Posts tagged Amazon
When Dreams Come True

DAY 14 of A Delight Filled December


“Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—

 those He redeemed from the hand of the foe.”

Psalm 71v2 NIV


When I was a little girl I often hid under the covers with a flashlight and a book long after my mom and dad had kissed me goodnight.  Later, when I first heard of the love of God and began to learn how to follow Him, I set aside money from my job at Frontier Village Amusement Park for book buying. And every Christmas I have a list of books I want at the very top of my list.

I love learning. I love stories. I love reading.  I LOVE BOOKS.

But I never, ever thought I would write a book. That honor is for writers— for AUTHORS— not for a simple, ordinary woman like me.

Then God did something amazing and magnificent for me. In the midst of my rebellion— my spoiled, entitled temper-fit— He rescued me.  As in, picked me up from the muddy ditch I had dug myself into and set my feet on the Solid Rock of Jesus, giving me all I ever really longed for but didn't know I needed in the process.

Timidly at first, I started telling people my story. But only if they asked. And only if I was absolutely sure they were safe people who wouldn’t think less of me for having been so…. so awful. (pride!) And even then I kept it brief, barely touching on that ugly underside of the unabridged version.

Then God gave me a dream and with that dream a sense that this was more than a silly girl's hope-for-what-she-can-never-attain kind of dream.  This dream wasn’t for me at all-

This dream for all the women who need to know that what He did for me and what He keeps doing for me He longs to do for them too.  Every single one of them.

That got me thinking and writing excerpts and filling files of notes for the if, maybe, someday I might write what I came to call: The Whole Story.

Then God gave me another great gift: my granddaughter, Sunday. She came from an orphanage in Uganda just shy of her third birthday.  And something happened as I first saw her picture. I cannot put adequate words to it except to say, I fell in love with her.

A love not brought by anything she did or said or any way she acted.  A love given by the Father. The One who rescues little girls and grown women. The One who rescued me.

So I wrote my story. The Whole Story.



And as I wrote I pictured Sunday. Sunday as a teenager, then as a young woman.  Sunday as a mother with her own children.

Because someday my grand-girl will need to grapple with her own story.  And when she does I want her to   know mine.

I want her heart to be prepared for hard things, for distressing stories— things that God never meant for any of us. Things that happen in real life— things like deafness and death, abandonment and hunger.

That story, my book, is coming in 22 days! I can hardly believe it.  A dream come true.

I wrote my story for Sunday and for every woman who wants more— needs more— than this life can actually offer.

If that strikes a chord with you…

if you want your friend or daughter or mother to read a story of rescue— a story of longings met— a bad story with a happy ending…

Then might I suggest you pre-order it as a Christmas gift?

If you do pre-order my book (via Amazon) I will gladly send you this: A 3x5 card made up by Zondervan with a description of the book on the back.


That way you have something to wrap for your Someone-Who-Needs-This-Story. Or for yourself.

I’m kind of embarrassed asking. But then I think of all the women I love who really need to know what I learned  the hard way. Women I love. Women so loved by the Father.  And suddenly I find myself not embarrassed at all.

 This is God’s story and it’s just so good, so… amazing that I want the whole world to know who  He is and how He loves and what He offers to every single one of us— and maybe especially to    those of us who don’t deserve it all.

Leave your name and address in the comments this week and I’ll send you as many of the book-cards pictured    above as you’d like so you can wrap your gift for Christmas. Or let me know at

From a heart more amazed than ever at the goodness of God,


P.S. I read recently that Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, prays every day for those who are reading her devotional. I would love to do that for you too- so if you'd let me know you've ordered the book or who you've ordered it for, I'll pray that God will use my story to bring you closer to His heart.

GIRLS LIKE TOOLS TOO: by leslie manning

Over the years my kitchen drawers have mysteriously filled themselves with gadgets, tools, spatulas and a few things I have no idea how to use.

A minimalist at heart, I'm always trying to narrow my kitchen down to items that get frequent use. So when Leslie had the idea to share her favorite/most used items, I said "YES PLEASE"!

Now I need to have a garage sale. And go shopping.



PS: Will you share with all of us your favorite kitchen tools?

