Wednesday, October 31, 2007

*I Am* Online Bible Study (Questions) Lesson 5

My questions from The Preacher's Wife online Bible study (lesson 5). I started this 2 weeks ago and have been going back through the first 3 lessons I missed and they are awesome! If anyone is interested in doing them on their own time... Go here or click the 'I Am... so you don't have to be' icon on the side bar. I'm almost caught up, thank goodness, because I don't like doing things out of order. It's part of my quirky personality, I guess!

1. Have you ever found yourself 'in faith' yet bewildered or demoralized? Yes, I have! There have been times when I wondered what in the world I was doing.. or asked myself 'how did I get here?'.
2. Do you consider yourself content? Would you describe it as Decidedly Content or Dreamily Content? A mixture of both I think. There are moments when I purpose in my heart to be content 'in whatever state I'm in'. And just like Paul said in that (Phil 4:11) verse it is something 'learned'. I have wonderful moments where I am truly, dreamily content. Those come from all kinds of things... my husband, son and of course God. I love when I can just rest in His goodness!
3. If you are not content, are there circumstances that keep you from this feeling? I am content.. so I'll skip this one!
4. Have you ever found yourself in a place where you looked back on a period of your Christian walk and believed a great opportunity passed you by? Yes! I have missed lots of opportunity from fear! I've gotten scared and chickened out of doing things that I knew God wanted me to do.
5. Do you ever believe your faith was stronger in an earlier time in your Christianity and find yourself floundering now? Sometimes I do look back on the time when I was single and felt closer to God. I don't think I was 'closer' though, it was just a different kind of 'season' with God. Hmm.. let's see if I can explain... I think at that time in my life was the 'foundation' time. God was laying the foundation of my faith for me to build on. I was a new Christian and it was just a time of magnificant transformation in my life. Now, of course, I am still transforming, but it's a different 'season'. I'm not sure how else to explain it. I definitly do not think I'm floundering now though. I am continually drawing closer and closer to the Lord and to be honest it's a more intimate walk with Him than I have ever had.
6. Can you recognize that this season may be one of great preparation instead of a period of "I Was"? I think that it's important to remember that all seasons are seasons of preparation. I think that even if we're not preparing for a certain circumstance or opportunity in our walk, we are preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ponderings and a prayer....

My hubby preached last night at church. I am always amazed when I hear him. The Lord definitely uses him and I am so thankful for that. I know that is it truly a work of God and not R (and he knows that too). I believe that anyone can get an awesome word from God if we will just spend the time to actually get it. I have been thinking about one of the verses he spoke about. He mentioned that he had just been in awe of this verse.... and I think it's one that we (I)should soak up & meditate on.

Philippians 2:8- "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."

Now of course this is talking about Jesus here. First, I think it's important to remember who Jesus is. Jesus is God. John 1:1 says- 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' Jesus was not created in the womb of a woman. He has been since the beginning of time.
He humbled Himself. I could spend forever thinking about that phrase. All Mighty, Creator God humbled himself. The One who placed the stars in the sky, formed the mountains and valleys, set the world in motion... humbled Himself.
Jesus came to this earth, became a man... identifying with us. He humbled himself to pay our sin debt. Sinless, spotless, pure and holy... Jesus Christ bore our sins and died.
Jesus was obedient to the Father.... unto death, even death on the cross.

Until we realize the depravity of our state without Him ,we cannot even begin to understand the beauty and magnificence of a verse like this. Many people might read it and it mean nothing to them at all. What a sad place to be. And I say that with a broken heart because there are so many people I know who don't know the wonderful saving grace of Jesus Christ. They are fooled with a shallow dose of religion... a warm, fuzzy feeling they get when they hear a hymn sang or read a poem that talks about God's love that they got in an email... they live a life that does not reflect the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. I am broken over the fact that so many people lead this lifestyle. It's the deceptive work of the devil.

But, as I read this verse, my heart wants to burst with thankfulness... and my prayer for those who don't know...

Lord, I pray that their eyes will be opened to your truth. Bind the devil from them... Holy Spirit break their heart... burden them with their sin. I pray that they will see You for who You are. Reveal their need for You and their hopelessness without you. Break the chains of fake Christianity and pour the truth of Your Holy Word into their life. You are mighty to save.....

*YUM!* and major breakthrough! :)

It's menu time. I'm actually using part a menu I got from Menus 4 Moms. It's a menu from a couple weeks back. I'm using 3 of their meals and 1 of mine. The meals with ** are theirs.

