Tasting Tuesdays: Picking Fruit, Get Your Basket

I was once told that if you know a woman who lives the fruit of the Spirit, get a bushel basket. You have that and much more in Lisa Lewis. Pick away.

–Tracy Tompane, Highway Church, Santa Clara,CA

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I love this. Do you have a Lisa Lewis in your life? Get a basket.

Lisa’d be the first to say: “Oh, no. Not me.” But that’s one of the fruits: humility. We’re all in process. The point is to stay in that process. It’s hard without a basket and a friend.

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One of the best ways for me to grow in Jesus is spending time with women also in process. God’s gracious that way. We can’t do this road on our own. He loves us to pull alongside a fellow God-lover, and get out our baskets. Here’re some of my basket-girls (often basket-cases–more fun that way.)

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I’m not off the hook, BTW. He expects me to grow fruit good enough to pick. Check it out:

When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. . . this is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

John 15:5-8 The Message

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Tip: baskets are often 50% off at Michaels. Shopping with purpose. Love that.

Sale or not, pray today:

Lord, please bring me someone who shows me Who you are, loves me how I am, and prays me closer to You. I love baskets and fresh fruit. Help me get a fresh touch of You today. And may my life be worth the pickin’. Amen.


Lisa, and husband, Colin, living now in the Bay Area, enjoy the Giants and encourage everyone they meet to go long with God. I have to go further to fill my basket, but it’s worth the trip.


O, taste and see that the Lord is good through godly men and women who delight His heart and display His fruit; blessed are you when you take time with them, learn from them, and pick a fresh fruit or two. Today’s Psalm 34:8

Happy Picking!

Link up today with your fresh pick of God’s goodness. Place this pretty button on your site and enjoy the harvest! Code on the right.


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Stirring the Pot, Pt. III — Temple Care

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Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. I Corinthians 6:19,20

Some people love taking care of their temples. They work out. They eat Kashi and tofu and nuts and chews. I like nuts and chew–if the box is black and white and sports a picture of an old lady in the corner. See’s Candy can be great motivation to work out. Or could be, if I took temple-care seriously.


At 62, I’ve begun to. It’s not my passion. I’d rather shop fast and call it a day. But the Spirit won’t let me go, and I need to go a little faster than that. (Although I am a really good fast shopper.)

Grace calls it, “Taking care of the temple.” That makes sense. Christ’s in me. I’m His little temple, and it’s all downhill from here if I don’t own up and take some care. Downhill is my default. Yours, too?

Thank God, Jan moved into my neighborhood. Jan’s a personal trainer. We walk and talk and if I let her interrupt, we stretch and walk some more. I’ve joined Jazzercize and strength training. It doesn’t work with my schedule. I making it work, and it makes me work. I like the camaraderie. I like groaning out loud; a new kind of fellowship for me. I just wish I could talk to all the potential new-best-friends while huffing and punching and swirling (okay – never swirling, I meant sweating.) Just wish we had time for pie and coffee in the middle.

I’m grateful. I don’t love it. But I’m grateful. God wants me to do temple-care. He’s worth it. I need to be able to play with grandchildren maybe some day (no rush, girls.) And punching and huffing and walking and swirling will help. It won’t hurt.

Paul compared our life with God as good exercise:

Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. I Timothy 4:6-10 The Message

Okay that’s good. This is useful. I don’t want spiritual flabbiness. Or physical weakness. I need both disciplines.  How to fit it all in? A mystery to me many days.

How do you do temple-care? Is it easy or no? Do you get it in daily? Are you more likely to focus on the physical or the spiritual?

Thankfully, spirituality isn’t a slice of the pie, it’s the whole pie. And God wants me daily to surrender all of me (including the pie.) Don’t get me wrong. I still eat pie. I may need to stop at seconds for awhile. Just sayin’. And walking.

You are not your own… 

Felicity is my wonderful Jazz teacher – adorable. She barely sweats while swirling, but I forgive her.

