Thursday, July 31, 2014



Ever wonder why Dawn Dishwashing Liquid is the wildlife cleaner of choice after an oil spill? According to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Dawn effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds. It’s also biodegradable and contains no phosphates.

According to, Dawn dishwashing liquid makes great homemade bubbles. Here is the Giant Bubble Recipe used in bubble makers at many children’s museums: 1/2 cup Ultra Dawn 1/2 gallon warm water 1 tablespoon glycerin (available at any drug store) OR White Karo syrup works too! Stir gently. Skim the foam off the top of the solution (too much foam breaks down the bubbles). Dip bubble wand and get ready for some good, clean fun!

Kids get into the darnedest things! Like Vaseline and baby oil rubbed into their hair! Dawn is mild enough to use on their hair and strong enough to remove the most stubborn grease.

Once a month use original Dawn as you would shampoo. It will remove excess oil from your hair and scalp and strip away any build-up of styling products without any damage. Perform this once a month and you won’t have to buy expensive salon products that do the same thing.

Soak fingers in full-strength blue Dawn. It makes the cuticles soft and easy to work with. And it removes the natural oil from the fingernails, which allows the polish to adhere very well.

A safe, effective way to repel insects from your houseplants, including aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs. Put a drop of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid in a spray bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with water, shake well, and mist your household plants with the soapy water.

Try this recipe from Merry Maids: mix 3 drops Dawn in 1 gallon water and fill a spray bottle with the solution. Spritz and wipe as you would with any window cleaner.

Use it to bathe the dogs. It kills fleas on contact and is much cheaper than expensive dog


After you have finished your automotive repair project, soak your dirty tools in Dawn before you put them away to remove all the oil and grime. Dawn also helps prevent rust from forming on the tools.

Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dishwashing liquid, close and freeze. The liquid soap stays cold much longer and it can be re-frozen many times. It will conform to the place you need an ice pack.

Take a spray bottle and fill it halfway with white vinegar. Heat in the microwave. Fill the rest of the way with blue Dawn. Put lid on and shake to mix well. Spray on your tub and shower walls. Allow to sit for a few minutes and rinse away. It will totally melt all the gunk, slime, sludge and other stuff that builds up including a bathtub ring.

Spray counter-tops, cupboards and any other area where you see ants with a solution of Dawn and water. Wipe dry. The slight residue of Dawn that remains will not be a problem at all for kids or pets, but ants hate it. Should you see a trail of ants, go ahead and hit them with the Dawn spray.

Add a squirt or two of original Dawn dish soap to your washer and run a hot wash, then rinse until there are no more bubbles. Dawn is a degreasing agent and helps stripping by removing oily residue. Be sure to rinse, rinse, rinse until the water runs clear.

A cup of Dawn detergent poured into a clogged toilet allowed to sit for 15 minutes and then followed with a bucket of hot water poured from waist height will clear out the toilet.

Poison ivy spreads through the spread of the oil within the blisters. Washing the affected area with Dawn, especially on children who keep scratching the blister’s open, helps dry up the fluid, AND keep it from spreading.

If you have gasoline or motor oil stains on your driveway, you can use the kitty litter method to clean up the excess oil and then use a scrub broom and a solution of biodegradable Dawn dishwashing detergent and warm water to safely and effectively remove excess motor oil from the pavement.

Dawn makes a great facial cleanser for oily skin. A drop or two combined with warm water will do the trick.

Dawn combined with corn oil makes for the perfect paint or grease remover. Simply combine a little bit of both in your hands then rub it over affected areas. The corn oil and the dishwashing liquid both help to dissolve the grease and paint – yet leave skin soft, unlike harsher paint removers.

Plastic wading pools can get very gunky, very fast. Dump the water, then scrub the pool with Dawn and a sponge. More potent cleaners like bleach will weaken and dry out the plastic in the sun.

Merry Maids recommends using a drop of Dawn in water to clean ceramic tile and no-wax/linoleum floors. You can also use the spray on:
• Bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks.
• Woodwork, e.g., baseboards, shelves, and wainscoting. (Dry as you go–wood doesn’t like prolonged contact with water.)
• Tubs and toilet seats.

For oil-based stains such as lipstick, grease, butter, motor oil, cooking oil, and some pen inks, simply apply some Dawn dishwashing liquid directly to the stain and scrub with a small brush or toothbrush until the oil is removed, and then launder as usual.

Sliding glass doors, door knobs, hinges etc. It lasts much longer than any aerosol type spray that I have tried. And Its non-toxic! It does a great job of cleaning the parts that its lubricating as well!

For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot/warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze. No more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks.

Squirt Dawn down the middle of the pool and all of the dirt, suntan lotion, etc. will move to the edges of the pool for easy clean up! AND it makes the pools sparkle.