Stuffed Chicken w/ Bacon and Feta **, green salad
Vegetable Beef Soup, Apple, Grape and Walnut Salad**
Baked Flounder**, Steamed Broccoli, Brown Rice
Chicken Quesadilla, Corn, green salad

One thing that I MUST mention is that Luke decided that tonight he was going to eat ALL of his broccoli. I honestly don't think he has touched broccoli in at least 2 months. We had chili tonight, so of course Luke did not eat what we had. He was given 2 baked chicken nuggets, roasted potatoes (I cut them thin and toss them in a tiny bit of olive oil and he thinks he's eating french fries!), broccoli, and a little shredded cheese (because we were having it with our chili). Well, he ate 1 chicken nugget, all of his potato and was nibbling on his cheese. I was cleaning up the table and said (as I always do) 'Luke, let's try some broccoli and finish your chicken, please' and walked into the kitchen. Well, R was on the phone with my dad and I was at the sink. R walked through and I asked him if Luke was finished, he said no. So, I walked back through the dining room and my little booger was chowing down on his broccoli! Of course I immediately looked at the floor, fully expecting to see it all there... but no! He had eaten ALL of it! I was just amazed! I know I went a little overboard with the praise. I mean, he shouldn't expect me to praise him so much just for eating veggies but I couldn't help myself! I was just too excited! As I said before, I never know what he is going to do. I'm praying this is a breakthrough though!


Today we sort of hit a milestone. Let me explain....
Luke is very regular.. if you know what I mean. Pretty much 15-30 minutes after he eats breakfast, it's time for a diaper change. Well, Luke had just eaten a yummy breakfast of blueberry waffle and banana. I was loading up some of his clothes in the washing machine and he was 'helping' me. All of a sudden he looked up at me and said, 'Poopoo'. He has said this before but it's usually during a diaper change, and he is usually repeating me. I thought, 'Wow, he is telling me that he pooped!' That in itself is something different than usual! So, I checked his diaper and it was clean. I waited a minute and all of a sudden I hear a grunt and look over to see that face. We all know that face! Sure enough, I checked him and it was definitly time to change his diaper. I cannot tell you how excited I was that Luke told me that he had to go poop! I had to call R and tell him! Now, I know he is no where near potty training but it's an exciting thing when your child can tell you he is about to poop. At least to a mommy it is!
You know your a mommy when the word 'poopoo' can make (or break) your day! :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

The continuing saga and a soup recipe....

I haven't posted a menu this week because... well, I haven't had to cook much! We had revival this week and were fed Sun-Wed by the church! Yay! So, last night I made the White Bean and Ham Soup and corn bread. We'll have leftovers tonight and tomorrow night we're going out to eat for my birthday. The white bean soup was so yummy. I'll post the recipe at the bottom. My mom gave it to me and I'm not really sure where she got it from. I also roasted some butternut squash yesterday and froze the puree. Until my son decides to eat veggies I will just have to hide them in muffins and pancakes! My mom gave me the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. A lot of the recipes look great, I only have one problem... Luke won't even eat the 'bad/no veggie' version of the foods.. so there is no way he would eat the hidden veggie version. For instance, there is a recipe for mac and cheese w/ pureed butternut squash. Well, Luke won't even eat regular mac and cheese. I can't hide veggies in meatballs for spaghetti because Luke won't eat spaghetti!! Oh well! I did try her french toast w/ hidden pumpkin puree and it was really good (to me). Luke ate about 3 bites and then started spitting it out. I actually think he liked it. And he might have actually eaten it if I wouldn't have been staring at him. I think he knows I want him to eat it.. so he doesn't. He's smarter than you think! I think the recipes for muffins and breads will work well for us though since Luke will eat anything in bread or muffin form. He definitely loves carbs like his mom! We did have one small step forward yesterday and that was that he ate celery.... raw! I was amazed. I was chopping some for the soup and he was begging for whatever I had. Usually (if it's something he can eat) I will offer him some and he will make a face and say 'no'. Well this time he took it.. and ate it... and kept coming back for more! And, although celery isn't very nutrient dense, at least it's a vegetable! I honestly never know what he's actually going to eat or refuse to eat. It's a guessing game everyday.

Here is the recipe for the soup. I made it a little different than my mom told me so this is my version and it was very good.

White Bean and Ham Soup

2 cans Great Northern Beans
1 c chicken broth (low sodium)
1 1/4 c water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 c smoked ham, chopped
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1 dried bay leaf
2 Tbs olive oil
black pepper

Over med. heat saute carrots, onions, and celery in olive oil for 5-10 min. While veggies are cooking drain one can of beans and pour into soup pot. Open the other can of beans and pour into a bowl, mash beans w/ fork or potato masher; pour into soup pot. Add broth, water, bay leaf, thyme and ham to pot and stir. Add veggies and season w/ black pepper to taste. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to low and let cook for 30 min to an hour. I think mine cooked for about 45 minutes covered; uncovered only for the last 10 minutes or so.