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And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.

Hebrews 10:24 (ESV)

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Feast on Friday: Tammy’s Oven BBQ Chicken


College girls for dinner tonight and the Go-To dinner calls for Tammy’s Oven BBQ’d Chicken. I dug out my original copy from a zillion years ago. I forgot it was called “Hot and Sweet BBQ Wings.” Thank you, Tammy Arlen! I always use chicken breasts, legs and thighs. Tonight I don’t have all the ingredients, but enough to make it work. Check it out and put it in your Go-To File. Great with mashed potatoes, oven-roasted red potatoes, steamed rice or gluten-free pasta. If college boys are also included, you may want two or more of the sides.

Here’re we go:

Feast on Friday: Tammy's Oven BBQ Chicken
Recipe type: Dinner, picnic
Cuisine: American although Tammy is in France currently
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
Hoping Tammy is introducing her new French friends to this yummy entrée. (That was French, I believe.) Add cheese or wine to make it French, right? This is simple to halve or double.
  • 5 lbs legs, thighs and breasts
  • Mix and pour over:
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 2 cups catsup
  • ⅛ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ T. brown sugar
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 t. crushed red pepper (opt.)
  • 1 small can drained crushed pineapple (I'm using canned mandarins tonight to save a trip to the store)
  1. For easy clean-up, place chicken pieces on foil in your pan. Spray first with Pam.
  2. Mix sauce ingredients and pour over chicken
  3. Bake one hour at 400 degrees.


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A hit with the kids. I served it with steamed rice, green salad, and French bread. Kaitlyn brought watermelon, and Polly made homemade carrot cake cupcakes for dessert. Happy Campers all around.

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Meet our new “kids” – Ivon and Danny moved in with us a month ago from China. They are attending our local Catholic Prep High School, and are easy to please as you can tell from their plates. No empty nest for the Donaldson’s.

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Breaking the Chain of Un-Grace–Changing Up Your Legacy

The great ladies of Mothers Together, Menlo Park Pres heard the message of grace–and they want to do something about it. How can you do grace? With God’s help.

Adorable, no?

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We all got a legacy. We all got a mixed legacy–some good, some great, some not-so-great, some missing altogether. I told Mom’s story of “breaking the chain of un-grace” (phrased by Phillip Yancy) by practicing hospitality when it had not been her mom’s practice. (See here.)

Missing something in your upbringing? You’re not alone. Face it and grace it. That’s what forgiveness is all about. That’s what moving on for the sake of your family is all about. That’s what Philippians 4:13 is all about:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Tell yourself the truth:

I didn’t get this grace in my upbringing. (I forgive you, Mom. I love you anyway, Dad.) I ask You, Lord, my Perfect Parent, to help me bring this grace to my family’s table. They will be better for it.

They will know God better by it. They will pass it on to their kids a little easier.

Tuesday morning  I asked the ladies, “What new thing do you want to begin now passing down to your kids?”

I was stoked with their responses. They want to be different — give a grace they didn’t receive –for the sake of their families and God’s kingdom. Here are just a few of their answers:

–Deep dependence on God

–Quickness to forgive

–Covering my kids in Scripture

–Not loving possessions

–Serving others more

–Living like we’re saved by grace

–More love for God

–Praying out loud in front of them more

Pretty darn wonderful, I’m thinking. Want to join in the grace-change?

My friend, Lisa, broke the pattern of un-grace and is one of the most encouraging friends I have. I will share her with you. See her latest post here. Cute, too.

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Hy V also had a great morning at Mothers Together (my nephew, Hyatt’s, young man.) His mom, Nicole, took me to lunch and he couldn’t stay awake. We ate in the car. No sense waking a sleeping child. No grace in that for mother or child.

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Linking today with Fellowship Fridays.

