applying my discipline to them the other morning I thought about the "back of my hair" of my character. There is at least one place in my character that refuses to be tamed. You probably have one too. It's that piece of you that refuses to change it's natural bend in favor of a better one. You need it to behave in order to have a "good life day". So you beat it, ignore it, address it, direct it - only on some days to find that it has, once again, taken you down. It has refused to change.

Why is that one character flaw so important? Because people see it just as much or more than the ones up front, the ones that show. It's true that good character qualities like compassion, kindness, loyalty, honesty, you name it, are evident to the people around us. But it's also true that many times we are defined by the one we are lacking. People notice and remember it. We would hope that the good would outweigh the bad in people's perceptions of us and that they wouldn't define us by our worst quality. It's not always true. The "back of our hair" shows just as much as the front. Even though the front frames the "face" people see, the "back" is still there for the noticing. And unfortunately, the closer the relationship, the more evident it is. The people we love the most and most desire acceptance from are often the most aware of our flaw.

As I wrapped up yet another session with the unruly strands, I decided that it's still worth the fight. I can't give up on them for three reasons.
1. Because left to themselves, they are ugly and embarrassing
2. I want more for myself than to ignore what's ugly about them
3. The people around me deserve my best effort to change them

The same three apply to my "back of the hair" character flaw(s). I'll keep my mirror handy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bite Size Brain Snack

"You'll never get anywhere you're not headed."

Think about this's true to almost every area of life you can apply it to. Work, relationships, you name it.

Thanks, JJ, for sharing this with me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Transforming Green Beans

Well, a green bean is just that. There are some ways to dress them up, casserole them, pudge them but in the end they're still just - a green bean. Last night, however, I stumbled upon a really good enhancement. Like most of my cooking, it was easy and something I did on a whim.

Yummy Green Beans
Pour a bag of frozen whole green beans (Pictsweet) into a shallow baking dish. Add a few pats of butter on top. Place two beef bouillon cubes on top and a little salt and pepper. If I had had some almonds on hand I would have thrown them in. Cover with foil and bake on 350 for about an hour. They're going to be smooshy not crisp.

It doesn't sound like much but they got rave reviews. I would definitely make them this way again. I'm actually posting this for you so I can remember what I did.

Freestyle cooking - you gotta love it!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hymn Hum

Knowing God's faithfulness will carry you through anything in life. If you don't KNOW it, you can receive that knowing through the pages of the Bible. Start by reading the Psalms and His words will teach you the knowing.

Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall into Chilly/Chili

Well, it was in the 50's this morning in Nashville. Fall is in the air. YEAH!! With a record number of 90 plus days this year I don't know anyone who is not ready for some cooler weather. Yesterday I planned to make a crockpot full of chili. The plan was to have it for lunch/dinner during the afternoon and evening of football that I knew would be streaming through our flats screen. A pleasant surprise influx of daughters, son-in-laws and granddog handily polished off the chili, leaving a mere cup container for leftovers. It was wonderful and fun to have everyone in the house and my heart was overflowing.

I had a little moment as I pulled a blank recipe card from the cupboard. My mom had given them to me umpteen years ago and somehow there are still blank ones floating around my recipe box. My mom is gone now and I miss her. I handed the card to Jill, who wanted my Chili recipe, letting her know that she was getting a bonus in having the card that came from her Grandma.
and the recipe that is mine. She smiled.

So here it is....enjoy.
Betsy's Chili - A big crockpot full!!

2 lbs. ground beef, browned with onion to taste
2 large cans tomato sauce
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 can Rotel
1 can each, undrained; kidney beans, black beans, great northern beans
2 packets Chili Seasoning mix
Hot sauce to taste or omit if you're a wimp

The secret is to cook on high for several hours, stirring to keep it from sticking to bottom, then reduce to low/warm and cook UNCOVERED to let it thicken and the flavors meld together.
Simple and delicious!!