follow God heart“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives.  I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”  Jeremiah 17:9-10

“A Letter from God, Vol. 6”

Dear Child of Mine,

­I need you to do Me a favor…don’t follow your heart.  I know that you’ve probably been advised by someone, at some point in your life, to do so, but I would rather you do something else.

Why don’t I want you to follow your heart?  Because the heart is devious.

This world is full of good and evil, so I need you to protect your heart.  Everything flows from your heart.  Really!  All that you see and hear doesn’t just go into your mind, but your heart.

Another phrase you’ve heard is “Garbage in, garbage out” .  Yep, it’s true.  When you surround yourself with goodness, you store decency in your heart.  The same goes for all the evilness you envelop in your life…you store wickedness in your heart.  Please try your best to fill your life with honesty and things of integrity.

Don’t just protect your heart and fill it with goodness, but trust in Me completely.  Yes, I know you often play ‘tug-of-war” with giving me control of your heart, but haven’t you learned by now that when you don’t give me a small portion of your heart, but ALL of it, your life goes so much better.  My course for your life will give you much delight.

Oh, precious child, speaking of delight…delight in Me!  When you do find your pleasure in Me, boy oh boy, do I have a gift for you.  Your heart desires so much, but you will discover that when you delight in Me, I AM the desire of your heart!  That brings a smile to My face just knowing that you desire and delight in Me.

So go ahead and protect your heart, fill it with goodness, and delight in Me.  When you do you will find the strength that can only come from Me.  You and your heart will be happy.  I sure hope you find your satisfaction in Me.

Remember, I am the Great Physician.  I am the Heart Doctor.  I examine your heart and know all your secrets.  Are you putting a smile on My face?

I love you,

God

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.  Proverbs 17:22

 

 

IMG_7627   “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

“Lessons from My Kitchen:  Part 7”

Oh, and you thought I was done with this series, didn’t you?

First of all, I want to thank you for your encouragement throughout this mini-series of Lessons from My Kitchen.  I received a text from a friend the other day and it just made my day.  I asked her if I could share, and she agreed.  Here’s how this bit of encouragement transpired:

My friend texted and sent the following pictures:

“I’ve been following your blog and love your Lessons from My Kitchen.  It’s helped me, and I catch messages in the weirdest places!!  The pics are from my son!  I was upset with something he was doing while mowing, and when he walked away he realized that he had upset me.  The next think I know is I get this message from him (see photos).  I hugged him and told him to leave it.  We left it there for a day before finishing mowing the yard.  Lessons from my Yard!”  I can you see it?  He mowed, “I love you”.

I love it!  “Lessons from my Yard”, that is definitely a great place for God to reveal something new to you.  Thanks for sharing.

Lessons from my yard youLessons from my yard ILessons from my yard heart

 

I always find God speaking to me in and through the various avenues in life, and hope that when you read Soakinguptheson.com that you will be encouraged to open your eyes and allow Him to speak to you in often unusual places.  Success!  I would LOVE to hear your stories as to where God has spoken to you lately via everyday life.

Now, for today’s lesson:

Yes, I’ve touch on family already in Clutter or Treasures, but I can’t help but feel surrounded by family love in my kitchen.

We lived close to my maternal grandparents.  I would walk through the woods or ride my bike or ATV to my Granny and Grandpa West’s home almost daily.  So many wonderful childhood memories come to mind when I think about all the visits to my grandparents’ home.  Fishing and feeding the massive fish in their pond, climbing the wickedly curved trees, getting eggs from the chicken coop, playing football with my brother’s in the yard, playing cards with my granny, having grandpa cut the crust off my PB&J all while he could cut it into four pieces, piddling in my grandpa’s barn, crawling up in granny’s lap to do word-searches, etc.  Oh how the list could go on.  Their home was small, but overflowing with love.

The two items pictured, that are proudly being displayed on my kitchen wall, are treasures for me.  My granny would make homemade chicken-n-dumplings using the rolling pin, and my grandpa made the intricate woodblock cutting board. My eyes are filled with tears of joy and precious memories now just thinking about my late grandparents.

Granny and Grandpa were Christ followers.  They loved the Lord, and raised their children and grandchildren to do the same.  I’d love sitting next to them in church and resting my head on her “fluffy” arms, and getting either a piece of gum or a butterscotch candy from my grandpa. I am imagining their smiles now.  They adored having family around them.