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Tasting Tuesday: Stirring the Pot, Pt. II

Link-up party begins Tuesday – share your taste of God’s goodness! Our house is a mess once again as Builder-Man attacks the upstairs floors. I’m finding that good (and searching for Advil when the nail-gun fires up. Bless him.)tools

We should consider how to sir up one another to love and to do good works.

Hebrews 10:24

Today I’m stirring the marriage pot. That’s one that needs constant stirring – with a holy spatula of love and grace.

I want to know:

Did you compliment your spouse today?

I know. Some days it can be challenging. Think hard. Ask God for something to say.

“Dear, you look so good in plaid.” (Resist saying, It’s a good thing…)

“Honey, I’m so glad you floss regularly.” (Resist the urge to add: If you would only tell me I’m more important to you than dental floss, then I would be truly happy.)

“Sweetheart, you are so good with that nail gun.” (Don’t even think of saying: Why do you have to start laying the hardwood floors upstairs before we get the drawer pulls in the kitchen?! Oops. Said that already.)

Like a well-watered garden, we flourish under a tender word.

We’re in a drought in California; we don’t need to be in our marriages. Start the hose, ladies.

How hard can it be? It doesn’t matter. Hard or not. I’m stirring us up today: tell your spouse he or she is great because_____________________________.

Ask God for help. He’s all about the Word, and He will give you that good Word (He already has.) And when we give love with our words, we taste the goodness of God.

O, taste and see that the Lord is good by helping us proclaim the goodness in another to another; blessed is he who gives and receives gracious words because of how much God says He loves us. Today’s Psalm 34:8

photo“Mark, honey, you are the only man I know who can wear a flashlight like you do!”

Link up today with your taste and see that God is good. Please paste this pretty button on your site as you do!  Code in sidebar. Thanks and happy complimenting!


PS Prayers appreciated as I speak to the dear gals at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church Tuesday at 9:30 – “A Mother’s Legacy: What to Pass On Without Passing Out.” Thanks so much!

Coffee today with Holley Gerth

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Stirring the Pot, Part I

We should consider how to sir up one another to love and to do good works.

Hebrews 10:24

I got myself into a tizzy last night around ten or so. Working up to a great argument–all right and fair, I’ll have you know–an argument no one could hear; one of those inside jobs. I wished Mark was awake to he could get an earful, and agree with the finer points…

Finally, I asked God for His input. In between the imaginary discussion — slowing, gradually — I sensed His hand on my shoulder (and a plate over my mouth.) Kinda cool. I should’ve invited Him a little sooner; I would’ve slept better. Funny that I get a plate over my mouth. It really is all about the food.


Word for the day:

We should consider how to sir up one another to love and to do good works.

Hebrews 10:24

Okay, I will. Today I’ll think about it. Consider it. Muse on it a while. With God’s help, even do something about it.

God wants us stirring. I get into trouble (as in stirring up trouble) when I jump in with both lips, pursed or flapping. Or when I hold my opinions too close to my heart. Red flags = the dearer the opinions.

“Isn’t it okay to have an opinion?!” (I think I hear my mom’s voice…Mirror, mirror, on the wall,  I am my mother after all.)

It’s okay to have–even hold–an opinion. Sometimes it’s okay to say one out loud; but, God’s love trumps them all. God’s grace trumps them all. God’s work in and through my life and yours trumps them all. (Sorry. I needed that repetition.)

What kind of pot are you stirring today?

Black beans and ham hock?

Chicken ‘n dumplings?

Arguments and control?

A desperate need to be right and have the last word?

Love and grace?

Joy and good works?

I’ll take the ham hocks, please, with a load full of joy, love, and grace thrown in, thank you very much.

God says we need to stir it up. This is Part I of a lifetime of stirring.

Prayer for today:

“Lord, help me keep my opinions to myself when that’s where they need to stay. Show me Your way of stirring. Help me stir up others to love and good works – please start here: Stir up in me Your great love and work of grace so it overflows all day long. Amen. And, thanks for the hand and the plate. Amen.”

I need to keep that plate at hand.