Simply rub a small drop of Dawn on eyeglass lenses, and wipe clean. It will leave a very thin film that will prevent them from fogging up.

Cover greasy footprints on shower floors with a coating of Dawn; let sit overnight. Scrub away the gunk in the morning with a stiff brush.

Mix two tablespoons Dawn to a gallon of water and put in your sprayer. Try to get spray both sides of the leaves, branches and the tree trunks. Let sit for about 15 minutes and then rinse the trees THOROUGHLY!

Here’s a brilliant idea! Need a hostess gift when visiting friends and family this summer? Print off this post and include it with a bottle of Blue Dawn! Talk about USEFUL !

Friday, July 18, 2014


OUT MY WINDOW:  Cloudy skies, trees blowing, clouds heavy with rain.

FAVORITE SCRIPTURE:  Ephesians 6:10-12, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (NIV)


BLESSINGS: Life changes, but the love of a child and the love a mom has for her child never does. No matter how old they get, they will always be our babies, and one day they will understand it themselves as they see firsthand the circle of life and how the mother/child bond of love truly is forever. 
 ~Tracie Miles ~

    1 cup crushed graham crackers
    2 tablespoons sugar
    2 tablespoons butter, melted
    3 egg yolks
    14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
    1/2 cup key lime juice
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.    In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with a fork. Divide mixture among eight 4 oz canning jars (about 2 tablespoons per jar). Press crumbs down into the bottom of the jar.    In medium bowl, combine egg yolks, milk, and juice. Beat on low, just until smooth. Spoon and divide mixture evenly into canning jars on top of the graham cracker crust (each jar will get a bit less than 1/4 cup).    Place jars on a baking sheet, about 2" apart from each other. Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30-40 minutes on counter top. Cover jars (with canning lids, foil, plastic wrap, etc) and place in refrigerator to chill.   When fully chilled and ready to serve, top with whipped cream and garnish with key lime zest and/or wedge (if desired).

WEEK IN REVIEW:  Bradford Pear tree fell next to our house. Luckily no damage, just a big mess to clean up! This is the third we have lost in two years. I love the blooms in the Spring and the vibrant color leaves in the fall, so these trees will be missed! Research shows that the splitting normally occurs when the trees reach the latter stages of maturity. While young, they maintain a beautiful pyramid shape. However, when they fully mature, the canopy will open up which then causes the branches to start hanging outward from the center of the tree. This is when the splitting usually occurs. The tree cannot hold the weight of the outwardly hanging branches, and the pressure causes the tree to split where it forks at the trunk. Sad!

WEEKEND PLANS:  Clean my house and my screen porch on Saturday and ride the Harley on Sunday. Maybe even get in a little fishing!!
PHOTO OF THE WEEK:  Makes me happy!!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 05:58 PM PDT

For those of you who are just joining this series on the seasons of God’s silence, I want you to know I treasure your emails and comments. Your emails remind me there’s a reason this is one of the topics I speak on often.

It’s because we’ve all been baffled by those seasons of silence when our prayers seem to hit the ceiling and God feels so far away.

But God never allows us to experience His silence by mistake.

In Part 1, we discovered that sometimes God seems silent because our lives are just so loud. We allow ourselves to become so busy that our lives drown out the still small voice of God and then we wonder where He is.

In Part 2, we learned that sometimes God is allowing us to go through a season of silence (or maybe even causing us to walk through a season of silence) because our faith and our character is begin tested. 

And today, in Part 3, we are going to peel back another layer to some of the reason for those seasons of silence as we find that…

Sometimes God chooses to be silent right before He reveals Himself to us in a new and profound way.

From Malachi to Matthew there are 400 years of silence. They are known as the SILENT YEARS.
But oh ladies…when HE broke the silence…His voice was loud and clear…THE MESSIAH HAD COME TO THE EARTH to be the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD and NOTHING WOULD EVER BE THE SAME! 

In John 11, we get a glimpse of how God is sometimes silent before He is getting ready to reveal Himself.
You see, in the town of Bethany, a man named Lazarus was dying. He as a friend of Jesus’. Lazurus had 2 sisters. Mary and Martha…and they sent messengers to Jesus and said, “Master, the one you love so much is sick.” (Jn 11:2)

No I’m sure they were expecting Jesus to hurry to heal Lazurus…after all they knew He LOVED Lazurus. But the Bible goes on to say, So, when He heart that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” (Jn 11:6)

Jesus didn’t start heading for Bethany for 2 days and by the time He arrived on the scenes, 4 days had passed. They were looking for Jesus to show up and heal their brother.

Now you can imagine how they must have felt. Jesus had healed others. They were well aware of what Jesus could do. But why wouldn’t He heal their brother? Didn’t Jesus care? Why didn’t He do something? Didn’t He LOVE Lazarus?

OSWALD CHAMBERS once said that many times, “His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into a marvelous understanding of Himself.”

