Yes, I know "recentness" is not a word. :) But you know what I mean. All the random thoughts I've been thinking recently. In Julie language. :)
Maggie's upcoming birthday and the gift dilemma that always ensues at a child's birthday, has me thinking about what gifts we want to present to our girls. We have so much STUFF. The kids really don't need any more toys, clothes, games, etc. They can't keep up with all that they have as it is. And although I don't like spending a lot of money on anybody (gifts is my very least love language), I also don't want to buy some cheap toy that she will forget about by Monday. If we're going to get something for our kids, I want it to be something valuable and worthwhile. My first idea for Maggie was a cuckoo clock. Mainly because I want a cuckoo clock. :) But the kids' cuckoo clocks I've found online have been. . . well. . . childish. I don't want a Hello Kitty cuckoo clock or a Dora Explorer cuckoo clock, you know? If we're going to get one, I want it to be something she can enjoy now as a child AND as a grown woman in her own house. I haven't found that cuckoo clock yet. Then, I thought about a music box. I envisioned a sturdy, maybe cedar, or a classic white with a beautiful ballerina doll inside that pops out when you open it and plays a familiar lullaby. Apparently, those no longer exist either. At least not where I've looked. The ones I've been able to find are, again, childish. Mickey Mouse or Little Einsteins. Nothing classic. Those thoughts led to the thought of hope chests for each of our girls. Does anyone remember those? I don't know if anybody does them anymore, but I think they should. I would love for each of our girls to have a beautiful cedar hope chest, in which they put all the meaningful things they would like to carry on to their "one day" home or give to their kids. I don't know if Maggie will get a hope chest for this birthday or not since its her third, and it would be hard to convince a three-year-old that a hope chest was a cool gift :), but one day I'd like to present them each with their very own hope chest. And maybe start them off with cuckoo clocks and music boxes. :)
Thinking about passing things down to my girls also has me thinking about all the things I want to teach them. Many of the things I want to teach, I don't even know how to do myself. So I will have to learn with them, which I don't mind. I like to learn. :) Brian bought a sewing machine that I'd like to learn to use. I'd like each of the girls to learn to sew a simple dress or curtain before they leave home. I also want to learn the art of making bread, so I've ordered the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day that was recommended to me by a friend. I was inspired by Saturday's trip to the Botanical Gardens to make herbal teas (Mint Julep would be my very favorite to learn), so I've tried a few times at home. I did Pineapple Sage in a Sun Tea. Not enough leaves apparently. Then I did Lemon Verbena in a tea I boiled on the stove. Something is still missing. I'm not sure how deep I'll have to delve into the tea making scene, but I'd like to make a decent Mint Julep or Lemon Verbena tea.
Speaking of Mint Julep Tea, I've discovered my two new favorite places in Huntsville to eat. (could that be why I can't lose these last ten pounds?? :)) Another Broken Egg Cafe in the Hobby Lobby shopping center in Jones Valley, TOTALLY ROCKS. They have THE best breakfast in town, hands down. May I suggest the Everything Omelet. Brian likes the Bananas Foster french toast. The coffee is very good, even black. GO THERE ASAP. And the best place for lunch is most definitely Shea's Express over by the Depot. Warm, welcoming atmosphere and DELICIOUS food. May I suggest the turkey sandwich. No, it's not just any turkey sandwich. It's served warm with melted Muenster cheese, tarragon mayo, lettuce, tomato, and Granny Smith apples on orange-cranberry bread. Is your mouth watering yet???? Brian loves the greens there.
And finally, the things God has been teaching me lately. Last Sunday in SS, Ron mentioned Job and how God allowed Satan to touch him, up to a certain point. God had a restraint on Satan and what he could do to Job. You can go this far, God said, but no further. God knew Job's breaking point. I've know that my whole life, but it was like renewed for me on Sunday. I thought about life's difficulties, none in my life anything like Job's, thank the Lord, but difficulties nonetheless. God WILL NOT allow more in my life than I can handle. This week I've had a theme in my study of the Bible- God's promises for power, presence, and protection. There are a gazillion!! Isaiah 41:10 says, "Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." What a thought!! No reason to be dismayed. He will strengthen me and help me. He will uphold me. I am more than a conqueror through HIM. I can do all things through HIM. The same power at work in me is the power that raised Christ from the dead! It says so in Ephesians!! Powerful stuff. I have felt an extra boost of confidence this week in the absolute certainty that the God who loves me is in control. He has my back. Praise the Lord!!!