**My notes** My mom didn't drain her beans at all. I didn't want to add all of the sodium so I drained one can. My mom also used all water and no chicken broth. I had some left over from my chicken noodle soup, so I used that. Mom also didn't add thyme but I did a search online and lots of bean and ham soups added ground thyme so I added some to mine. I would recommend not adding any salt until the very end because the ham is going to give off a lot of salt. I didn't have to add any salt because of the salt in the beans and ham. I always use low sodium broth because you can always add more salt if you need to. Next time I may add some chopped garlic to the veggies. I made buttermilk cornbread to go with it. I added chopped green onions and shredded cheese to the cornbread batter and it was yummy! I can't for the life of me figure out why R doesn't like cornbread! It's crazy to me....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Healer of Broken Hearts

Yesterday I was reading (and today pondering) a verse out of Isaiah.

Isaiah 61:1~ “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me, To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;"

Think about why Jesus came... to preach good tidings... to heal the brokenhearted... to proclaim liberty to the captive... to set free those who are bound in prison! And let's remember this verse is in the Old Testament. There are beautiful pictures of Jesus Christ all throughout the entire OT books.

The part I've been focused on is 'He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted'. What a promise! Ultimately, everyone without Jesus is brokenhearted. Now, I am not one to say that Jesus is the missing puzzle piece to life or the icing on the cake of life. I just think that dishonors Him. Jesus is more than a piece of my life. He is my life. He is not just a good part of my day. He is my day. And I am so thankful that He came to heal my broken heart. Not only did He heal my sin-sick heart, He has healed many hurts and pains throughout my walk with Him. Like I have stated before, we will have troubles. We will have trials... but I am so thankful for Jesus, who was sent to heal my broken heart and yours. Yes, my husband can comfort me. Yes, my mom can give me advice. I can call a friend for support. But only He can bring true healing of the heart. I love the fact that I have security in Him. I honestly would not make it without Jesus Christ. I don't know how others do it. There are days when I may try doing it on my own.. but usually by the end of the day I am on my knees... pleading for Him to come to my rescue. I just can't live without Him. I am desperate for Him.

One evidence of being soundly saved is having a desire to know Him and to be with Him... to long for time with Him. Because once you find Jesus.. you cannot let go! He will change your life. And if you think you've met Him but haven't been dramatically, drastically, supernaturally changed... you haven't met Him at all. I am saddened by the many people I know who have no fruit, no evidence of Jesus Christ; but they claim otherwise.

2 Corinthians 13:5 says, 'Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.'

In reference to my previous post, what I love most is Jesus Christ. I love Him more every day. I want to steadfastly and earnestly seek and follow after Him. I'm thankful that I am not disqualified. He saved me. What a beautiful God....

26 years.... and lots of blessings..

Well in light of my 26th birthday yesterday I thought I would share with the world a few things that I love. I know it's something that everyone is just dying to know. :)

  • Dark Chocolate. Love it.

  • Edy's Yogurt Blends. 1/2 Yogurt, 1/2 Ice Cream. YUM!

  • Lemonade. Particularly, Country Time (the low sugar kind is yummy).

  • Fresh Pineapple. I can't hardly stand the canned stuff anymore.

  • Cook Books.

  • Scrapbooking Supplies. And scrapbooking time.. which is a rarity.

  • Bake ware & kitchen gadgets.

  • Beth Moore. Love her.

  • ana Jeans from JC Penny.

  • Veggie pizza from Papa's.

  • A movie at home and a bag of popcorn!
  • A clean house (which is also a rarity).
  • Comfortable, cute shoes.
  • The Food Network.
  • Mineral Makeup.

Now, of course I LOVE my husband and my son. Those are things that are a given! Other than my salvation & Jesus Christ they are the best blessings I have ever received. Of course if you read my previous post about my husband you know what I love about him. My son is my joy! He holds my heart. I just love him beyond words. I am blessed beyond measure.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pumpkin Painting!

Luke and I had a project this weekend. We picked out our pumpkins Friday and then Saturday night we painted them together. He had a blast. And even though he is a little freaked out when any kind of foreign matter gets on his hands he handled it well. He was definitely ready to wash it off when he was finished though. (I think he has inherited my germaphobic tendencies) Here's a pic of our finished product. Just wanted to share!

Can you tell which he did and which I did? I love his the most!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

3 years...

So, I promised more on the vacation I had with my hubby. (Well, not really on our actual vacation, just about our anniversary in general.) Even though our anniversary was 2 days ago I wanted to sit down and write out a few things about these past 3 years of marriage. Yes, we have been married 3 whole years (and 2 days!). Here are a few random things I love about my husband:

  • He is spontaneous. This is SO not me, but God definitely put me with R because He knew I needed some spontaneity in my life. Sometimes it's good to break the routine.

  • He is a great daddy. I love to see him with Luke... my 2 favorite men.

  • He's a BIG kid. Although sometimes this might annoy me ;)... I really do adore this about him.