Learning from–and leaning on–the Man-in-Plaid.


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Feast on Friday: Anne’s Zucchini Frittatta


My darling sis-in-law, Anne, not only is an artist on paper but in the kitchen. Last weekend she made a yummy “minimalist quiche” — better known as a frittata. Delicious, light, and pretty–like she is. Zucchini! Frittatta! – I’m feeling so Italian. All those lovely consonants. I felt like I was back in Florence. Sigh. Thanks, Anne.

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Feast on Friday: Anne's Zucchini Frittatta
Recipe type: Brunch, Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Someone needs to file away everything to make with the annual plethora of zucchini. Put this under "D" for Delish! Serves 4-6 as a main dish, 8 as side dish. It’s almost better the next day when it’s set more firmly.
  • 4-5 medium zucchini, thinly sliced in rounds
  • 1-2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Seasoned salt
  • 1 C (or so) of grated Jack or other cheese
  • Optional:
  • Top with ½ jar Trader Joe’s Punjab spinach sauce
  • or a light Marinara sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix eggs with zucchini and green onions until all the squash is coated.
  3. Add salt and pepper or seasoned salt to taste
  4. Spoon half the zucchini into a greased baking dish or deep pie pan.
  5. Sprinkle half the cheese over the zucchini.
  6. Add the rest of the zucchini and pour any remaining egg from the bowl over it all.
  7. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 40 minutes, until eggs are set.
  8. Warm sauce slightly in microwave.
  9. Spoon sauce over the frittata, and continue baking uncovered for another 10-15 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with Parmesan or Jack cheese.
  11. Cooking time will depend on how thick the frittata is--pierce with fork for tenderness
  12. Another option is to skip the marinara sauce and just use more cheese on top after the eggs are cooked and set.

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Check out Anne’s expertise with monotype prints here.

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Made to Need–Our Legacy


You’re a soul made by God, made for God, and made to need God, which means you were not made to be self-sufficient.

Dallas Willard

I’m fully aware that we become mothers to teach us humility. Just when we’re about to understand who we really are — our Junior High angst, almost a thing of the past – we may have finished a college degree or two, and even used that degree in a semi-significant manner.

About then, we start having kids. Enough said. Starting over.

Starting over to learn who we are, how much we can take, what we’re willing to sacrifice, who God is (can He be trusted?) and how He means for us to live. All over again.

All over again — just when we’re thinking we’re such smarty-pants, we have daughters, and it starts all over again.



If you have young children, you may feel like a baby yourself in your mothering. And that’s okay. No one actually taught me how to be a mother. I have a Master’s Degree – I don’t really remember what it’s in.

My point is this: I need God every day to mother. You do, too. And that is our greatest legacy to our children—our own desperate and daily dependence on God. That’s 3-D in the best sense of the word: desperate, daily dependence.

The Greatest Legacy is our own personal relationship with God. When we know God for ourselves, we present an accurate picture of Who He is to our children, a legacy which lives beyond the grave.

Do you feel desperate? That’s a good thing. You’re a soul made by God, made for God, and made to need God, which means you were not made to be self-sufficient.

Grateful for the reminder. Grateful for this great legacy. I pray my girls see my need. And where I go most to meet that need. Amen? Amen.



All girls. What was He thinking?

Linking today at God’s Girl.

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Tell God You Love Him

sunset in shell beach

How hard is that? To tell God you love Him? Especially after a sunset like this in Shell Beach?

(Photo by Megan Cutler)

It doesn’t sound hard. It’s what He wants most: our love. But I don’t have the habit, yet. I plan on making it a habit. I started Sunday while listening to Beth Moore’s study on Deuteronomy in my car. Somehow I feel more blonde while listening to Beth Moore in my car. I cry and laugh and pray and shake my red hair (just a little,) and try to stay in my lane. Beth said, “Pray to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Pray it every day. Your life will never be the same.” (I didn’t take notes. I think that’s what she said. Maybe not word-for-word. I can be very blonde for being so red. As a fellow-learning-to-be-a-lover of God, I don’t think she’ll mind.)

