I've never had Spanish food, or in particular:tapas. Now, I have. I snagged a picture with my phone, it doesn't do it justice. The food just kept coming....and coming....and coming. We (my Classic's Bookclub) tried out LOTS of little appetizer versions of the menu, and I'd probably still be eating if we didn't protest our fullness and asked the chef to stop cooking. My favorite was the bread, and the rice (paella). I doubt anyone is surprised by that revelation. There were a lot of olives, pickles, and tomatoes garnishing each dish. I tried everything but the fish. I just don't like it. I've tried in tons of times to be polite at the assurance of others that I would like THIS fish if I would just try it. I never do, and at 29, I can finally say-no thank you. It was an interesting experience, and far different from our usual restaurant hangouts!
Monday, March 30, 2009
Posted by Christy Robbins at 10:41 PM
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Most of you know, or know OF my brother's girlfriend, Nycki. They have been together off and on since they were 16. They dated for about 6 years as rebellious teens, broke up in their mid-twenties...for the following years they remained friends, but moved on romantically. Nycki has a son who is now 8. Life brought Jason and Nycki back together again after divorces. Over the last two years they have been testing the waters and dating pretty seriously, trying to see how dating as 'grown ups' works. This last Thursday I picked Jason up at work to take home his dog (he usually takes public transportation, but his co-worker gave him a puppy from a litter of dogs he owned, and he knew I'd want to meet it). I dropped him off, and left to attend a meeting, and run errands. My Mom tried to call Jason that evening to ask about Peanut, but got no response. He tends to go to bed early b/c he gets up early, so this wasn't too unusual. This is a story for another time, but I had a lot of trouble falling asleep, I was completely awake until almost two, and then drifting in and out of fog when the phone rang. I remember that Jason was on my mind. The caller ID had his number. He told us that he had been at the emergency room all night. He had mentioned previously that Nycki had not been feeling well for the last three weeks (she is sick quit a bit), but he also had been pretty sick. He said he had been worried because she wasn't eating, and she lost a lot of weight (something she could not afford to do), and he had been urging her to go to the doctor, and each bite of food had been a battle. When he got home on Thursday he found her passed out. Fortunately, they live about a mile from the hospital. He took her to the hospital when she was unresponsive. After test, the hospital determined that her kidneys have stopped functioning, and her insides are completely septic because of kidney failure. The doctors gave her a 50/50 chance of survival. We've been praying for a recovery, but so far she has progressively been getting worse. The infection has not responded to antibiotics, her liver is now having problems, and there is fluid around her lungs. Today, they were scared to discover her hands and feet have started losing circulation. They have kept her sedated through this ordeal. You can imagine, everyone is completely devastated. Her parents, and friends have been able to be with her in the ICU, and Jason has been staying at the hospital all the hours visitor are allowed. He's gone through a roller coaster of emotions feeling hopeful, and then having moments of realizing how different his life, and the life of all who love her will be if God chooses for her to go during this ordeal. Her son does not know about the seriousness of her illness, and has not been up to see her due to the machines they have working to help her recover. I can't even imagine how her parents are feeling. They have another son my age who was sick as a baby, and due to a high fever now is mentally handicapped. They have a great deal of things to balance as they are caring for Nycki. I pray for Nycki's recovery, and God's comfort to be with everyone during this time. My human mind can't imagine how the worst could be the 'best' for all involved, but I hold tightly to Romans 8:28 "All things work together for good to those who love God." I have proof of that in my own life. I trust God, and ask that you lift up Nycki and all those who care for her as God's plan is unraveled.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Today we swung by and picked up Peanut and Jason. It's hilarious to watch him hopping after Jason. They are a really cute pair. Jason is 6'1, and Peanut is half the size of his foot. He LOVES Jason already, no surprise-animals have always loved Jason. We all went to Petsmart, and bought him a few toys from his people family.
Mom bought him an 'educational toy,' and in true dog fashion, he started on the cardboard.
I bought him a baby monkey because I heard he had been playing with the cat toys, and I needed him to have his own collection to draw from. Day 3....yet another unsuccessful attempt at kidnapping peanut.
My teacher partner's little boy is turning 6 tomorrow. He's having a Nascar party, so I baked his cake last night and iced the racetrack per his request. It's been awhile since I decorated a birthday cake, it was nice to bring the tools back out!
