Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2015 Lilla Rose Convention


I am so excited that this coming weekend I am heading to California to go to the 2nd Annual Lilla Rose Convention.  Last year's convention was amazing!  They did a fabulous job with their first ever convention and now the time has come to get together and celebrate again!

A few weeks ago Lilla Rose owner/creator announced that all who attend the Lilla Rose convention will be receiving a gift of $600.00 of retail products as a thank you for attending.  How awesome is that?  I was totally blown away with the announcement and I can't wait to see all the goodies.

Lilla Rose is such a wonderful company to work for/work with.  It actually feels like it's more of a family than a company.  John Dorsey (owner/founder) is a down to earth, friendly, encouraging man.

Lilla Rose is not like any other direct sales company.  It is soooo much better!

The flexi clip which John created and patented, is one of a kind.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Two Thumbs Up!!

For our second Singles Fellowship we were asked to bring some snack type food.  Well I got the message late in the day and there really wasn't much time to buy any ingredients for anything special so I decided to look up how to make brownies from scratch.  Do you know that I have never made brownies from scratch.  I have always made them from a box…can you believe it?

Well, I went on Pinterest (my new best friend :-) which I told all my widow friends about and they are now totally addicted also) and I found this post.  Who can resist fudgy homemade brownies from scratch?  I had all the ingredients so I made it.  I am proud to say I didn't eat any (huge accomplishment for me) but I do want to keep the recipe because everyone loved them.

Funny thing is one of the guys asked me "What is in these brownies?  I am a brownie connoisseur and I have never tasted any brownies this good."  I started telling him the ingredients: cocoa powder, flour, sugar, and someone interrupted me and says "You mean you made these from scratch?"

I am going to enjoy baking for this group because they will be happy with anything :-) and one of the guys is a firefighter and he is willing to take the leftovers to the fire stations for his coworkers to enjoy.

It's a win, win situation for me.  I love baking but I just can't eat food like that.

Perfect Fudgy Homemade Brownies, From Scratch

3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder (I just used regular cocoa powder)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted & divided (1/3 cup + 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup flour
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9X13 baking dish and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and baking soda.  Stir in 1/3 cup of the melted butter until smooth.  Stir in the boiling water until the mixture is smooth and thick.

Stir in the sugar and eggs with the remaining 1/3 cup melted butter.  Stir in the vanilla and salt until just smooth.

Dump in the flour and chocolate chips at the same time, and stir until just combined.

Spread the batter into your prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the pan.  (Always better to under-bake than to over-bake brownies!)

Cool completely in the pan.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Prayer Warriors

Last night was the second Singles Fellowship get together and we had around 25 in attendance.

Another excellent message was given and we also had time to split off women in one room and men in another and share prayer requests with one another.

I met a sweet young lady named Rebecca who is 27 and has been saved for 3 years.  She was sharing some scripture verses with Kelly, a 34 year old single Mom whose struggling in her life right now because her heart's desire is to be married.

The three of us split off into our own little group and we just took some time to share with each other and encourage one another.   Each one of us with such different lives and yet all of us bonded together in Jesus Christ during this season of singleness in our lives.

We started to clean up and put away the chairs for the night and Rebecca came up to me and asked me if she could pray for me.  Right then and there, she stopped what she was doing and she put her arm around me and she started to pray.

I have really been challenged lately regarding my prayer life.  I need to be more in tune with the Holy Spirit that when He lays it on my heart to pray, I stop what I am doing and turn to the Lord in prayer.

How many times has someone asked you to pray for something?  How many times have you stopped what you were doing and started lifting them up in prayer?  I am ashamed to say I don't do that near as much as I should, especially when it's someone right there in front of me.

I am challenging myself to listen more intently to the Holy Spirit's prompting to go and put my arm around the person and pray for them.  Will you join me in this challenge?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Taking a Step of Faith

If you read my last post to the very end you know what I am about to say…

Yes… the Sunday before Valentine's Day they announced at church that they were starting a Singles Fellowship group.

At first I was excited but rather quickly I became very hesitant about the idea of attending.

My thoughts were all over the place.
  • I was worried it would be a group of young college aged singles or it would be full of old weirdo men (I know, not very nice of me to be thinking but that's what I was thinking)
  • I didn't know how I was going to get to the meeting (yes I know Kathy would have been happy to take me but I really didn't want to add one more thing onto Kathy's plate and I didn't know how picking me up would work out.)
  • I didn't know how I would do going and not knowing anyone.  Would I stress out and have a seizure?
  • I didn't know if this was going to end up being a live "Christian Mingle" session.
  • So many thoughts, so many concerns.