Look at this gist post. Same thing. I think God is speaking to me. And you get what I get.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Prayer for today (everyday?)

“Lord, I want to love you more – with every ounce of my being. Make it so. Amen.”

Next Tuesday, I’m passing on this great Fenelon quote to the ladies of Menlo Park Presbyterian. I knew it’d be hard to write it all down, so I’m giving them a pretty paper to stick in their Bibles, tape to their steering wheel, glue to their mirror. Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.


The gist of life: tell God you love Him. Then live like you do.


Tell God You Love Him

The busier you are, the more you must practice turning to God. If you wait until it’s convenient, there is little doubt that you will end up spending little time with God. Try to come both in the morning and the evening. Pray during and between all your other jobs as much as you can. You don’t need much time to tell God that you love Him! Offer Him what you do and what you suffer. Tell God the most important things that occur to you: tell Him what stands out to you as you read the Bible. Cling to your dearest Friend; live in Him with unbounded trust; speak to Him out of a heart full of love. As you learn to continually turn your spirit toward the loving presence of God within you, you will find yourself strengthened to do what is required of you. Here is the kingdom of God coming to life within.

                                                         –Fenelon, The Seeking Heart

Linking Wednesday with Holley Gerth:

and with The Barn Princess (who is adorable.)

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Tasting Tuesdays: Tasting God’s Love in Your Marriage


O, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who finds refuge in Him.

Psalm 34:7


When engaged (finally at 35) I remember telling my friend, Melody, “Mark is a cross between Prince Charming and Jesus!” I’m not sure what she said but eye-rolling was definitely involved.

Eye-rolling notwithstanding, we celebrated our 25th last year in beautiful Italy.

Every woman needs to believe their man is the same: a cross between a Prince and the King (not a cross to bear.) If not, why bother? Marriage is fun. Marriage can be the best. Marriage is what I always wanted. But. But, what?

Marriage is not for sissies.

God delights in a good marriage. His love and glory is displayed in a good marriage. I taste His goodness in my marriage. But I need Him just as much married as I did single. No going around it. You do, too.

My friend, LeighAnn over at IntentionalbyGrace provides a “21-Day Prayer Challenge for Your Marriage” including 64 printable Questions to Ask on a Date when you sign up.

You may not need 64 questions, you may just need a date (planned by you, btw.)

You may not need a date, but we all need to pray regularly for our Date for Life.

Check it out hereForever By Grace: 21-Day Prayer Challenge for Your Marriage

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A note from Leigh Ann:

I want your marriage to thrive!

The 21-Day Forever By Grace Prayer Challenge is a wonderful way to take your marriage before the throne of God and allow Him to work deeply in your marriage, but even more importantly, in your own heart.

When you sign up for the 21-day prayer challenge, you will receive a daily reminder in your inbox to pray for your spouse. I will provide you with a daily topic, scripture, and sample prayer to lead you through faithfully praying for your marriage.

Not married? Send this link to a friend. And pray these prayers for them.

Dad met mom when he was 18 and she was 16. He told her (on their first date): “I’m going to marry you.” (I’m not sure if that fit into the 64 Questions.) You can see why, though.

mom and dad (1938)

They didn’t have much money to go on dates. I am sure they prayed. A lot.


Here was a great date planned by my Man-in-Plaid (Madrid, Spain.) Our questions centered on: “So what is that food called? Does it involved octopus?” Never a dull moment.


O, taste and see the goodness of the Lord as you grow closer to the one you love; blessed is she who cries out to God daily for His strength and wisdom in all her relationships.

Today’s Psalm 34:8

Today’s link up party begins! Link your taste of God’s goodness and spread the word about the 21-Day prayer challenge.

Please link this button on your site.tasting-on-tuesdays-button

Enjoy the party as you praise our God for all He’s done and will do.


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