  • He is passionate about God's calling on his life in youth ministry. He is dedicated to the youth he serves. He relates to them so well and it's evident that this is what he was called to do.
  • He loves Christ more than he loves me. I wouldn't have it any other way either. He can love me more at 2nd than he ever could at #1.
  • He is very outgoing. Another quality that is SO not me. I am reserved and quiet. R is the opposite!
  • He is hilarious. I really do love his sense of humor. We laugh a lot.. and that's good.

There's so much more I love about him but those are the first that come to mind. Like, I said we've been married 3 years. In these past 3 years we bought our first home, moved twice, R has held 4 jobs, went full time into the ministry, I quit work, and the best of all Luke was born. I hope that I can always look back and see what God has done in our lives. A life guided by God's hand is an amazing journey in itself but I am so blessed to walk through it with my best friend, my husband. We were listening to Paul Washer the other day together and Paul made a comment about how God places 2 people together not necessarily because they are soul mates, but ultimately because He (God) wants to grow us in the areas where we need it. I mean He knows us best. He knew that I needed R to be in my life.. to help me grow in areas that I am weak. He also knew that there would be things that R does that would drive me nuts... and that I would and will continue to need to learn patience and unconditional love. I guess what I'm saying is that not only do I love R so much just because but I know that God put us together because He knew that we would grow closer to Him together. That's what it's all about... growing closer to Him. To God be the Glory.. Forever and Ever!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

~YUM~ and my veggie-hating child!

This is long.. just a warning. I thought about dividing it into 2 posts but I can't seem to copy and paste it and I'm not re-writing it!

So my wonderful trip with my hubby (more on that later) kind of threw me off as far as menu planning and grocery shopping goes. We did all of our grocery shopping Monday night because if I waited until my normal Tues or Thurs shopping we would have starved to death! And on a side note, we went to Ingel's because I wanted to 'try' it out... mainly because when we were in Helen we had to sign up for a Ingel's card to rent a movie. Let me just say, I will stick to Publix. So, here is our menu for this week. Nothing too big & fancy but you can tell there is a slight chill in the air because I'm doing 2 soups! And since we're having soup which usually makes a lot I'm not planning as many meals. R will just have to eat leftovers!

White Bean and Ham Soup, Cornbread
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Baked Chicken and Potatoes w/ Green Beans
Spaghetti and Salad

We had spaghetti and salad last night and tonight was leftover/whatever-you-can-find night. Tomorrow I'm making the Bean and Ham Soup. It's a recipe from my mom.

I've been struggling the past few weeks with Luke and vegetables. I think I blogged about it before. He has totally decided to refuse EVERY kind of vegetable, unless it's a french fry. Now, I do not buy french fries (I don't even consider them a vegetable) so he only gets them if we go out to eat. I've read articles on picky eaters and ways to help your toddler eat their veggies. Most of them says to keep giving the veggie to them and they will eventually like the food, going on to say that it may take 10 or more tries before they decide they like it. This is all said assuming that the child is at least tasting the food. Luke will not even touch a vegetable (with the exception of peas... he likes to smush them!) much less taste one! I don't really understand it all either.. because just 2 months ago he was gobbling down broccoli, cauliflower and green peas. He would eat the occasional carrot or baby corn on a good day. Well, I found an exception. In my attempt to get my child to eat veggies I decided to do a search for muffins... zucchini muffins to be exact. I found a good looking recipe, made it healthy and baked up a batch while Luke napped. I had one.. and it wasn't the best thing (or worst thing) I have eaten. It's healthy.. so you know?! Luckily, Luke doesn't get many sweets so he has no idea how sweet things are really suppose to taste. He ate 2 muffins after his nap! I was thrilled to finally get some veggies in him! Next time I'm making carrot/apple muffins. I might even try to find a way to sneak broccoli or spinach in them! Just to give you an idea here is what Luke was offered today:

Breakfast- Juice (half water/half juice), WW pancake, cut up pear
Snack- Gerber Cereal Bar, water
Lunch- 2 baked chicken nuggets, green peas, 1/2 slice of WW toast w/ unsalted butter, 1/2 slice cheddar cheese, milk
Snack- zucchini muffin, water
Supper- Egg and cheese omelet, halved grape tomatoes, 1/2 piece of toast w/ unsalted butter, 1/2 c diced fresh pineapple, milk

(**WW means whole wheat)

Here is what he actually ate:

B'fast- Juice, pancake, 3/4 pear (he always does good with breakfast!)
Snack- cereal bar, water
Lunch- maybe 1 chicken nugget, 1/2 slice of toast, cheese, milk
Snack- 2 zucchini muffins (I normally don't give him so much for a snack.. but since they are good for him!), water
Supper- a few pieces of toast and maybe half of his pineapple chunks, milk

Today was actually a pretty good day. As you can see he loves fruit... minus tomatoes. I usually offer him veggies at dinner but didn't tonight since it was a rushed night after church. And he is always offered what we are having. For instance, last night we had spaghetti. I offered him noodles with no sauce (just cheese) and he did try one.. but that was the only one.
If any wise mom's out there have any suggestions I would love them. I just keep offering the veggies praying that he will actually start eating them again. It's just a phase, right?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I wanna be in the light as You are in the light...