This morning, on the way to Saturday School, on March 28th----there were snow flurries! It was very exciting for me, because A) Snow is always fun in Texas, AND....B) It's almost April (and SPRING), and we usually don't get even the CHANCE of snow after the beginning of February. It was super fun. Fine, it didn't stick, or even come close to covering anything, but it made a dreaded drive a little more entertaining! If you look VERY closely at the back of the truck, you can see two flakes....gotta love the iphone in a moving vehicle.
Posted by Christy Robbins at 3:27 PM
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Meet my new Nephdog. Jason has a new chihuahua. I think it's a little funny that he has a dog less than half the size of my cat, but it's pretty stinking cute, and very sweet. Today we bonded. Tomorrow, I steal him.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
...I think my baby diaper cakes are having baby diaper cakes because they sure have been passing through my house lately with increasing frequency. I threw this one together quickly for a coworker who has a shower this weekend, and just asked me to do this. I was surprised by how tough it was to find a lion. I could only find this big guy (after four stops), so I just made a two level cake so he could fit on top (and I could stay in the budget I was given). He's a cute lion, and if money were no option, it would be a pretty ferocious cake with another layer. I was rolling and tying diapers and thinking-I do some pretty weird things during the evening hours. I was also thinking I may need to get a 'diaper cake' label for the bottom of my post if I do many more of these. I know, the diaper cakes are getting old, they pop up as frequently as my cupcakes, but I figure any post is better than no post.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
This is my favorite shot from the weekend. We were walking around the forest following the river and discovered lots of ferns growing throughout. Once upon a time, I probably believed in fairies, rewind 25 years, and I would have had a lot of time searching for them amongst some of these spring blooms.
This weekend Mom, Jason, Holly, and I headed up to Beaversbend, Oklahoma....again. Jason spent his whole time fly fishing, and we....didn't, so he doesn't get any blog time ;o). The girls basically drove, and walked around the park (it was Holly's first time, so we showed her a few things we discovered on our past visit). The dogwoods were just starting to bloom, and some 'purple' trees were also in full glory. Holly and I made our way through a small brook, and over a large tree which was a fun, wet adventure.
We also discovered a really great homemade fudge shop a few miles outside the park entrance called the Whip Poor Will, yum, and we tried out the restaurant inside the park next to the Nature Center. I had low expectations, just because of past experiences elsewhere, and it was not only a great view out on the deck overlooking the river, BUT the food was made from scratch, and really good. It was really beautiful, and relaxing, and I'm continually amazed by all there is to do, this time in the park we discovered a really big museum behind the registration office, and the watersports were just getting going, not to mention the ice cream car that drives around the resort...now that's service! Now I'm home, gearing up for another week at work, and I'm not too excited about that, but at least I have a full week of memories to take with me.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I just chose one this time...
My favorite photograph is not my favorite b/c it's such an 'amazing picture,' but because it was such a fun opportunity. I doubt many other people have this particular picture of a Meerkat. It reminds me sometimes good photos are simply due to good timing. :O)
I have not been to the Fort Worth Zoo in so many years that....I can't actually remember ever having GONE (though, I know I have). How great is that place? I had no idea how huge it was, and how many neat exhibits there are, not to mention a ton of great animals, and generally fun 'stuff' to do. With the economy, the news has been reporting there are some record breaking crowds that have gone out to the zoo this break. Today I joined them. Sure enough, the line of spectators made traffic crawl as far away as the highway, and the crowds were pretty jam-packed at every exhibit, and along all the wide walkways. Of course, I took my camera. Some of the many animals I saw today.
Pink is Always In...
Penny for Your Thoughts
Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall...
After exploring the exhibits we ended up in an old 'Texas Town,' which was so cute, with all the Texas climates represented, and local animals. That was a fun surprise. Then, when we left a few of the zoo keepers were hanging outside the zoo with some of the animals, which was neat to see. I think I'm going to invite them to my next birthday party.
Are We Done Yet?
Sometimes I forget how much I LOVE the highways in Texas in the spring with all the wildflowers, in particular-the bluebonnets. This picture doesn't even begin to do it justice, but it makes me excited to get back out on the road!
These are a few of my favorite pictures I took in San Antonio while playing around with my camera.
How can you have a post about San Antonio without this place?
Church in La Valita
I really love churches and all their many interesting characteristics.
Blanket in La Valita's Market
I think the 'color combinations' of the products in the markets and stores are what makes browsing so fun.
I think I might be more in love with this idea, than the picture I took, but it was still a fun take on a 'wreath.'