Had they not experienced the Lord’s silence for 4 days, they would have never experienced the miraculous hand of God.

Sometimes, God is silent right before He reveals Himself in ways that would not be possible if He had shown up earlier. 

They wanted Jesus to show up and be the Great Physician…but Jesus wanted to reveal Himself to them as the Resurrection and the Life. 

Sometimes God is silent right before He reveals Himself in ways we would have never been able to see before.

The waiting is worth it, sweet sister and it is for your good!

To invite Steph to speak at your upcoming event, please click this link. She’d love to connect with you and pray about partnering with you for your next event!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

When God Is Silent ~ Part 2


I mentioned in the last post that this is one of the talks I’m asked to speak on frequently because it is where we all live. It also seems to be one of the top five posts I’ve ever written in terms of hits. 
That speaks so loudly to my heart about where people are… wondering where God is… wondering if He cares.

My heart hurts with each one who feels far from God or is in a desperate place ~ longing to hear from God yet can’t seem to hear His voice.

There are times when it seems like God is silent because our lives are just too loud. But sometimes God chooses to be silent in our livesBecause He is Testing Us. 

Did you know that anything of value must be tested in order to determine 3 things?
  1. Authenticity – is it the real deal
  2. Value – what is it really worth
  3. Is it flawed – does it have flaws or imperfections
In 1 Peter 1:6-7 we’re told we will all go through times of testing. “ In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,”

Those tests come in many sizes, shapes and colors, but sometimes those tests come in Divinely decreed SEASONS OF SILENCE

That’s exactly what happened to Hezekiah.
Hezekiah was described as a king that trusted the Lord, kept the Lords commands and did not cease to follow God. The Bible goes on to state that out of all the kings of Judah – (those who came before him and those who came after him) – there was NO KING LIKE HEZEKIAH.

He wasn’t a perfect man, but the Bible says the Lord was with him and he prospered him.

As time passed, Hezekiah came down with a terminal illness. (2 Kings 20 gives a bit more detail of the same account than 2 Chronicles 32) God sent Isaiah to tell him it was time to get his house in order because he was going to die. But Hezekiah began praying and crying out to God for mercy and before Isaiah could reach the middle court the Lord told him to turn around and got tell Hezekiah that He heard his prayer and was going to give him 15 more years.

But Hezekiah had a propensity for pride. And it wasn’t long after God healed Him that he decided it was time to flaunt his stuff.

So, God decided to send him a season of silence in a specific area of his life to show Hezekiah what he was made of:

2 Chronicles 32:31 ~ “However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.”

The test wasn’t so that God could see what was in Hezekiah’s heart. The test was so that Hezekiah could get a good look at his own heart. 

One day I asked a older man at church why he thought God allowed us to go through some of the stuff we go through…and he said, “SO WE CAN SEE WHAT WE’RE MADE OF.”

You see, sometimes the Lord chooses to step back and let us see ourselves as we really are…what we’re made of?

We are flawed, fallible people who mess up along the way. Sometimes we need to remember that. It keeps us from thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought. It keeps us from taking God’s blessings from granted and it helps us minister to others when we come through that thing to the praise and glory of God. So we can comfort others with the comfort we’ve been given.

When we walk through seasons of silence as a result of being tested like Hezekiah was, we demonstrate 3 things.
  1. Authenticity – is our faith really real
  2. Value – how valuable is our faith to us
  3. Is it flawed – what areas of our faith are flawed
REMEMBER, FAITH BY ITS VERY NATURE MUST BE TESTED and sometimes God chooses to test us by His silence.
Today, sweet friend, are you being tested by God’s silence? What are you made of?
To invite Steph to speak at your upcoming event, please click this link. She’d love to connect with you and pray about partnering with you for your next event!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

When God Is Silent ~ Part 1


This is one of the messages I’m asked to speak on often because it’s a season we have all faced at one time or another. Maybe you’re there now.We’ve all been there. 

The place where we are desperate to hear from God or to see Him move in our circumstances, but it seems as though our prayers are hitting the ceiling. At times like that, it’s easy to feel like God doesn’t see us or like He doesn’t really care.

I hear from women who feel stuck. Like they can’t hear from God. Like He isn’t there or He doesn’t care. SO, for the next 4 posts, I will be sharing a bit about what I speak on that I hope will encourage your heart.

You…the sweet lady who is in the middle of a season of silence and is wondering why.
We’ve all lived long enough to know that life isn’t always easy. We’ve all walked through some difficult places in our lives….those times when life is hard and you feel like God is far.

You pray for God to show up and do something, but you feel like He isn’t listening…times when God is silent.