As soon as they announced it, I started praying.  Praying for wisdom to know whether or not I should attend.

First, I contacted the Ladies Ministry leader (since it was going to be held at her house) and asked her what the age range was and she quickly responded that there was no age range, all singles are welcome.  She gave me her address and the gate code to get into her subdivision.  I had my first question answered and didn't think much more about the email, I just kept praying.  

Then I mentioned the email to Kathy and she said to map out the address to see where it was.  I clicked on it and asked for directions and the house was showing to be 1 mile away from our house.  So, my second concern was resolved because I could walk over and back home without having to bother Kathy for a ride.

I prayed some more because I really am trying to figure out my body in regards to my seizures.  Trying my best to prevent them.

I realized that I had been wanting and praying for a group like this and it was just fear holding me back from going.  So Thursday night came and I took a HUGE step of faith and walked over to the house.

I was so glad I went, I was so blessed.  There was a wide range of people in attendance.  I sat next to Vicki, a 58 year old lady who loves the Lord and is very involved in ministries at church.  She asked me where I lived and I told her I live real close by and that I actually walked over.  As soon as I got the words out of my mouth she says "Oh, well I will take you home".  Isn't it amazing how God works things out.  Why do I question Him and worry about the details when He has it all figured out for me?

Tony, a 23 year old, saved only one year, gave the message that night.  He spoke on what love really is.  He did a great job and it was exactly what I needed to hear.  The world's view of love is so messed up and yet we are so inundated with that idea of love that it can start creeping into our thinking of love also.

After the meeting we got to socialize a little and then Vicki took me home.  When we got into my driveway, she gave me her name, number, address, email and said she would pick me up from now on so I didn't have to worry about transportation at all.

I am so glad I took that step of faith.  Although it was a HUGE step for me, it opened my eyes to see that I have been living a "safe" life.  I haven't really been stepping out of my comfort zone too much and therefore just going along, minding my own business, but not really growing in my walk with the Lord.

Taking this step of faith showed me how God has it all under control and I CAN and SHOULD fully trust in Him!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ecclesiastes 3:11

 A month ago I attended a Widow's Retreat.  The theme of the retreat was He has made everything beautiful in His time ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11

They had everything beautifully decorated with clocks and lots of vintage items.  

Our first night there, since most ladies were traveling and coming it at different times, they had craft night.  A night to decorate a journal and fellowship with one another.  It was fun and productive.

 The retreat was in California and it was a gorgeous weekend.  It's always wonderful to be able to sit outside,  read God's word and cast every care on the Lord because He will sustain us.  The speaker for the retreat was wonderful and I had the opportunity to meet and get to know widows walking the same path as me but each one of us with our own struggles.  We were able to take the time to share those struggles with each other and we had the opportunity to lift each other up in prayer.

Denette is our Widow's group leader and I really enjoyed getting to know her better over the weekend.  On our way home, it worked out that it was just me and her in the car.  I was sharing with her how I just don't really have any friends my age to hang out with.  I was telling her that I had looked on the church website and they had a group for young adults but it went to age 25 and since I am 36 I knew I wouldn't fit into that group.   I told her that the church needed something for those people who are over 25 and single.   

Well, guess what was announced at church the Sunday before Valentine's day? 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Widow's Valentine's Party

Since Paul and Kathy were going out of town for Valentine's weekend, I decided to throw a Valentine's party for my widow friends.  
I am so thankful I did because it kept me focused on getting things planned, organized and ready for the party and I didn't have time to sit and think about how much I miss Mike.
I don't know why God has me in this season of life but little by little God is teaching me, stretching me, and molding me.

It was a blessed time of fellowship!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Perfect Peace

Stay close by My side
Keep your eyes on Me
Though this life is hard
I will give you perfect peace

In this time of trial
Pain that no one sees
Trust me when I say
That I will give you perfect peace

And you'll never walk alone
And you'll never be in need
Though I may not calm the storms around you
You can hide in Me

Burdens that you bear
Offer no relief
Let Me bear your load
'Cause I will give you perfect peace

Stay close by My side
And you'll never walk alone
Keep your eyes on Me
And you'll never be in need
Though this life is hard
Know that I will always give you perfect peace
I will give you perfect peace

Perfect Peace by Laura Story