GIRLS LIKE TOOLS TOO: by leslie manning

Some girls have shoes and some girls have purses. Me? I have kitchen tools. This foodie, while at any stuff mart store, can be found in the kitchen section. My studio, aka my kitchen, is where I feel most creative. Here is a list of my fave kitchen tools beyond my beloved baking stone, handy food scale, classic cast iron pan and good kitchen knife. The following tools work hard to make my list and must be affordable. In fact, nothing is over $20 and only one is even close.

Microplane Zester Grater (40020)

This tool has changed my citrus life. I mostly use it for grating lemon and orange zest. I use zest in my baking, pasta salads, and over granola. I used to cut my hands up badly before I bought one. You can also use it for hard cheese. It’s super easy to clean and hasn’t dulled in the decade I’ve had it. ( $12.95. Just so you know, 456 people gave this tool FIVE STARS, you will too!)

Mini Silicone Spatulas 

These tools get as much attention as my children. I use them several times a day. You can scrape jelly and peanut butter jars, yogurt containers, and get the last drop of maple syrup out of a measuring spoon. For the person in your life who has everything, you can even personalize them! ( $6.22, not personalized or Williams Sonoma $14, personalized)

Mini Mesh Strainer 

This tool makes sugar fairy dust possible. It also makes me a gourmet cook in under ten seconds. What else can make these promises? I sprinkle fairy dust (or powdered sugar) over brownies, lemon bars, pancakes, waffles, and pretty much every moving food target. I also love this for sprinkling cocoa powder or cinnamon over whipped cream in lattes and cocoa. (New Seasons Market, $2.99)

Herb Snips

These are sometimes called herb scissors or herb shears. This is the number one tool I have that friends say, “That is SO cool! Where did you get that?” These make my herb life much easier. They have five blades, are razor sharp and chop herbs at hypersonic speeds. (The WEBstaurant, $6)

Oxo Good Grips Julienne Peeler

I snapped up the best dealio on this in the clearance area at Marshalls, about $3. My best use for it? Zucchini! (Quick recipe break: Make “noodles” out of the zucchini using this tool, add some sun-dried or fresh tomatoes, and toss with pesto.) For those who eat cheese, sprinkle some parmesan on top, amazingly easy! Who doesn’t love healthy and easy? ( $8.99 or Bed, Bath & Beyond $9.99-use a 20% coupon and it’s cheaper than Amazon.)

Bamboo Toast Tongs 

Nobody wants to burn their fingers. May I make a confession? When a piece of toast or bagel gets stuck down in my toaster, I grab my bamboo tongs and reach down into the toaster abyss as if I’m playing the game Operation and try to get the small broken piece out without it buzzing and turning red like the game. Okay, my toaster doesn’t really buzz. Especially when you unplug it first. (, $3.46)

 Mini Serving Spatula 

I love this spatula! I have had it for years. It scoops brownies out of difficult pans and is just the right size for your cookies on a cookie sheet. The following is a true story. Not being of sound mind and body, I brought this spatula to a potluck as a serving utensil. When I went to pick it up after the potluck, the unthinkable happened. It. Was. Missing. I guess I was a bit...let’s call it “frenzied”...because everyone thought I had lost my daughter. Oops! No, just the spatula. My spatula. It had fallen on the ground. Found her!  I mean, found it! (The Pampered Chef, $5.50) 

Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat

Another item I use almost every day. Think of it as a green alternative to parchment paper which is usually used once and thrown away. Bonus: it’s easy to clean too. I reheat pizza on it, bake cookies, scones, and toast nuts on it. I use a perforated cookie sheet underneath it for even baking. (, $19.83)


Thanks for letting me share my fave kitchen toys. If you have another use for one of the tools I mentioned, or if you have a favorite tool that I didn’t mention, we definitely want to hear from you. Happy creating!


MOMMY TO DO LIST: by michele fordice

Not long ago, my friend Michele Fordice left a comment after a blog post about prayer.

Michele is right in the thick of raising and teaching and training two young leaders while she consistently pours herself into supporting and encouraging and helping with her husband’s ministry and vision.

And all the other stuff that happens in real life.

So when Michele makes her list it’s a long one. Full days, never enough done, and without the immediate satisfaction of lots of crossed off tasks.

You know about that?

And Michele has figured something out along the way— something we all need to stop and ponder. I’ve asked her to tell her story so we can grasp this truth along with her.

