The Mommy Bloggy

Reflections of a Mother's Heart

Promises, Promises March 16, 2010

Filed under: Tips and Tidbits — Michelle Ferguson @ 8:55 pm

As parents, we want to promise our children the world, but I have learned not to promise my children anything!  I learned that lesson the hard way!  I eventually found out that I could rarely follow through on them (and my children realized that, too!).  I used to promise things at their insistence.  Ever heard, “Do you promise, mom?”

A promise by definition means “a declaration that something will or will not be done or given” (Dictionary.com).  When we make a promise, we are banking on the future, and nobody knows what the future holds except God.  If you promise an afternoon play time at the park and then it rains, you break your promise.  If you promise to finish reading a book with your child and then you get held up on an unexpected phone call, you break your promise.  If you promise to bake with your child and then you get distracted on another project, you break your promise.  If you promise a special trip and then you get sick, you break your promise.

There is no way we can guarantee what is going to happen in our lives, and because of that, there is no way we can make promises.  We cannot predict the weather, bank on our day running smoothly, or know that everyone will be healthy.  Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  It’s best to leave the promise making and keeping to Him!

I believe when someone makes a promise, he or she should carry through on it.  If not, their word doesn’t mean a thing.  I want my words to be meaningful and true, so when my kids ask about something, I simply tell them “We will have to see, but I cannot promise you anything.”

 

Solomon’s Request March 15, 2010

Filed under: Devotions — Michelle Ferguson @ 11:32 am

“Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in  before  this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”                                       2 Chronicles 1: 10

Today I am participating in a Devotional Carnival on pleasing God, hosted by Rachel Olsen of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Please check out Rachel’s blog and enjoy getting to know her!

King Solomon was the son of David and ruler of Israel.  He was the fulfillment of the promise of God to David that his son would be the builder of the Temple and establish David’s heirs on Israel’s throne.  2 Chronicles 1:7 tells that one night God appeared to Solomon and asked, “What shall I give you?”  God did not ask this question to gain information because God knows everything!  I believe God asked this question for Solomon’s sake, so that Solomon would know how he would answer.

Solomon’s response was “Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”  As King, part of his job duties included settling disputes, so he simply asked God for wisdom so that he could rightly and justly judge the people of Israel.  Solomon’s response reflected his heart and humbles me because he could have selfishly asked for anything to add to his comfort, fame, or security, yet he chose the best thing by asking for God’s wisdom.  God knew Solomon’s heart, and He knew He could ask such a question of Solomon because he could handle it.  It’s the condition of our hearts that pleases God (or not).  Proverbs 23: 7a says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Solomon’s request pleased God very much and He responded back by saying “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life-but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king-wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like (2 Chronicles 1: 11-12).”  God gave abundantly to Solomon, above and beyond what he had even asked, because He was pleased with his response and glad to have a humble-hearted king on the throne whose greatest desire was for wisdom.

King Solomon went on to be the wisest king Israel has ever known, penning most of the Book of Proverbs.  He judged fairly and with godly discernment.  He was also one of the richest and most successful kings ever, and his name was known far beyond the boundaries of his own kingdom.  God was the One who prospered Solomon and was with him.

Can you imagine if God asked us “What shall I give you?”  What is in our hearts that would come out?   Would our response be pleasing to God?  Godly wisdom is as valuable a tool in a king’s reign as in a marriage, parenting, interacting with others, running a business, and on and on.  Let’s follow Solomon’s example and ask humbly for wisdom.  Godly wisdom will provide guidance for the right decisions and protection from wrong decisions. Like God did for Solomon, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10).”

 

Crawl Away From the World March 12, 2010

Filed under: Brad and Me Plus 3 — Michelle Ferguson @ 5:48 pm

Typically, once a week our family schedules a Family Night.  It’s our time to crawl away from the world.  (We all need that every now and then, don’t we?)  We eat our dinner in the family room and watch a kid-friendly movie.  Our children look forward to this time, and any time they look forward to being with us, we highly encourage!

Family Night is our special time to just be together and refresh ourselves in each other’s company.  Schedules, work demands, meetings, doctor appointments, classes, lessons, play dates, and even grocery shopping keep us running and wear us down.  We enjoy getting away from it all for just a couple of hours in our own home.  Family Nights can include cooking together as a family (we’ve made homemade pizzas), playing board games, making up and telling stories, or even a camp-out indoors or the backyard.  These are inexpensive ways to create family togetherness and create lasting memories for your children!

 

Confetti Waffles March 11, 2010

Filed under: Recipes Worth Sharing — Michelle Ferguson @ 10:14 pm

Last week I was invited to a brunch hosted by a friend.  It was a spontaneous gathering and so much fun!  When I arrived, one of the ladies was making waffles in a waffle iron.  She called them Confetti Waffles because she added her own mixture of nuts and raisins to the batter.  The mix made the waffles very hearty, healthy and yummy!

So, Sunday night I had a little bit of time and I made my own Confetti Waffles, doubling the recipe.  To my homemade batter, I added pecans and dried cranberries.  You can also add other nuts (walnuts, cashews, etc), dates, or raisins.

My heart shaped waffle iron made about eight large waffles, which I split into their individual heart shapes for a great kid-sized breakfast.  My freezer is stocked with Confetti Waffles, which makes for a nice, quick breakfast that my kids can fix themselves…heat and eat!  They enjoy covering their waffles in pure maple syrup or agave nectar.  Delicious!