... So I realize my post yesterday was kind of randomly started. I'd like to explain where posts like that comes from. Often throughout my day my thoughts are filled with those people that I love.. that are lost, without hope of eternity in heaven. Family members, old friends, new friends, people I go to church with, people I have only met once or twice, even people I see but don't know. I pray for them, especially those I know because I can call out their name to the Father. It's just a heavy burden on my heart... a burden God put there. All Christians will have a burden for the lost. Charles Spurgeon said, "Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that."
A prayer that I often pray for those that I know are lost is this verse:

Ephesians 5:14-
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Those who are lost are dead. Dead in their sin. When Christ's light shines on those who are walking in darkness their sin is exposed. (Ephesians 5:11-13~ 'And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.') I believe that praying Scripture is Biblical and powerful. God's Word is life.. so let us pray life giving Words for those who are dead in their sin!

Psalm 119:129-130~ Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pigs and slop buckets..

Oh, there are always so many things on my mind. So much to say and so little time to say it in.

~Who goes to hell? Those who have broken God's law. (Exodus Chapter 20) Um.. and that would be everyone... with one exception.. read on for it...

~Why must God send people to hell? Because all humans have broken His law. God is a just and right God. (The fact that He is Almighty God is good enough for me!) Think about it this way.... if I committed a crime, say murder, and I stood before the judge and pleaded with him, saying it was my first and only offense and that I would never do it again... Would this judge be a just and right judge if he let me go free? Of course not... it would be an outrage! God being just and righteous can not do that with us for breaking His law. He has every right to send every human being to the pits of hell.

We (the human race) are not good! We are not the slightest bit good! We are evil to the very core! The standard we are put up against is Jesus Christ... God's Son... God in the flesh. Perfect and holy. How can we even think for a second that we are good? But, unfortunately (and assuredly) most people think they are good. Why? Pride (sin). Morality has nothing to do with it. An upright moral life can't hold a candle to the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. A person can be the most good and moral person but end up in hell for eternity because they missed it.
Most are quick to point out others flaws but find it hard to admit their own. Another point is just that sin is not looked at as a bad thing anymore. The world (and church) has been desensitized to sin. It's no big deal.

Lost people do not see the need for a Savior... because they do not think they are lost.

So, our jobs as Christians is to help others see their need for a Savior. Point them to the law. Let them see how they have broken the law and their destiny is hell for an eternity.

~Who goes to heaven? Those who have realized their sin problem.. that they have broken God's law. They are genuinly remorseful and convicted over their sin. God deals with them. A person must be broken over their sin when they come to Christ. Not only are they convicted & broken but they repent. They turn from their sin and put on the person of Jesus Christ. They put their faith and trust in Him for their eternal salvation.
Most people just think it's that last sentence... trust... but it's much more.
From that day on that person will be different... act different.. even look different. When the Holy Spirit of God enters you, you are NEVER the same! NEVER!! Can you mess up? Of course. Will you mess up? Of course! But you will not wallow in sin like a pig does in slop! What kind of parent would God be if He allowed His child to wallow in slop (sin). God watches over His children. So, if a person falls into the slop bucket and decides to stay their for a while... well, I might be wondering who their father really is....
More on this tomorrow. I'm beat....

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Am ~ Online Bible Study (Lesson 4)

I just started reading an online Bible study by The Preachers Wife and here are the discussion questions.

1. I am going to present to you a little acrostic to begin our discussion today. What is your latest NLIP? (Not Like I Planned?) Just getting back from a wonderful weekend with my hubby.. nothing comes to mind.. but just give me a few day's of 'back to normal' and I shall have a NLIP day, I'm sure! I'll just speak in general.....

2. How did you react to your NLIP? Are you still upset about it? Happy about it? Baffled by it? Explain. My normal reaction to a NLIP day is frustration.. which turns into snippy remarks to my husband usual. (just being honest!) Why do we so often take our frustrations out on those we love so much? Maybe just because he's there... and it's easy.. but oh how wrong it is! Ouch.

3. Have you ever attempted to step into an area of ministry and found your desire rejected? Did this cause you to question God and yourself? Perhaps distrust what you perceived to be your calling? Honestly, this has never happened to me. I am typically soft spoken and more of a 'behind the scenes' kind of gal. If anything it is ME that tends to cause doubt in MYSELF, when it comes to ministry. I have to remember that if God does the calling.. He also does the equipping!