I remember a little chalkboard that granny had hanging beside her phone in the dining room.  For the longest time she had Joshua 24:15 written on it for all to see. And then, in 1987, nine years before her Homecoming to Heaven, she wrote “I love each and everyone but most of all I love my Lord and Savior most”.  I would have that hanging in my kitchen too, but my sweet momma has it displayed in her home (I call dibs on it, momma.)

granny's chalkboard9:58:42 AM

Yes, anyone who visited their home knew that they served the Lord.

How about you?  Can others tell that you and your family serve the Lord when they see you or come into your home?

Remember… Look around your kitchen and ponder on what others may say about you.  Turn it into a God lesson.  I hope you stay tuned for a couple more “Lessons from My Kitchen”.

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

 

 

The Ultimate Finder “Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:24

I can just imagine God saying this and ending it with a “Duh!  Helloooo, I’m GOD.” Okay, maybe not.  I can’t see Him as being sarcastic, but…really.

When I read this verse my mind went straight to the game of “Hide-n-Seek”.  I know that I’ve written about it before, so I searched it on the website and found seven journal entries with this theme of “Hide-n-seek with God”.  Rereading those entries were encouraging to me, as I hope they will be to you.

In the Easy-to-Read version it states, Someone might try to hide from Me in some hiding place. But it is easy for Me to see that person, says theLord, because I am everywhere in heaven and earth.”

The next time you think that you may have an “ideal hiding spot” while you are in the middle of sin, think again. What a novel idea…think. Think before you do or say and I bet you’ll keep yourself out of a lot of trouble, and God will be pleased with what He sees.

So the next time you think you are playing Hide-n-Seek with God, remember that God is the Ultimate Finder. I want to encourage you to hide yourself in Him.

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

 

double rainbowThe topic of gay/lesbian marriage has been a prominent issue of conversations for generations.  Recently the Supreme Court declared Same-Sex marriage legal in all 50 states.  Over the past few days I’ve seen numerous comments and photographs on social media and have heard opinions via conversations.

In life, we are encouraged to stand up for what we believe in.  I just don’t want to stand up for what I believe in, but I want to share the biblical reasons why I believe the way I do.

How many times do people ask, “Where in the bible does it say….?”  Well, I’ve compiled a few scriptures that discuss why homosexuality is wrong and why we are not to judge:

Homosexuality is wrong. 

“There are things about God that people cannot see—his eternal power and all that makes him God. But since the beginning of the world, those things have been easy for people to understand. They are made clear in what God has made. So people have no excuse for the evil they do. People knew God, but they did not honor him as God, and they did not thank him. Their ideas were all useless. There was not one good thought left in their foolish minds.They said they were wise, but they became fools.  Instead of honoring the divine greatness of God, who lives forever, they traded it for the worship of idols—things made to look like humans, who get sick and die, or like birds, animals, and snakes. People wanted only to do evil. So God left them and let them go their sinful way. And so they became completely immoral and used their bodies in shameful ways with each other.  They traded the truth of God for a lie. They bowed down and worshiped the things God made instead of worshiping the God who made those things. He is the one who should be praised forever. Amen. Because people did those things, God left them and let them do the shameful things they wanted to do. Women stopped having natural sex with men and started having sex with other women. 27 In the same way, men stopped having natural sex with women and began wanting each other all the time. Men did shameful things with other men, and in their bodies they received the punishment for those wrongs. People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking. And so they do what they should not do. Romans 1:20-28.Honor God

 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. 1Timothy 1:8-11.Get right.

 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:6-9.God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

“But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2.One wife and one husband. Period.

“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.Call out to Him. Change.

“Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” Leviticus 18:22

“But anyone who is joined with the Lord is one with him in spirit.  So run away from sexual sin. It involves the body in a way that no other sin does. So if you commit sexual sin, you are sinning against your own body. You should know that your body is a templefor the Holy Spirit that you received from God and that lives in you. You don’t own yourselves.  God paid a very high price to make you his. So honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:17-20. Again, honor Him.

“If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act.” Leviticus 20:13.

If you go to http://www.gotquestions.org it will answer the question, “What does the Bible say about gay marriage / same sex marriage?”This website sates, “We do our best to prayerfully and thoroughly research your question and answer it in a biblically based manner. It is not our purpose to make you agree with us, but rather to point you to what the Bible says concerning your question.”