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I love that cats can't actually sit on the ground. I can drop a post-it note on the floor and Muffin will sit on the 3x3 square of paper as if she is on a throne. Tonight she was bathing on some flip flops I left out that are about two years old. I didn't tell her they were ancient b/c I could tell she obviously thought she had found a really special spot. But....of course, there is no way that she will sit anywhere you actually create for her. I can put down a pile of blankets, and she'll choose a coaster before she will do something I might want her to do. Don't even both with a cat bed. The only way I SOMETIMES get around this is to create a soft, kitty friendly spot and I say, "Muffin, no matter WHAT you do, don't sit here, no, no, no." It generally works, cats always like being told they can't be somewhere....and then going to that exact spot to remind you who is in charge.
....a lovely bunch of coconuts have arrived. Fine, more like plastic coconuts, but they are still fun. I've been hunting down the 'best deal' on coconut cups for quite awhile (literally more than two months). I fell in love with some 'real' coconuts with hinged lids, but the place I planned to get them from didn't have enough to fill my order, and then, I used this time to talk myself into a more affordable, yet still fun bunch of coconuts. Now I just have to get the 'rest' of the stuff for this shower....I just haven't decided what the 'rest of the stuff' is going to be yet, though I definitely know the theme. This may not be exciting for anyone but me....but I was excited to check this off the to do list! Here is something that might be helpful to someone besides me. After a LOT of research, I found this site www.ziggos.com. They had the best deals on what I was looking for (by A LOT), and some pretty affordable prices all around if you are wanting to throw a party. All arrived as anticipated, when expected. I reccomend them for sure, and ironically the bottoms of my cups say "Oriental Trading Company" though the prices were much more affordable....so who knows what that is all about.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
...of things I was going to do each day of my Spring Break. I think I have done ONE thing on that list, and the rest of the list is just a pile of unfinished projects I had every intention of doing, until I slept in on Tuesday and remembered how good it felt just to be lazy! I understand those of you with kids don't have much sympathy for what I'm about to say-but I have not had the opportunity to sleep in one time since January....and it has felt great to do just that. When I wake up I realize there is a whole cable network full of old friends I've completely been neglecting, so I turn on the tube to catch up on what sort of butter creation Paula Dean is creating, and what sort of Dirty Job Mike Rowe has encountered this week. Sure, I probably shouldn't be admitting this, but I don't really have a lot else to post about, and yet....I felt the need to post about 'nothing'. The bottom line, I'm being very lazy, and I think my body is grateful.
Posted by Christy Robbins at 4:43 PM
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday kicked off my Spring Break. Saturday morning, Mom agreed to head south down 35 with me. There are a lot of stops I love to frequent along this highway, but I had not been to San Antonio in years! The last time I remember going was when I was seventeen, and I've wanted to go back since the day we left. I've done a lot of traveling, and I just didn't make it a priority. We went for a very short, but jam-packed weekend. It was a really rainy, and wet weekend, and pretty chilly, but not so much that we couldn't walk around. I had a secondary reasons-more photo practice, but I can't say I'm completely in love with any of the shots I grabbed on rather gloomy days, but the memories are in full color in my head, and really, that's what counts! We spent most of Saturday walking up and down the river walk. We went to La Valita, and other shops around the riverwalk (I usually love to swing by the market as well, but since this wasn't a shopping trip, I've saved that for next time).
Most Places Said "No Pictures"....If Only....
We also went to the very crowded Alamo. They had just celebrated it's anniversary last week, which explains the teepees outside.
There were also a ton of men and women in Air Force uniform, my guess is this is a graduating class from the base nearby where many of my friends from the Air Force have headed to get in their basic training. Luminaria was also going on and lots of local artist were setting up booths downtown, including some guy who was demonstrating his 'dust art' on a car....I didn't know, I'll post picture just as soon as I create a little masterpiece of my own on my car. I had figured I'd take her for a wash, but now that I see a bigger purpose for the layers of dust...
...Now That's My Kind of Art
Lastly, there was a huge crowd of people in green ready to celebrate St Patrick's Day. Today was a parade down the river, which includes dying the river green. There was quite a crush all weekend. Despite the crowd, we did get a chance to stop and eat at Casa Rio along the riverwalk. They have EXCELLENT queaso, and even more excellent prices! I remember sitting outside on the river as a child and eating here, so it was fun to revisit. They even had a live Mariachi band...fun.