4. Based on Moses' response of faith to his own rejection, how will you re-evaluate your own experiences or look at future ones differently if a NLIP presents itself? I love looking at Hebrews 11! I think just reading those who God called... and used is such encouragement (and, of course, Moses is included in that too!). They were normal people who had faith in an awesome God! And the most important thing to always remember is that it is HE who completes these works when others may say it's impossible, it is He who we rest in when things do not go as planned... Our faith is in a God who is faithful!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Molars... UGH!

I HATE molars! Right now we have 3 pesky, giant molars trying to make their way through Luke's gums! 3... at the same time! They have ALL 3 been coming in for about a week and a half now. ALL at different rates so of course one is hurting him at all times. How do I know they are hurting him since he can't really tell me, you ask? Well, first off, is the obvious drip of drool that is constantly hanging from his mouth. 2nd is that he will occasionally tug his ear or hit the side of his cheek with his fist... or even bite his cheeks.. or chew on his fingers. And lets not forget the most recent: snotty nose. But aside from the physically apparent signs..... He is SO cranky! Everything is 'Uhhhhhhh' also accompanied by the repetitive "Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh.....' Sometimes I want to pull my hair out... seriously. On the brighter side, maybe it's better that they are all coming in at once. Surely it would be more drawn out if they were coming in at separate times. I know it must hurt... it definitely looks like it hurts. I mean these are giant, adult teeth trying to squeeze and work their way through my baby's gums. Bless his heart! (and mine too!)....

OK, I feel better.... just had to rant a minute.... :)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Busy weekend.. and *YUM* menu

We have had a busy weekend! I actually can't wait until tomorrow so that I can just spend a day at home! I love getting out and doing things but sometimes it's nice to be home too! Friday we took Luke to the Zoo for the first time. He had a great time. The weather was nice... just a little humid. Luke recognized a lot of the animals too. Saturday we went and had lunch with some of R's family. We had a good time visiting and Luke enjoyed running around and being a boy! Yesterday afternoon I spent cooking and cleaning for family to come in today. Then, this morning at church we had baby dedication. And although Luke is 16 months old (Ahh.. is he really that old??) he has never been a part of a baby dedication.
Just to be clear about a baby dedication, here is what it's about: A baby dedication is where the pastor recognizes the baby & the baby's parents. It's a charge to the parents to bring their child up in a God-fearing, Christian home. Luke was presented with a blue New Testament and a certificate. The pastor spoke for a minute about the greatest responsibility a parent has- raising their child! We were all prayed over and that was it. Our desire as Luke's parents is to raise him to know who Jesus is... what He did... and why He did it! We want Luke to know what real faith is... nothing watered down. It's our responsibility as parents to help him learn these things. So, that's basically what a baby dedication is all about.
Anyways, after church we had lunch with my parents and R's mom and step dad and grandparents. Luke got a few gifts and had a blast being the center of attention (just like his daddy!) even though he seems to be getting a cold. BTW, he did great up in front of the church. He had a moment or 2 where he wanted to get down but he really did pretty good! I was kind of worried because usually the only time he's in the sanctuary is after the service where he can kind of run around and play!

So because of the busy weekend I did not have time to post our weekly menu. Here it is (plus a recipe from last weeks menu):

Mexican Tortilla Pie, salad
Hurry Up Chicken Pot Pie*
Chicken Noodle Soup, corn muffins
Meatloaf, green beans, mashed potatoes
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Last weeks menu had 'Golden Chicken w/ Noodles (crockpot)' recipe from a Campbell's cookbook. Well, I had intended on making it Thursday but my chicken didn't thaw out in time to get it in the crockpot... anyways to make a long story short I made it Friday night in the oven. I changed the recipe a lot and it was so yummy. R even said it was good... And cleaned his plate.. and he doesn't do that often. He's so picky and finiky!!! Anyways, here is my new recipe:

Baked Chicken w/ Carrots and Peas

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 onion chopped
3/4 c carrots chopped (I used baby carrots)
3/4 c frozen peas
1 clove of garlic chopped (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 can, 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1/4 c water
The juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1/2 Tbs dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound of egg noodles, cooked