 

Speak Up! March 8, 2010

Filed under: Tips and Tidbits — Michelle Ferguson @ 1:26 am

I am a big believer in standing up for what’s right.  My standard of right is the truths found in the Bible.  I am just one person, but I believe God can use me (or anyone) to encourage, confirm, and respectfully share an opinion.  I believe in contacting my congressmen and senators and sharing how I feel on an issue and asking them to take my thoughts into consideration.  I believe in encouraging those who are in leadership and have great influence over many people.

One Saturday in January, I was watching a popular morning news show who had an interview with Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, and Jehmu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center.  The topic of debate was the Super Bowl ad featuring Tim Tebow, and the interview got ugly quickly!  I was so impressed with how Mr. Daly remained calm, cool, and collected.  The next day, I found Mr. Daly’s blog and sent him a note thanking him for his godly example, his strength under control, and for standing up for family values.  People in high places, especially Christians, are criticized, mocked, and judged unjustly, and God can use us to encourage them.

Recently, my husband and I were watching the Sean Hannity Show.  Sean made a comment to a guest on his Great American Panel that he is teaching his children to save sex for marriage.  He admitted he’s been called “nuts” for taking that stand by his critics who say that’s unrealistic in today’s world.  The next day, I found Sean’s website and e-mailed him a note telling him I did not think he was nuts!  I explained that my husband and I will be teaching our children the same thing.  I also encouraged him to tell his critics that, as Christians, we don’t look to the world for our standard of what’s right and wrong.  The Bible is our standard, and we are to be different!  I thanked him for making a stand on biblical principles.

Whoever the Lord lays on your heart to encourage, do so!  Your husband, your pastor, a neighbor, a boss, or your congressman or Senator.  Speak up…Your words may be just what they need to hear!

 

A Humbling Visit March 7, 2010

Filed under: The Ferguson Family — Michelle Ferguson @ 7:03 pm

This weekend my family and I went to visit another family in our church who has just welcomed a new baby into their lives.  This is a very special family to us because they are from Africa, and they are missionaries.  Even though they live far from family, they consider our church as their close family!  We were loaded with gifts for the new baby and his big brother (all of 19 months old!).  We went expecting to stay a half hour or so and to be a blessing to them.

However, we were the ones who walked away, after a two hour visit, the most blessed!  This couple invited us to stay for fresh coffee and tea, which is very big in their culture.  Now when I say “fresh,” I mean the freshest you can get.  Brad and I thought fresh coffee meant grinding your own beans.  Well, they showed us how to roast raw coffee beans over the stove until the beans popped.  Then she removed the green beans that did not roast because they would make the coffee sour.  She ground the roasted beans and put the grinds into a special clay tribal coffee maker (similar looking to a tea pot) with cold water.  She warmed the coffee over the stove top.  The coffee was served into small coffee cups on a special coffee server stool.  It was wonderful!  They also made tea and spiced it with cinnamon bark and cloves and served it with milk and sugar.  We were also served a traditional snack of barley and peanuts.  After coffee and tea, we felt like family!

Their baby son is nearly two months old and weighs close to seven pounds.  This precious baby was born prematurely by about six weeks.  He is growing and gaining health and strength with every day.  I was privileged to hold him, so tiny and fragile.  He fell asleep on my shoulder and snored!  What a precious gift of life this baby is!  God is so good!

Before leaving, we prayed with them, and the husband prayed for us.  They have so little materially speaking, but they have it all in humility and contentment.  They have a joy about them that the world cannot take away because their faith and peace is in Jesus Christ.  We are blessed to call this family our friends, but more blessed because we see in them the humbleness and heart of Christ.

 

Homemade Hamburger Buns March 6, 2010

Filed under: Recipes Worth Sharing — Michelle Ferguson @ 10:52 pm

Tonight I made homemade hamburger buns for dinner.  The beautiful, warm, sunny day made all of us crave hamburgers on the grill.  I came across the recipe, printed it, and it had been sitting on my desk all week.  My son and my husband both mentioned to me how good the picture of the homemade buns looked, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

I enjoy making meals from scratch, but I’d never attempted homemade bread before.  The recipe is simple and the ingredients few, although I did have to run back to the grocery store for additional active dry yeast.  The recipe made 30 buns, so I will have some to freeze for later.  The whole process of making my dough took about thirty minutes and then each batch of buns cooked for ten minutes.

When I took the buns from the oven, I was so pleased with how they really looked like hamburger buns!  The bakery smell throughout my house was an added bonus!  I don’t know if I will ever go back to store bought buns!  Delicious!

Here’s the recipe:

3 1/2 cups warm water

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup raw honey

6 Tbsp active dry yeast

1 Tbsp sea salt

3 eggs, beaten

10 1/2 cups organic, unbleached wheat flour (can use white flour or a combination of both)

Combine first four ingredients and allow to rest 15 minutes.  Mixture will get bubbly.  Then add remaining ingredients and mix.  Knead dough for 5 minutes.  Roll out to 1/2″ thick and cut into circles immediately.  I use the ring from a wide mouth Mason jar.   Preheat oven to 425 degrees and let cut buns rise on baking sheet 10 minutes.  Then bake buns for 10 minutes.  After cooling, slice buns in half.