We also took a boat ride down the river, which was great. I was surprised at how affordable everything was, and how clean the riverwalk was, along with a ton of new restaurants to choose from along the walk. I love San Antonio! This morning we headed back to the river one more time, and then we headed home via New Braunsfield and the New Braunsfield Smokehouse my Mom said she went to when she was little because HER Mom said she went there when SHE was little....so I guess the tradition continues, though the locations is new, Mom promises the food still taste the same....good! I didn't know I'd like German BBQ....it tasted suspiciously like Texas BBQ, with a little different twist to the sauce.
Friday, March 13, 2009
I never realized that everybody didn't deal with 'these birds' flying through during the changing of the seasons until I had a friend from Oklahoma who talked about them....all the time....because he had never seen anything like them before moving to the area. The Grackles are just not really that appealing. They completely cover the powerlines on this one particular highway I pass on my way to work, and I've noticed this year there are so many that they cover all levels of the powerlines, and have extended their perches to the grounds covering the sidewalks and grass underneath the powerlines). This picture doesn't even begin to capture the experience, the number of birds....or the noise, and sometimes the smell....but....it's part of the Dallas area. These keep me entertained, and a little grossed out most mornings while I'm waiting to get through this light.
Posted by Christy Robbins at 11:58 PM
Last year Sandye and Wolf moved to Houston....grrr, that place is like a friendship vacuum. So many of you guys head south....and don't return. So far I've had fun helping celebrate a wedding shower http://christyrobbins.blogspot.com/2006/10/sandyes-bridal-party.html, wedding http://christyrobbins.blogspot.com/2006/12/sandye-and-wolfs-simcha.html, and now...two+ years later---baby! On Monday, Sandye's little guy entered this world, and he's a cutie. I have not been able to see him in 3-D yet....soon, but in the mean time, I'm shipping out a little homemade gift. Sandye has always liked monkeys, and so....I couldn't help but get this flannel fabric. I love the idea of a homemade blanket, it's like sending a hug long distance. This is only the second blanket I've actually given away b/c I have not perfected a technique yet, but I didn't let that hold me back this time around. Due to her Jewish faith, all celebrations had to happen after the birth of the little guy (I learn so much from Sandye). I look forward to hearing his name (Tuesday is his Bris), and holding him. I'll post pictures when I get the opportunity to take some. In the meantime, I'm waiting for a shipment of coconut shell cups, which launches the list for my party supplies list.
Posted by Christy Robbins at 11:31 PM
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I collect magnets on my vacations. There is an embarrassing number on both fridges in my house. I saw these on Martha, and I thought....I can make my own vacation magnets from now on (not that I'll stop buying them, it's 'my thing')....but, it'll be fun to turn some of my favorite pictures into magnets. I experimented, and as all good experiments go---the first go to my Mom, because regardless of the outcome she will love them. These are of Jason fly-fishing in Oklahoma, and me on a beach on Oahu (the picture OF these are a little blurry because the glass reflected my flash). I used the same magnets from JoAnne's as I used in my previous post, and I bought large, flat marbles from Hobby Lobby. I also got the glue (in the link) from Hobby Lobby. I'm sure they had it some of the other stores, but....I just collect supplies over a period of time depending on the phase of the moon, the price of milk, the pollen in the air...whatever. They used scrapbook paper in the link, and I was a little nervous about impact putting glue on the pictures would have, but the colors stayed true and didn't bleed. The instructions are here:
Last night I met an old friend for dinner, and then I headed home to make a batch of these for someone's birthday. I went easy on the decorations this time and just made balls, rolled them in chocolate and dropped some no-nonsense sprinkles on top. All that to say, this is much easier than the cake pops (though not as cute). I used semi-sweet chocolate this time, and I won't do that again-I would definitely prefer the milk chocolate chips to this kind....hopefully I'm being overly critical and nobody else will have that same thought. I also kept burning the chocolate....chocolate can be tempermental and I've never been great with melted chocolate, or candy making. Anyway, here is an easier version of a really yummy treat.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Last night Holly and I went to see Pajama Games at the Majestic Theater downtown. I had no idea what it was about prior to going. Holly heard some music and liked the lyrics, and asked if I wanted to go with her....yup. It was cute, and it's been a long time since I've been to that theater, it's really beautiful, and smaller than the 'usual.' Since it was a Tuesday night, it was not even close to being full, so they let us all move up as close as we wanted, so we ended up with some pretty spectacular seats (11th row in the middle of the theater).
This is the description google had available for anyone else that was wondering. Employees of the Sleeptite Pajama Factory are looking for a whopping seven-and-a-half cent an hour increase and they won't take no for an answer. Babe Williams is their feisty employee representative but she may have found her match in shop superintendent Sid Sorokin. When the two get together they wind up discussing a whole lot more than job actions! Written by A.L.Beneteau
We also have season tickets for the Dallas Summer Musical series which I'm really excited about.