Preheat oven to 425. Heat 1 TBS butter and 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil in skillet on med heat. Add onions, garlic (if you're using garlic powder add it in with the soup) and carrots and let cook for aprox. 10 min to soften. Meanwhile, season chicken breast w/ salt and pepper. Heat a small amt of oil in large skillet on med high heat. Add chicken and sear meat on both sides (about 5 minutes on each side. While chicken and carrot mixture is cooking, in a seperate bowl, mix together soup, water, lemon juice, and dijon mustard (S & P to taste). Reduce the heat down to med-low and add soup mixture to the carrots and onions and stir. Bring the soup mix up to a bubble and then turn off heat. Stir in frozen peas and arrange chicken in pan. Cook covered in the oven for about 15 minutes and unovered for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. The last 5-10 minutes of cooking time should be uncovered for sauce to thicken. If your skillet is not oven proof you can easily put this into a baking dish. While chicken is baking, boil egg noodles. Serve chicken, veggies and sauce over egg noodles.
So yummy and can easily be doubled!! We had this with a side salad. I usually only cook just enough for the 3 of us with maybe one leftover for lunch the next day because I'm the only one who really eats leftovers! I hate to waste!
Some notes: I don't use a lot of butter to cook but sometimes a little is ok. I always use real butter, usually unsalted... no margerine for me! I mean really, what is margerine?? I'd much rather eat something a little fatty than something that I'm not even sure what it is! I read somewhere that margerine is just a few molecules away from being plastic! YUCK! When you mix the butter w/ olive oil, it doesn't burn as easily as it would on it's own in a hot pan.

Not sure why I rambled on today... :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bunnies and Butterflies... and an ugly, nasty plague

I'm super tired but I did want to post a little about today. First I want to say that the interesting thing that happened today was that I found the telephone under the sink in my bathroom..... wonder who put it there??

Today I was reading in my Breaking Free book (Beth Moore) and the whole chapter was on prayerlessness. It's tying God's peace w/ prayer. I mean how can you have peace without prayer? Probably my most favorite scripture (and one that I recite often) is Phil. 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guards your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
How often do we do everything but pray? I am so guilty of this. I will be thinking of a friend who desperately needs Jesus. I'll be thinking of that person's life and how it needs to change.. 'they' should do this and 'they' should do that... and then the Holy Spirit will say... 'Um... have you thought about praying for them??' I mean, hello!! And in another instance... when we have a problem and we're eager to read scripture, talk to godly people for advice, go to church.. none of which is bad... but if we haven't prayed, what good is it all?
Life is a big deal... there's some bad stuff out there... After all we aren't promised a perfect, elaborate life filled with bunnies and butterflies (as some out there seem to preach). There WILL be trials and tribulations... if anything that is promised (1 Peter 1:6; James 1:2)! But God has also promised us His peace.
How do we get that peace? We will gain our strength through Him, the one we walk and talk continually with.
Prayer takes discipline.. it's hard work. And I'm talking about prayer with substance.. no "God is great, God is good" kind of thing (by the way... R and I have decided NOT to teach our child(ren) those prayers. I'd rather them use their own words.... but that's another blog...) One of the hardest things for me to do is to pray and not loose my train of thought. I often pray out loud when I'm doing my main prayer time... Luke is asleep, R is at work so I can pray out loud. It helps me stay focused. My prayer life is a constant work in progress... there is so much work to be done!
One important thing about prayer and then I'm off to bed. If you've never been soundly saved and had a life changing
experience with Christ then the only prayer you can pray is one of repentance... A cry out to the Father for salvation and forgiveness... A lost person can't even pray for their children if they were to be hurt... their parents if they were to get cancer... their spouse if they were to lose their job. They may attempt to pray... but God doesn't hear their prayers. Sin separates us from God. Isaiah 59:1-2 says 'Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.' Sadly, most people think they are ok though.... because good people go to heaven, right? Wrong... Matthew 19:17 says 'No one is good but One, that is, God..' We can't measure up to a perfect Holy God... we never will. His standard is perfection and we are FAR from it. Ugly, nasty sin plagues us all. But praise God for the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He bore the sins of the world... the perfect, spotless Son of God bore my sins.... I will never get over that..

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

To do:

R kids me a lot about making lists. I am a big list maker.... granted there have been numerous times that I have left the house for the grocery store to find myself without a list when I pull into the parking lot. Many times I make a list and then never see it again. I think sometimes it just helps to write it down... whether or not I ever look at the list again! Writing helps us remember things.... which is one of the reasons I like to take notes during church/Bible studies. I have a book that I keep at home that I make a daily list in, I write down important things to remember, things that need to be done. Many times at the end of the day I realize that I have done much more than what I had written down. And then there are the days when I hardly make a dent in my list at all. Sometimes life is just more important than a list. Here is my list for today. I'd love to get to a point where my 'cleaning' was more scheduled. I think it would help keep the house cleaner.

Wash/dry/fold towels- X
Wash/dry/fold Luke's clothes-
De-clutter (mail/papers/notes/junk) counter tops in kitchen-
Work on bathroom floor- X
Work on next weeks menu-X
Email about Sunday-X
Load dishes from dinner- X
Pay online bills- X
Sweep kitchen floor-
Wipe down mirrors and counters in bathrooms-

Making lists does not make you organized. If it did.... I would be organized and I am definitely not. It does, however, make me feel a little less chaotic.