We are not to judge others. That is God’s job. We are to love the sinners and hate the sin.  Pray for others.

They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.  Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said.  And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8:7-11.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:1-5.

“You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:1-4

There are a plethora of bible verses regarding judging others.  We are instructed and encouraged to pray for others.

I have acquaintances that are gay and lesbians.  They are wonderful people with a kind and generous heart.  Just because I don’t agree with their lifestyle, doesn’t mean that I don’t like them as a human being. Is their lifestyle glorifying God? No.  Can hearts and lives be changed in any situation of sin in our lives?  Absolutely.  Sin, all sin, saddens me.  I pray that the eyes of my friends will be opened and they will turn from their lifestyle of sexually immorality.  Just as I pray daily for others to turn from their sinful ways in life, no matter what the sin is.  To God, a sin is a sin.  I just see the ramifications that the Supreme Court’s decision will lead to.  And as a parent of three teenagers, I’m on my knees praying for our society who is so comfortably numb by the decisions that the world imposes on all.  Will you join me in prayer?

I also hope that when you see a rainbow, you don’t automatically think of it as a symbol of the gay and lesbian community, but as it was intended to be…a promise and covenant between God and man. (Click here  for bible verse regarding rainbows.)

When you have questions as to what is right and wrong in the eyes of God, seek His word.  I hope that you will prayerfully open up the bible and seek His will and answers to your questions.  I also hope that the above scripture verses will be beneficial to you when you need to share it with others.

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

clearwater sunset“Forget about the wrong things people do to you. Don’t try to get even. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.Leviticus 19:18

This is soooo hard to do, but worth it in the end.

I know too many people who hold grudges, bring up the past over and over again, and just won’t let go of the past that someone has done to them.  This breeds resentment, anger, jealousy, and many other underlying feelings that tend to eat away at people and sadden their soul.

No one is perfect.  Yes, we live in a world where there is hurt and wrongdoing. So here are a few scriptures to keep you in the right frame of mine, and remind yourself that God is in control:

“Yes, if you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, then your Father in heaven will also forgive your wrongs. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, then your Father in heaven will not forgive the wrongs you do.” Matthew 6:14-15 FORGIVE!  If you’re anything like me, I’m sure I do something almost daily that I need forgiving for.  A look, a thought, a word, etc.  Even if the one you intend to do wrong to doesn’t realize it, God does.  He knows.  I know that I want to be forgiving when I’ve sinned, so I MUST forgive others who wrong me.  God is the ultimate judge.  I think I’ll leave it all to Him.  When we forgive, all those ill feelings mentioned above won’t harbor inside of you, and you will discover peace, love, and a more kindhearted spirited.  Hmmm, sounds like what Jesus would do.

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.” Luke 6:27.  Again…hard to do, but worth it.  Are you willing to listen to what God instructs you to do?  Love and do good to your enemies.  Don’t allow them to bring out the worst in you, but the best.  You’ll discover that your reaction to their action just may have then change their heart and mind as well.

Even in The Lord’s Prayer we read, “…and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Matthew 6:12 In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us how to pray.  Forgiveness is part of prayer and part of life.

I hope that if you are harboring any resentment and unforgiveness in your life, pray for God to help you through this.  With God’s help, and your desire to feel free, you will learn to forgive.

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

This is my "Welcome" sign that hangs in my kitchen.

This is my “Welcome” sign that hangs in my kitchen.

“Lessons from My Kitchen:  Part 6”

My home is not pretentious, but comfortable.  I desire for all who come to our home to feel welcomed and at ease.

I am unable to find who the originator of the following quote was, but I like it…“May all who enter as guests leave as friends.”  True!  That’s how I feel about our home.

In Romans 15:7 we are told, “Christ welcomed you, so you should welcome each other. This will bring honor to God.”  I know that I try daily to honor God in all that I say and do.  Do I always succeed?  Most likely not, but I try.  Furthermore, this sentiment of honoring God is confirmed throughout the bible.  Read these two common and powerful verses:

*“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31

*“Everything you say and everything you do should be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.Colossians 3:17

We should welcome others because that honors God.

So welcome to my kitchen, and welcome to my home.