Monday, March 09, 2009
I love the nightlife. I got to boogie. On the disco 'round...." I've found 4 am is my 'natural' bedtime.
When I was little I used to wait for everyone to go to sleep, and then pop back up and the real playing began. (After hours of making excuses to get out of bed for one thing or another, but those are other stories). I lived life on the edge because I knew at any minute my Mom could wake up and walk by and see my closet light on as I played my little heart out. Of course, I played until I was exhausted (HOURS), and by then, I was too tired to pick up all the toys I had pulled out of my toy box. I suspect my Mom didn't question me because she probably didn't want to have to stay awake to catch me in the future.
One evening I remember thinking how so much playing really worked up a pretty overpowering thirst, so I set forth to solve this problem on future midnight playdates (leaving my room during the middle of the night was not an option, too much risk). I found a copper pitcher in my toy collection and filled it with one of the koolaid packets I found in a drawer. I had seen my Mom make it....so I knew it just required some water-no big deal. I mixed my packet and water, and hid it in my play oven ready for the midnight festivities...(year's later I figured out it also required sugar, which explains a lot about that first experience trying to drink my not-so-tasty treat).
And then, there were naps. You couldn't keep me in bed after a full day of play, can you imagine telling me to go down in full daylight? I think not. I know the naps were as much for my Mom as for me, so short of chaining me to a bed the rule was I had to stay in her bed (the only relatively safe place to put me without full supervision) for a set amount of time while she 'rested her eyes.' Fine, no problem. No toys were allowed, no dolls either because my dolls had some pretty sassy personalities. So, I used to take my Mom's hands and make them talk to each other while she slept. I called these my 'hand babies' and they had all sorts of conversations. It was cool because my Mom never interrupted, I'm sure she was willing to sacrifice two body parts if the rest of her could sit still for an hour. I remember those babys talking....and talking...and talking....to each other....and 'walking' and 'dancing' as far as I could drag them away from her body.
All this to say....I'm still that same girl-bigger body, darker hair, still resisting naps, and getting up to 'play' a little more now that everyone is asleep. And then...someone throws in a time change! Don't 'they' know how hard it is for me to rework my internal schedule? So now I'm blogging, not because anything exciting is going on, but because this left over Monday-Energy has to be poured out somewhere. I'm in charge of me now, and I'm on to my own tricks....I know how I work, so around midnight or so (more like 'or so')...it's lights off. I can stay awake thinking....or reading until my eyes fall out, but I can't keep working on 'whatever' or watching TV b/c it's not like I'll get 'tired' and fall asleep until I'm good and ready...which, unfortunately is usually when the birds start singing.
I started this little project a month or so back. I had seen these little magnets on a blog (Here: http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/2008/09/magnets.html). I found the little wooden disk at Hobby Lobby, and the magnets at JoAnne's. The row at the bottom I'm planning to make push pins out of (I figured I needed to add my own twist somewhere). I looked for the paper from Martha Stewart shown in the link, but I never did find it at a reasonable price, and when I was making a gift for someone (one of the frames from a previous post, though I didn't post that frame since it still needs to be shipped), there were all these cute little squares of animals and I decided to try these out. I used my Creative Memories punch (Maurine and her Mom sell these goodies, and I use them all the time), and I punched out a few of my favorite animals. They fit perfectly. I did run into one little problem-I put these in a baggie for a month+ and some of them stuck together. There are a few cute animals that didn't make it to the finished product, and some have little battle scars (so don't zoom in). Oh well, it was my first try. I also made a larger magnet using a picture of Lilly. I cut it out to fit the disk, and put diamond glaze on for work). Today I bought some flat marbles and I'm going to try out a second style of magnets.....soon to follow.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
-I completed a 'secret' project that took a LOT more work than I thought it would, but I liked the end result, and I look forward to giving it away.
-I administered a TAKS test, it was very boring, but I can't actually post any details, it's 'the law.'
-I caught my microwave on fire at work. Fortunately, I was standing 'right there' and quickly opened it up, blew out the plate (oops, it was not microwaveable-and said so right across the bottom), and started shoving furniture aside so I could open windows....and PRAY the fire alarm wouldn't go off....it didn't, thank goodness!
-I completed two craft projects I've had in the back of my mind for awhile.