I will come back and edit what I have gotten done later. It's definitely time for us (Luke and I) to get out of the house. He needs to run off some energy! Ahhhhh!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Weekend wisdom...

God is a Holy and mighty God. He is all powerful, all knowing, all sufficient... supreme, wonderful, gracious, giving, merciful, eternal, most high.... He deserves to be praised and revered... honored and served... glorified and magnified.

There has been one theme in my life lately. God is God and He is worthy of my praise. His Word is Holy and everything I need. This weekend echoed that..

From Daniel, chapter 5, I learned that whether we acknowledge God or not He is still sovereign and all mighty. He deserves to be revered and honored. For those that are lost, this means that although you do not know God, He is still in control of your eternity. And because He is just and righteous, that means judgement and an eternity in hell. (for a pop quiz~Are you saved? go
here) For those of us who do know God we should be in awe of Him. Every thing we do should be done to bring glory to the Father. When we do not do this a few things happen: we hinder the work He wants to do in our lives, we hinder the work that He wants to do through us in others' lives, & we ultimately bring glory to ourselves instead of Him (pride.. I mean if He's not getting the glory, who is?). Let us remember, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Proverbs 3:34. I want to always remember that I am nothing... and He is everything.

Along the same lines we should revere God's Holy Word. How I love His Word! But how often do I read through it and walk away... not having the slightest clue at what I read. Come on Crystal, this is God's Word! Listen to it!! It really is a daily struggle. We have to fight with our flesh. The reward is so great though. God's Word is life. In order to hear from God's Word we must listen... focus solely on it. Our heart must also be right to hear from God. Now, I know very well that God's Word reveals filth in our (MY) life... and we should heed the correction. But we must also prepare our hearts to hear that correction... having an open heart ready for change... we have to have that desire. A desire to change comes from a heart that is humble. James 4:10 says, 'Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.' Today in Breaking Free (Beth Moore) I read, "We choose to humble ourselves by submitting to His greatness every day."

Ps 96:4a- "For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised!"

Muffins, flaxseed and yummy casserole!

I made more muffins today! I think they are becoming a staple in our home. At least they are healthy and homemade! So, I used the same recipe that I posted before but made some alterations. Here are the changes for Strawberry Banana Muffins:

  • 1 c of frozen strawberries (chopped) + 1 mashed banana instead of 1 & 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBS milled flaxseed

Of course you can add the milled flaxseed to the blueberry recipe (and the vanilla as well). I've actually been trying to remember to add a few TBS of milled flaxseed to all of my baked goods just because it's so good for you. Here is a good article on milled flaxseed. I use Hodgson Mill Milled Flaxseed.

Friday night I made Baked Fusilli (Rigate) w/ Italian Sausage. I also made some alterations in that recipe (which I do a lot because.. well, because I can). It was really yummy. I'll make 2 changes the next time I make the recipe. Here is the original recipe out of Cooking with Paula Deen July/August 2007 issue:

Baked Fusilli w. Italian Sausage
1 pound hot Italian Sausage sliced 1/4 in thick
2 TBS butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, chopped
1 (8oz) package fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (32 oz) can spaghetti sauce
2 lg eggs
1 (14.5 oz) can diced Italian tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 pound fusilli pasta, cooked/drained
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 4-quart casserole dish. In a medium skillet over medium low heat cook sausage until well done. Remove from pan and set aside. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms and black olives and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and eggs. Stir in diced tomatoes, salt, basil, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Layer half of pasta, half of mushroom mixture, half of sauce mixture, and half of cheese into prepared casserole dish. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Ok, I copied the recipe exactly from the magazine. If you will notice it doesn't say what to do with the sausage after you cook it and set it aside. I just put a layer of sausage after the mushroom mixture. Next time I make it I will probably mix in the sausage w/ the mushroom mixture. I'm sure it was a typo in the magazine. I also used extra virgin olive oil instead of the butter and used half mozzarella and half cheddar cheese. I just thought it would taste better to add some cheddar. It was really good. Next time I'll do 2 things differently:

  1. Make in 2 separate containers so I can freeze one. This makes A LOT!!! I didn't have room in my 13x9 in dish (which is only 3 quarts). I had sauce and noodles left over that I just couldn't pack in there. Next time I will probably make it in 2 smaller baking dishes and freeze one for the next week.
  2. Use crumbled sausage instead of sliced. It won't effect the taste but I think I will like it better w/ smaller crumbles of sausage instead of larger slices.

I'm a big fan of quick meals and this one was a little time consuming. It was definitely worth it though and I will make it again. With a little one at my feet it's hard to do anything that takes more than 15 or 20 minutes at the counter/stove. I have to do things in stages. Sometimes I chop my veggies while Luke naps and store them in the fridge. I do this a lot so that when it's time to cook I can just throw them in the pan.