You know that you will have a bowl of M&Ms  waiting for you.  There may be even some banana bread or homemade chocolate chip cookies. I’m sure I can have some sweet tea waiting for you as well.  And we will always have good conversation and laughs intertwined.  If you want to come and just have some prayer… come on!  This kitchen counter has been surrounded in prayer daily. Welcome.  Welcome to my kitchen.

You know who is standing at your door, knocking, waiting for you to “welcome” Him in?  Jesus.  If you haven’t invited Him into your heart/home yet, what are you waiting for?

Remember… Look around your kitchen and ponder on what others may say about you.  Turn it into a God lesson.  I hope you stay tuned for more “Lessons from My Kitchen”.

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

 

 

on“Lessons from My Kitchen:  Part 5”

To you this may look like a cluttered corner, but to me it reminds me of a few treasures.

I treasure my friends, family, and faith.

Each day I am reminded of my treasures when I am standing in my kitchen.  In this illuminated corner I can be reminiscent on my treasures:

Friends:  My dear friend, Susan, gave me the “A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17” cross décor years ago.  By now there are ingredients splattered and stained on the cross.  But each time I go to wipe away those food blemishes away, I smile at knowing that Christ did exactly that.  In Psalm 51:2 we read, “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”  Jesus did.  He does.  He will.  Thank You, Lord, for washing me and making me whole.  Thank you, Susan, and so many others, for being my treasured friend(s), I do love you!

The nautical plaque hanging on the jar of shells reminds me of the precious relationship I have with my friend, Theresa.  We have been blest with the opportunity to travel this great earth together.  Whether by sea, land, or sky, we have learned valuable lessons together, about each other, and about our Creator.  1 Chronicles 29:11 reads, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.”  The Lord Almighty created this planet for us to take care of and discover.  His beauty is incomparable.  Thank you, Theresa, for the bond we (and our families) have, and I treasure you and the many discoveries we learn together about God’s wonders.

Family:  The story of the jar of shells pictured can be read here:   Broken Seashells .  This collection of seashells by Cole is a priceless reminder that we are all broken and special to God.  I learn life lessons in all sorts of scenes in life.  A lesson discovered through my son’s eyes is one to be valued.  In Psalm 51:17 David pens, “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” 

The Bacon Press in the background is one that my mom used when I was young.  The “press” in this family heirloom reminds me of 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”

The adorable little diddies on the far right are not from a blood-relative, but they belonged to my sister-in-law’s mother.  When her mom passed away, I didn’t want to let these treasures go.  I hope that when Jan visits my home and sees these items my kitchen, that she recalls sweet memories of her family.

Faith:  My faith is evident in all the items in my “cluttered corner”, and through the thoughts that go through my mind when I view them each day.  I even have a sign above my kitchen door that reads:  Faith * Family * Friends * Forever.

IMG_7628

Remember… Look around your kitchen and ponder on what others may say about you.  Turn it into a God lesson.  I hope you stay tuned for more “Lessons from My Kitchen”.

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

flowers in my kitchen“Lessons from My Kitchen:  Part 4”

Have you ever asked/dropped the hint/told someone how you wish they would send you flowers? But then, when they do send you flowers, you’re like, “Well, I had to ask for them.”  Or “It would have been more meaningful if they would have simply done it on their own without me hinting.”  Well, I used to think that way.

Many moons ago, I was having a pity party for myself because I thought I should have received some flowers.  So I marched down, okay….drove, to my local super market and purchased a bundle of three for $12 flowers for myself.  When I came home, I had so many flowers I cut them and scattered them in vases around my home.  My mood was immediately elevated and satisfied.

I’ve been purchasing my own flowers ever since.  These flowers generally last about a week and a half or two.  I’ll walk into my family room, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, game room, wherever, and get a smile on my face when I would get a glimpse of the beautiful flowers.

Now, I don’t want to insinuate that my husband doesn’t bring me flowers.  Just recently he surprised me with roses delivered to my work.  Even though the florist wrote that they were from Jim and not Tim.  We had a good laugh about it.  My man rocks!

There are a plethora of facts to back up how flowers elevate ones mood and is good for the soul.  Here is a sample I found from inbloom.info:  “Studies have been conducted to prove the effects of flowers on a person’s emotional and behavioral state, and each study was able to show just how beneficial to a person’s emotions and feelings flowers are. In fact, flowers are linked to immediate happiness of a person, and even to a person’s mood in the long run, which relates to a person’s overall satisfaction towards life. That’s why flowers are linked to alleviation of stress, lifting of a person’s current spirit, and easing away depression symptoms and anxiety.