-I attended two book club meetings. The Classics-we are now starting Hans Christian Anderson's tales. Why are all the classics so depressing? And....The New Eve Study with some gals I did a 5 Aspect's study with....I'm looking forward to reading the book.
-My girl scout cookies were delivered.
-I gained half a pound before I even OPENED any boxes.
-I baked Zucchinni Nut Muffins-the healthy way with all those 'subsitutes' that cost a million dollars. I had to compensate in some way for the girl scout cookies.
-This weekend is my last Saturday School for a few weeks, I have to do this to pay off the million dollars I spent making the Zucchinni Muffins.
Posted by Christy Robbins at 10:47 PM
...Christmas? My intention was to complete this project in January....March is still in the same 'season' as January at least... The goal was one new Christmas project a month so I'd have a selection of homemade gifts at the end of the year, and some new crafting skills (I've never painted 'faces' before on fabric crafts). Again, it's a little silly that I'm posting this because some of these are tagged to go to some of my blogging friend's homes next December, BUT....here they are anyway--->Wednesday's project. I've been working on these little Roly-Poly Santa's for awhile(thanks to my pal Terry who made these last Christmas and taught me how to put them together). It's not that they are so difficult, it's just that there are a lot of steps and I couldn't get into it, but right now I am DETERMINED to use the materails I have purchased and to complete the projects on my list before I add more (and this was one of them). Since I add a new project I want to try daily (I think I printed off 6 or so recipes and ideas today alone)...this means I need to get busy! These little guys will get some finishing touches, and then I'll put them up, ready to ship out next holiday season to their new homes. In case anyone is keeping count (and if you are, we need to talk). I also had 'clean the refridgerator' on my list for tonight, which I half did....but I didn't think the picture of that project made quite the same impact. So....in conclusion-Roly Poly Santa's-lots of work, but fun, and a little dangerous, I burned myself several times with a glue gun.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I've seen this on several blogs over the last few months, and so tonight I decided to try my hand at 'tutu making.' On the blogs I've seen they have used one of those large elastic hairbands that replaces a traditional headband (you can get them at the dollar store). I decided to use a small piece of elastic (I discovered the less elastic, the better), and then I sewed ribbon to each end of the elastic, and figured this would leave room for any adjustments that need to be made since I don't have a 'model' to use in the making of these tutus. I used two different colors of tulle, and sliced them in half, then tied them on to the elastic/ribbon. I'm going to make a whole 'outfit' to go with it, so stayed tuned to see that one...someday. This one is heading off to a co-worker's niece.
I loved today's devotional. It's like a personal hug from God. Too often I let other people's critisism (or the prospect of other's critisism) shape my opinion about myself....and then I am reminded: This is how God designed me. I am capable of doing all I need to do in order to fulfill His purpose. I also take comfort in knowing that He knows what is coming, and He's already got a plan in place for how I'll work through it....and what comes next. I can always look back and see how God has brought me through many different circumstances in life, but this reminds me I can also look forward in faith with the same feeling of confidence.
Ministry: Shaped to Serve
by Rick Warren
God formed every creature on this planet with a special area of expertise. Some animals run, some hop, some swim, some burrow, and some fly. Each has a particular role to play based on the way they were shaped by God. The same is true with humans. Each of us is uniquely designed, or "shaped," to do certain things.
Before architects design any new building they first ask, "What will be its purpose? How will it be used?" The intended function always determines the form of the building.
Before God created you, he decided what role he wanted you to play on earth. He planned exactly how he wanted you to serve him, and then he shaped you for those tasks. You are the way you are because you were made for a specific ministry.
The Bible says, "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works" (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). Our English word "poem" comes from this Greek word translated "workmanship." You're God's handcrafted work of art. You're not an assembly-line product, mass-produced without thought. You're a custom designed, one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece.
God deliberately shaped and formed you to serve him in a way that makes your ministry unique. He carefully mixed the DNA recipe that created you. David praised God for this incredible personal attention to detail God gave in designing each of us: "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous" (Psalm 139:13-14 NLT).
Not only did God shape you before your birth, he planned every day of your life to support his shaping process. David continues, "Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139:16 NLT).
This means nothing that happens in your life is insignificant. God uses all of it to mold you for your ministry to others and shape you for your service to him.
God never wastes anything. He would not give you abilities, interests, talents, gifts, personality, and life experiences unless he intended to use them for his glory. By identifying and understanding these factors you can discover God's will for your life.
The Bible says you are "wonderfully complex." You're a combination of many different factors: "The people I have shaped for myself will broadcast my praises" (Isaiah 43:21 NJB).