Maybe you feel like you’re walking through a season of God’s silence in the area of…
YOUR FINANCES – you take one step forward & at least 2 back. One financial need after the other with no end in sight. You’re in debt up to your eyeballs, you don’t even know what a savings account is and you’re wondering where God is…why He isn’t doing anything…Does He care?
YOUR MARRIAGE – you’ve done all you can to be a good wife and make your marriage work, but nothing has changed. You still have the same problems you did a year ago…a decade ago and you’ve grown weary. You’re tired of being hurt, tired of trying and your heart for your husband is growing cold.
YOUR PARENTING - you’ve raised them the best you could, you’re doing everything you can as a parent. You’ve taken them to counselors, you’ve soaked your pillow with tears and worn holes in the carpet beside your bed where plant your knees night after night as you cry out to God for your kids, but they keep making one destructive decision after another.

I don’t know where you are or what you’re going through, but I believe the Lord has me sharing this for a reason and I believe many of you are feeling broken by God’s silence. You’re wondering where God is, why He doesn’t do something. Wondering if He sees what you’re going through and if He really cares?

I have to share something with you…As I was praying over you all and praying for our time together, the Lord lead me to Isaiah 40:1 which says, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.”

I don’t know what you are going through, sweet friends, but I know God wants to comfort your heart.

You may feel like you are broken…you may feel like God is silent, but I want you to know…based on the WORD OF GOD and the CHARACTER of GOD…that – God’s silence does not equal God’s absence…nor does it equal His inactivity. You may not see Him doing anything – you may not hear Him, but I assure you, He is with you and He is working behind the scenes of your life…oh yes…He is very much at work in your present circumstances.
Most of us have experienced ‘the wait’ that takes place in a doctor’s office. It seems like forever between the time you sign up and the time they finally call you back. And then you have to wait some more.

It’s all so awkward. Even frustrating.
Maybe you feel like you’re in God’s waiting room. But I want you to know if you’re in a season of silence, you’re actually in good company. Abraham, Moses, Job, Joseph, David, Asaph, the Sons of Korah, Jonah, Jeremiah, Peter, Paul, Mary, Martha and a host of others who have gone before us, have all experienced their own seasons when they felt broken by God’s silence.
And if you’re like me, the first thing you tend to think when you’re feeling broken by God’s silence is that you’ve done something wrong…like there must be some sin you’ve committed, something you’re holding on to that has put a divider up between you and God.

And to be honest, sometimes that’s true. 
But when that happens, the Spirit of God makes us keenly aware of what it is we need to deal with, and it is God’s goodness that leads us to repentance. So, we confess it, forsake it and move forward in our fellowship with the Living God.

But if we choose to hold on to it, we are choosing to keep the dividing wall up and we can’t really expect to hear from God. (Isaiah 59:2)

BUT, sin is only ONE REASON that God may choose to be silent in our lives. God is God…and His ways are higher than ours – so to be honest, we may not always know all the reasons for the season’s of silence we go through. But threaded throughout the Word of God are many examples that can help us better understand our own seasons of silence and how to handle it when we feel like God is silent.

Sometimes God is silent…Because our lives are just too loud. 

Let’s face it, we’re all busy…maybe too busy. We’ve got distractions coming at us from every direction. We’re constantly on the go. Playing taxi drivers, running errands and moving at warp speed trying to get it all done.

We’ve got laundry, cooking, cleaning, homework, shopping…oh, and let’s not forget the full time job. We’ve got a cell phone in one hand and a steering wheel in the other and we’re taking care of business on the fly.

We get SO wrapped up and distracted by our dailies that we leave God out and then wonder where He is. 

Our lives have become so loud that we drown out the still small voice of God and at times, He may choose to be silent in order to get our attention.

He knows that His silence is deafening to our hearts. He knows that His silence will speak very loudly to our souls.

Today, if you’ve allowed your life to be so loud that you’ve drowned out the still small voice of God, I want to encourage you to take some time and just bask in the beauty of knowing Him.

Be STILL and KNOW that HE IS GOD. Press into Him. Delight in Him. Make Him the object of your affection. 

When my hubby and I went to adopt our puppy, we sat in the middle of the cute little litter of precious pups trying to figure out which one would become ours. One little guy managed to waddle his way up into my hubby’s lap and when he pulled him up to his chest, that cutie patootie tucked his head down and pressed his little puppy head against my husband’s chest as hard has he could.
Needless to say, he won our hearts and we took him home.

We named him Wilson (after the soccer ball on Castaway…yeah…we’re goofy like that) and even at 130 pounds, he pressed his gargantuan Dobbie head against up just like he did the day we sat sat among the litter looking for a the puppy we would be able to take up.

We loved how he PRESSED IN! And how he never stopped pressing in until the day he died ten years later.

When our lives are loud and we long to hear from the Living God, we have to press in!

PRESS IN…be still and know that He is God. Don’t allow your life to be so loud that you drown out the still small voice of God.

Is YOUR life too loud?

Beautifully written by Stephanie Shott



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