But don’t just take “man’s” word for it; see the importance of flowers to God:

*When Solomon build God’s temple, we read many times where God instructed Solomon to engrave flowers:

“The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers.”  1 Kings 6:18

On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers. Verse 29, and again in verses 32 and 35. (It is noted in various other places in the bible as well.)

If God can see the importance of having flowers in His home, then by golly so can I.

*When I gaze at the flowers, it reminds me to not worry.  God’s in control:

“And why do you worry about clothes? Look at the wildflowers in the field. See how they grow. They don’t work or make clothes for themselves. 29 But I tell you that even Solomon, the great and rich king, was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. 30 If God makes what grows in the field so beautiful, what do you think he will do for you? It’s just grass—one day it’s alive, and the next day someone throws it into a fire. But God cares enough to make it beautiful. Surely he will do much more for you. Your faith is so small!”  Matthew 6:28-30

*Most importantly, the flowers in my kitchen remind me that:

“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”  Isaiah 40:8

Yes!  Things will change in your life.  Flowers will fade with wither away.  God does not nor will not change.  His word is true yesterday, today, and forever!  Amen.

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

Remember… Look around your kitchen and ponder on what others may say about you.  Turn it into a God lesson.  I hope you stay tuned for more “Lessons from My Kitchen”.

 

They ALL have survived our loving and godly discipline..so far. ;)

They ALL have survived our loving and godly discipline..so far. ;)

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

Parents, notice that God’s word doesn’t instruct us to not discipline our children, just discipline them in the way the God commands us to…with love.

Yes, they will get mad at you for a while, but big whoop.  You’re not trying to be their friend, you are their parent.  Your loving discipline will guide them a long way in the long run.  Your child will get glad in the same pants they got mad in.  Trust your Heavenly Father.

(Click here for more, maybe entertaining, entries regarding discipline.)

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

qu“Lessons from My Kitchen:  Part 3”

When you come to my house one thing is for sure, you will find a bowl of M&Ms®  waiting for (or tantalizing) you on my kitchen counter.

Just last week my sister-n-law (Wendy) and niece (Marie) from Georgia joined Holly, my mom, and me at the beach for “Girlie/Cousin Love Time” weekend. When my niece, Marie, walked in the door, she looked at the bowl of M&Ms® on counter and said, “Yes!  There’s Aunt Stephanie’s trademark.” I wasn’t even in my own kitchen, but the “trademark” still comes with me.

Trademark…That’s it!  According to the dictionary the definition of trademark is a distinctive mark or feature particularly characteristic of or identified with a person or thing.  So I guess that one could say the bowl of M&Ms® on my kitchen counter is like a characteristic of me.

When I hear the word characteristic my consciousness automatically, biblically, goes to Galatians 5:22-23:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

So maybe the next time you start enjoying a bag, handful, or just a couple of M&Ms®, maybe you’ll associate each color with a characteristic:

Red:  Love

Yellow:  Joy

Blue:  Peace

Orange:  Patience

Green:   Goodness

Brown:  Faithfulness

Pink:  Self-Control (Ok, so you may only see this color during Valentine’s Day, but, hmmm…that sounds like a good time when some folks may need to have some self-control…just thinking, for those of you not married.)

Aqua:  Gentleness (Another uncommon M&Ms® color, but I like it!)

Here’s another fabulous piece of scripture about character:

“Because you have these blessings, do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge;  to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God; to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love.”  2 Peter 1:5-7

Oh, the bowl of breakfast bars…yes, they are always waiting for you too beside the M&Ms®.  Think of it as a “Morning Grab-n-Go”, just like a daily dose of God’s word to get you going.  I want to encourage you to read at least one bible verse each morning and meditate on it.  I’d love for you to include Soaking Up The Son as part of your daily “Grab-n-Go” too.  Even if a new entry isn’t posted each day, there is three years worth of material waiting for you.

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

Remember… Look around your kitchen and ponder on what others may say about you.  Turn it into a God lesson.  I hope you stay tuned for more “Lessons from My Kitchen”.