And maybe, for once, we won’t have to get learn the hard way…

From my heart,


MOMMY TO DO LIST: by michele fordice

This year I am attempting to read the Bible through chronologically.  Having had to take LONG detour through Job, I am still on Gen. 15.  Technically, I am still in week 1 of the year.  Ha!  So…I will finish just maybe in about three years!

Genesis 12 v 1-2 starts out with Abraham’s glorious calling and a promise from God.  I can’t help but romanticize it a bit.

God clearly spoke to Abraham.  Haven’t you at times just longed for an encounter with the living God to speak so clear and boldly?

God said, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”

In response, “I (the Lord) will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

God’s call on Abraham’s life was clear and so was God’s blessing.

Are you waiting to hear your “calling”?  Doesn’t this picture seem a bit romantic to you?

So easy?

So clear?

I remember back in the day… I know, I sound a bit old.  Jay and I were dating long distance; I was finishing school in southern California but when he’d visit we’d frequent Disneyland.  My favorite part was visiting Tarzan’s tree house.  Hand in hand, we’d stroll through Tarzan’s tree house.  I’d dream about our life on the mission field together, sharing the Good News of Jesus, having babies and living a long happy life in the Amazon Jungle.

I know, dreamy.  Right?  Maybe it was my innocent youth coming out, or the dreaminess of Disneyland and the princess stories of love and living happily ever after.

Or maybe he designed me with an innate purpose and calling.

I can tell you that I did marry my love.  We do have two adorable boys. And we are on mission.

Our surroundings aren’t so junglesk though. When I look around, I am thankful for two healthy births, a home that is filled with laughter and electricity, and a life that is filled with adventure.

The adventure begins every morning.  Every morning that I decided to die to self or live for my self.

I can tell you that I have chosen both.

I have chosen the way of Jesus.

AND, I have chosen my own way.

When I am irritated by the fact that I can’t eat a simple meal without getting up four times to refill water, get someone a napkin, a fork, a second helping….

When I am frustrated in the morning because I can’t take 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to be in the Word…

When I want to fly off the handle because my eldest son won’t stop asking me the same question over…and over… oh, and one more time because he didn’t like my original answer…

When I leave an event expecting to be filled, blessed instead of BEING a blessing for others…

When I can’t seem to muster up the ability to find it in my heart to forgive a family member that has wronged me… (for the ONE time I am actually not guilty)

When I am so frustrated at the Lord for yet another rainy day…

When I can’t seem to give up on a shattered dream…expecting that I was somehow owed something more from my childhood…

These are the times when I can look back and say, “Yep. Clearly I haven’t chosen to die to myself today.”

Abraham, a man of faith.  A man who clearly heard from the Lord.  Had a calling, a purpose and a blessing.  He too, got distracted.  He took his family to Egypt because of famine in the land…the Land of Promise.  Walked away from God’s plan.  Lied to Pharaoh about his who his gorgeous bride was….

And he too, the Lord showed mercy too.

Later in Genesis 15, God said to Abraham, “Don’t be afraid.  I am your shield, your very great reward.”

God would use Abraham’s family as a light and a witness of God’s ways for generations and generations…leading to the birth of Jesus.

In my own little way, I pray that I can be a light and a witness of God’s ways to my husband, my children, my friends and family.

The other day my husband happened to come across my to-do list while I was away at coffee with a friend.  He text me a message with a picture of my to do list.  He lovingly mocked me and said, “hey, you forgot one thing!”

“Thanks, Babe!  I haven’t quit conquered this one today!”

The truth: it will probably never get crossed off.

And that is the woman I hope to continue to be. Always focused, purposeful with my day.  Yet at any moment, dying to my self…my agenda…my to do list.

Love, Michele

PS.  If you want a good read and a truly beautiful example of a Godly woman choosing Jesus first read, Gladys Aylward with Christine Hunter, The Little Woman.  I can hardly put it down right now…and when I do, it’s to pause because I am in awe of her deep faith in who God is and her bold desire to make HIS name known throughout the villages of war torn China.

When have you had to make a choice to die to your own dreams, desires or plans to say “YES!” to Jesus?  Your story just might give someone else the courage to say yes to Jesus too!

What scripture has the Lord given you to encourage you to die to your self?  What would you share with your sister who wants in on this journey?


These have been powerful pieces of scripture that I have meditated on.  Asking the Lord to help me really understand what it means to die and for him to live in me!  

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Phil 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Phil 3:10  I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead.