Monday, September 30, 2013

Before the Flowers are Gone ~

These dwarf Canna  I love!

The ones below I photograph a lot, they totally say to me, God provided such detail!

We have several Bird of Paradise, I love the color combination.

These Canna are outside my office window...they scream  HAPPY to me.....

The orange Canna  are in abundance in our back yard....

 My Roses Dad planted for me (smile)

Just because there small, I love them.

My Queen Palm flowers often!

Flower below.....I just like that it photographs as if its painted....

My Sweet Beans will not pass a flower without smelling it (smile).

We have about another three or four weeks of really warm weather and then most of our plants will be cut back
until next year......

Love of flowers is what echo from my heart today...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cooking with Khloe ~ It's Wednesday !

This morning the kitchen was opened  to Pa and Khloe.
On the menu
scrambled eggs with ham,tomatoes and cheese.
"Two eggs Pa?"

Butter for the skillet

Seven eggs, counting practiced prior to cracking.

Hand off the eggs to Pa

Whisk (tried to taste...she is use to something sweet we've mixed)
 Chop the ham, add to eggs with sliced cherry tomatoes
and cheese....

While waiting for breakfast, talking about cooking to Namma...

 Rest up before making our Popsicle (pops)

Set molds in holder
 Blend one banana, 1/2 c blueberries, 4 tablespoons non fat yogurt
a few chunks of pineapple, dash of half and half and puree.
 Pour into molds and insert the handles :-)
 So proud of all she "cooks".

She insisted we put them in the oven, it's what we've always done.
Grandma's pants were getting tight from baking with Sweet Beans.
These went into the freezer and she was not happy.
She got over it :-)

Loving my day.
Sweet beans echos from my heart today..(and all days)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Imprisoned for Sharing His Faith ~

Thursday marks one year since Iran imprisoned my husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini, for his Christian faith. When the Iranian Revolutionary Guard arrested Saeed without warning and took him to the notorious Evin Prison, I could not have imagined the journey God had planned for us — a journey still without a finish line in sight.

The Empty Seat in Our Home

All I can remember about those first days are tear-soaked eyes and indescribable anxiety and grief. Evenings consisted of me holding my seven-year-old daughter and five-year-old son as they cried themselves to sleep asking for their daddy. Saeed’s seat in our family was painfully empty at Christmas, Easter, our wedding anniversary, and each of the birthdays.
Saeed spent his own birthday in solitary confinement, bleeding and in agony due to beatings he had endured when prison guards tried to force him to deny his faith and return to Islam.

A Good, Unwanted Trial

I had fallen into deep despair, fearing the unknown. No friend, parent, or doctor could help me. In desperation, I questioned Jesus and plead that he take this trial from me. He gently whispered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). He promised to use this journey for his glory if I would trust him.
So little by little, I opened my hands and let go of all of my expectations and submitted my future to God. As I lay broken before his feet, letting go of all control, the peace of God that surpasses all understanding filled my heart and mind through Christ Jesus, just has he had promised (Philippians 4:7).

Gladness in Weakness

I did not know then, nor do I know now, where God would lead us in all of this. But one thing has become clear: no matter how difficult the journey, no matter what news comes, even in the face of eight years of beating and torture, we are called by God to embrace suffering gladly.
This suffering reveals my weakest parts. But in my weakness, he is strong. I am refreshed by living water when I run into Jesus’s embrace. It is in walking with Jesus through the darkness that I taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).

Rejoicing in Suffering

Over the last year, I have learned that there is meaning in Paul’s instruction to take pleasure in God, even and especially in suffering. Rejoicing in suffering creates in me a deeper hunger for God, a hunger that draws me closer to him.
I understand now how Paul could say, “Most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. . . . I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

The Desire of Our Hearts

In Jesus, I had clarity to see that God was using my present suffering for the spread of the gospel. I have seen the Lord use Saeed’s imprisonment to give Saeed and myself the true desire of our hearts, which is to see Jesus preached to the entire world, especially to Muslims, a people Saeed and I love so very much.
Our suffering has provided a platform to share about Christ all over the world, even through secular media broadcasted to millions in Iran. At the United Nations Human Rights Council, appealing for Saeed’s release, I shared the gospel with representatives from over 100 countries.

A Minister for the Prisoners

This journey has also allowed Saeed to spread the gospel inside the prison. Members of the Iranian Diaspora have told me how they have heard from former Evin prisoners that Saeed had been showing the love of Christ to his fellow prisoners.
Now I can say with confidence that “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Saeed and I always asked God for opportunities to share the gospel with the nations. We never anticipated it would be this way, but God has graciously heard and answered our prayers.

What Can You Do for Saeed?

Though I do not yet see a finish line to our journey, I will continue to rejoice in the Lord as he uses our suffering for good. I will continue to pray for Saeed’s release and the freedom of all Christians being persecuted and imprisoned for their faith.
  1. Gather with hundreds of Christians around the world to pray for Saeed on Thursday, September 26th. Find a prayer vigil near you.
  2. Join me and thousands of others in writing the president of Iran to encourage him to release my husband. Learn how to add your voice and help us be heard at

    Nahgmeh is the wife of Saeed Abedini, a pastor sentenced to eight years in an Iranian prison because of his Christian faith. They have been married since 2002, have two young children, and have been separated by persecution since September, 2012. You can learn more about their story and add your voice to the cause at

Friday, September 20, 2013

Consequences of False Securities ~

Consequences they stem from our choices,
are a part of life.

In our youth we believe to some degree we are invincible.
We can drive fast, while talking to our friends
knowing with almost certainty 
accidents only happen to someone else.
Not me.

We can give our trust to a total stranger, 
knowing with almost certainty
bad things happen to other girls.
Not me.

There is a choice of intimacy or not,
 and therefore
the risk of pregnancy....
It'll never happen to me...

Alcohol usage,
I would never be the drunk driver.
I would never end up an alcoholic.
I would never end up with liver damage. 
It would never cost me my job or family.
Those things happen to those without self control...
Not me.

Drug use.
It won't lead to stronger stuff.
I'm smarter than that.
Weak people end up addicts....
other people, not me....

Cigarette smoking.
Lots of people end up with lung cancer.
It won't happen to me, I'll quit first.
Emphysema, that happens to old people who
smoked their entire lives....

Oh, the lies we will tell ourselves in order to do whatever
 it is we want do...
Interesting that we can convince ourselves that whatever that
negative consequence is, it won't happen to us.
Where does that false security come from?
Why wouldn't it happen to me?

A form of Russian roulette,
 dodging that bullet
for the better part of life,
or so you thought.

 So, it was in 2000 that I was finding myself a little short of breath.
Test results determined very early stages of emphysema.
(well that can't be right....)
Stupid or what?
I take the inhaler and a month later feel fine.
I  put it out of my mind...(I don't know how)
Very early = hardly any, very little, no big deal?
It won't get me....

I continued to smoke until Dec.6th of 2007.
The only thing my sweet Dad ever asked of me, was that I quit smoking. 
He asked me many times.
I finally decided that this man who had given me much,
never asking a thing in return....had but one request of his
child.....I quit.

I chose Dec. 6th, 2007 because it was his birthday.
I knew it would be a great gift to him.
I also knew, I could never take that  gift back from him..
I would never start again.

My Dad died in June of 2008 so he never knew I made it a year.
 I did know it made him very happy that I quit.
Now,  I'm going on six years.

In late 2011 I developed a cold,
the same one everyone else had.
It turned into a cough that was lasting
many people a month or so.
My chest began to feel as though someone where sitting on it.
The cough continued...

My Mom was concerned, she kept telling me I needed to get it checked out.
I would, once Mom is feeling better, once her surgery is over.
Once I wasn't afraid to hear bad news....
I went to the Doctor a couple months after Mom died.
Emphysema stage 3 of 4.
How is this possible, me?
That doesn't happen to me!

Days later I recalled the appointment in 2000, I had somehow
found a way to put it completely out of my mind.
It's been eleven years.
I'm sure that sounds crazy to you, but
the fact remains, I put it out of my mind.
 It was never real to me until 2011
It was Me, it had happened to me,
not somebody else.

It's happened to me.
Not someone else,

I'm stressing this in hopes that whatever it is you may think
your going to avoid because it "happens to someone else"
think again.

I so regret that I foolishly continued to smoke after the
appointment in 2000.
Really, who was I kidding that this would never happen to me?
What would cause me to believe such a thing?

I'm 57 years old.
I'm on three inhalers and two medications.
If I catch the common cold or flu,
its a big deal.

I can no longer enjoy a campfire with my friends or family.
I can no longer burn wood in my fireplace.
I can no longer be outdoors while a barbeque is burning.
I can no longer burn scented candles.

The commercials you see for COPD
 (emphysema is one of its many forms)
are very accurate.
 It really does feel as though an elephant is sitting on your chest, making it
very difficult to move air in and out of your lungs.

It will never get better.
It will only get worse.
There is no cure.

From, it won't happen to me,
it happened to me.

I'm sorry for my children who always wanted me to quit.

It happened to me.

So now,
it's why I treasure each day in this life.
It's why being around my family is more important than ever.
It's why I can't get enough time in with my grand children,
 it's never going to be enough. :-)
It's why I hang on a little girl's every word, every time I'm with her.
It's why I want to make memories every chance I get.

It may sound odd but,
my life is fuller now.
Those around me are recognized at their full value.
The good in each is clearer than before.
I want to make each day count...
The number of blessings in my life are through the roof!
Very possible they were there prior and somehow had gone unnoticed.
This is the new

None of us know how long we will be here.
We just need to be aware, it could be "me".
If we really lived our lives as though each day could be our last,
how much more joy we would get out of it and those around us?
Few blessings go unnoticed,

imagine ~

I've decided to share about my health for a couple reasons.
First and foremost, the more people I have praying the better.
I do believe in miracles, all the while knowing that may not be God's plan for me.

