Sunday, January 26, 2014

Moving Day!

Hello all,

I've moved my Why Not? blog to a new site.  If you've subscribed via RSS feed then you'll continue to receive the posts (and should already have received the latest), but if you subscribed via google then this is the last post you'll receive.  Here's a link to the new site: 

Thank you for following.  I always welcome your comments.  Have a joy-filled day.

With joy!
Florence Brooks

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Keep At It!

Have you ever felt as if you were just going through the motions? As if all your prayers, all your times of worship, all your acts of devotion left you feeling a little flat. What's one to do in times like these? Abandon these things? Give up? Why not just keep at it? Stay faithful. Trust. Believe. Know. God is very much at work in you and in your life. "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Every. Single. Word.

She shaped the clay and spoke the words
And they hit me hard.
It can’t be true.
Not me

"Words have power. Everyone has said something at some time that has hurt someone," she mused.

I thought. When have I said something that has hurt someone? And the longer I considered the possibility the more I knew it was true. Not intended, but real all the same. Foolish words said in jest or in a rush or simply said, but said all the same. 

Can I go back in time and change all the words? 
Can I just imagine those moments never happened and start fresh tomorrow?  

No.  And yes.  You can’t change the words, but the words can change you.  You can’t change the history, but you can speak today.  Speak now in a new, in a fresh way  - with a wiser heart and a careful thought and a deeper understanding that when you speak there is power in Every. Single. Word.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's ALL Good...

The land of the abundance. The horn of plenty. The cup that runneth over.

That's life in our culture. We have so much - so much to do, so many opportunities, so many choices. And "it's ALL good!"  Well, maybe not every single thing, but a lot really is...good.   But does that mean we need to partake of it all? Or even try? And does more activity mean more fortuity in the long run. Maybe....not.

A busy life is, or at least can be, a full life. Do you agree? It's challenging to make choices, to discern how family time and individual time is best spent, to articulate what will truly make a difference in your life, to consider what you really need right now versus what you might want? It's even more challenging when your choices seem to be different from the masses. After all, who wants to journey alone? But these are questions worth considering and questions only YOU can answer with God's help. Your unique set of circumstances inform your choices and reveal the path that is right for you. Moreover, only you can discern what truly is God's vision for you and your family. Yes, you can seek input and counsel and insight from others. But it really is your unique life. One can live a lifetime, and yet miss a life well-lived.

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.  (Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Girl's Day 2014

My 9 year old daughter has been lobbying heavily for months for a Girl's Day when we would venture into town sans boys and go wherever our hearts desired. I finally cleared the space on the calendar, made the time and suggested she make her list of stopping points  - Target, Barnes and Noble, lunch at Chick-Fil-A, a ride on the mall train, a visit to Claire's for accessories and a stop by Build-A-Bear. She told me she had been saving her money and had a few items she wanted to look for.  I offered to pick up the tab for lunch. She was delighted! She even invited her little sister to join us. And off we went. It was a marvel. A big smile. Lots of giggles and two joyous little girls. But the magical moment was at lunch. The two girls seated side by side eating their nuggets and french fries, drinking lemonade when the 3-year-old in the midst of nibbling on a fry looked at her big sister, leaned close and casually whispered in her ear, "You're beautiful."  And then she got back to her fries.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. I Peter 3:3-4 ESV

Friday, January 4, 2013

Be kind

Just a gentle reminder (to myself) that we are blessed with more opportunities to serve each day than we will ever fully realize...

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. ~ Mother Teresa

Why not make a difference in the lives of others today?  Be kind.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A bowl of soup

A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.  
Proverbs 15:17 (NLT) 

I've been crazy busy in the kitchen these days.  Trying to get ahead of the appetites in our household is part of what is spurring me on, but the other piece of motivation is my own innate desire to be creative.  In truth this desire keeps my heart literally overwhelmed with ideas and opportunities from knitting to embroidery, gardening, storytelling, decorating, journaling, teaching, singing, writing, seeing friends and the list is endless.  In recent weeks as I've been attempting to gain a little focus with all my ideas, the thought occurred to me that perhaps I could apply my creative desires to a need.  And our household is in a season where the need for food is at an all time high. But not just any food mind you - good, wholesome, nourishing food prepared with care and thought, delight and love.  Here's today's creation, with my adaptations.  In a word - satisfying.   You might find you need some too.

Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup

from Keep it Seasonal by Anne Wayte

1 T olive oil
1/2 lb high quality well seasoned pork, beef or lamb sausage (I used Aidells Italian Style Chicken Sausage - oh, my!! - good stuff.)
1 large white onion, cut into 1/2" dice
1 clove garlic (I used 3 cloves.)
3/4 lb baking potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
1 T chopped fresh sage, rosemary or thyme (I used 1/3 tsp. dried sage.)
4 C chicken or vegetable stock (I made a batch of stock a couple of days ago. I didn't think it was up to par with my usual stock, but it worked for this soup and after I added the kale I decided to add 2 more cups of stock for a total of 6 cups.)
salt and fresh ground black pepper
large handful of kale, trimmed and sliced into thin strips ( I used 2 large handfuls of kale.)

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over med heat. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside. Discard all but 1 generous tablespoon of the fat remaining in the pan.

Place the pan back on the heat and add the onions. Stir well and saute' until translucent, approzimately 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute for another minute. Add the potatoes stir well and then add the sage and stock. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Slice the sausages into bite-size pieces and add them to the soup. Continue to simmer until the potatoes are cooked through and have started to collapse, approximately 10 minutes. Add the kale and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until cooked through. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serve piping hot and with lots of love.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Word

I thought it might be inspiring if our family had a word for the new year, something that might define us, guide us, challenge us in our choices and our journey.  So, I offered the idea to my clan.  I explained the  intent and their minds began to ponder the possibilities.  I threw some words of my own on the table to get us started - freedom, caring, love, friendship, generosity, hospitality.  They were not impressed.  After careful thought the boys seemed to catch on and offered their best idea.  The 15 year old led the charge - food. The 13 year old had a better idea - feast.  Someone said something about - eating.  They finally agreed on - buffet. They were pleased, buoyed in fact, by their insights. I'm re-thinking this idea. Maybe we don't need a word after all?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Just outside my family room window is a wonderfully fragrant shrub. It blooms in early spring and its potent scent can catch you by surprise when you walk up to my front door. You find yourself wondering - where is that aroma coming from? But it doesn't take a curious person long to discover the source.

When people see you, hear you, watch you do they wonder - where is that coming from? What is the source of your thoughts, actions, and daily pursuits? How long would it take someone to discover Whose you are?

"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." 2 Corinthians 2:15

Friday, March 16, 2012


A dear friend of mine, recently moved from the gentle, low-lying land of the Tidewater Region to the rugged landscape of the Alleghenies. The words of the Psalmist speak to her in this place, "I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from?" Reminding her, "My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2)

How blessed she is to have such a poignant reminder that the Lord is close at hand! How is the Lord speaking to you today? Can you see Him?