Second, I'm hopeful someone will read this that thinks "it" won't happen to them.

I write because it's a form of expression that works best for me.
If I want to be truthful about all that, echos from my heart,
and it's through my own words I process my thoughts,
well, to do so I needed to fill you in.

I debated for sometime rather to share this or not.
It's a part of my life now,
therefore will be a part of what and why I write on a given topic.

Though I appreciate prayers,
it's my consequence,
   I intend on making the very best of own beauty for ashes story.

Isaiah 61:3 bestow on them
 a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
 the oil of joy instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
 They will be called oaks of righteousness,
 a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Thankful for my ability to write my simple little blog.
Thankful for
 the readers eyes who may relate from time to time.

Thankful  I know for certain,
whatever "it" could happen to me.

It's a daily process this consequence of mine...
I won't kid you, sometimes it's hard.
 I'm just so thankful, for so much!!!

A new season of life is what echos from my heart today....

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday with the Sweet Beans ~

Toffee Pecan Cookies

Aprons on, lets do this!

In a medium bowl add, cake mix, water, softened butter and two eggs..
Mix really well.

Some sneak a taste after mixing...

Chop pecans and add to mixture along with toffee bits..
Stir these two ingredients in..

Place on ungreased cookie sheet,
count, 1,2,9...and accidentally skim one with your finger,
yep another taste....

 Bake in preheated 350 oven for 13 minutes (recipe says 10...13 better) ~ remove and cool on wire rack.

Taste to see how they are baked!

"Namaw, tea?"

Why yes, I think I will.....

These cookies were out of this world good. 
 A little crunch and chew all in one little cookie.

Loving life....its what echos from my heart today...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Aligning Ourselves with God's Will ~

.....Thy will be done, 
on earth as it is in heaven....

It's not about what I want,
it's wanting what God wants for me,
...and that being enough.

The wisest man that has ever lived was King Solomon
He was also wealthy beyond any thing we could begin to imagine.
Yet he was not a content man.

He tried everything in order to find fulfillment.
He indulged in the things of the world, just as many do today, 
finding only temporary fulfillment.

He had many personal achievements, including the honor of building
God's temple. He built amazing homes, designed beautiful gardens.
He had all one would think, would allow him to truly enjoy his life.
In the end he found it all to be meaningless.

He  found the answer late in life,
he at last concluded the answer, was in obeying God.
Coming into obedience with God's will....

 For me true fulfillment comes in those 
times, when I'm aligning myself with God's will.
It's something I have to practice daily,
it's just so natural to want things my way......

Think of our world today, it's a world
 with many successful, highly educated people.
Yet there seems to be more dissatisfied people than ever?

Persons in a constant pursuit of pleasure without limits, 
 and regardless of the means to get there.

People trying to be filled by all the world has to offer.
Yet if you look into the eyes,
we will likely see very hungry souls.

His will is enough.
Obedience to it, is where we find  peace,
contentment, and fulfillment.

Are you like Solomon always searching for more?

I tried to find it out there in the world,
and like Solomon, I was without success.

Learning to repeatedly pray for His will in my life, 
in every situation.
It's enough.

Wishing you enough, it's what echos from my heart today......

Friday, September 13, 2013

It was a Wednesday with the Sweet Beans ~

My day complete, immediately following her arrival.
The first thing out of her mouth,
"Yum yums?"
This girl is always ready to eat.

She lined up several of her babies and covered them properly.
Settled in for her morning toons!

After breakfast we got dressed and began our Wednesday baking.

Today it was Banana Pudding Squares,
she couldn't wait to put her apron on :-)


 First she inspects the ingredients...."what's that?"

Roll out vanilla wafers until crushed.

In small bowl mix in the crushed wafers and butter.

Press mixture into the pan. 
Then set in frig while doing the next steps.

Mix softened cream cheese, powdered sugar
and 1 and 1/2 cup of the cool whip until well blended.

No worries it wasn't on without Gramma's hand with hers :-)

Her favorite part of baking!

Spread mixture gently over crust.

Take a moment for a Nilla wafer break.

Slice bananas 

Place on top of mixture

Whisk together Vanilla pudding and cold milk while holding Nilla wafer in other hand.....

Carefully spoon over bananas.
It will look like this :-)

 Spread remaining cool whip over top.
Grate one square of Bakers semi sweet chocolate on top.
She was very good at it, as if she had done it a hundred other times ?

Place in frig for 3 hours.

The Sweet Bean began calling me Gramma (finally) and I heard it all day long . :-)
She pronounces it as, Namma....close enough :-)

Loving my Wednesday's with Sweet Beans....yep, it's what echos from my heart today.