Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday's Mothering Moment

Week 4 of the Deceptively Delicious Challenge!
The Testers for this week: The Beach Family

I met Autumn this year through MOPS and have so enjoyed getting to know her (she is so fun to be around). We both have two year old boys, so we have a lot in common!

Recipe: Quesadillas

Ease of Recipe: I will give this recipe a 3. I found the prep work to be somewhat involved – cooking the chicken and pureeing the butternut squash. Lots of clean-up, too. But once the prep work was finished, this recipe zipped right along! You basically just make a tortilla sandwich and bake for five or six minutes. Also, this was my first experience with pureeing! I found it quite enjoyable, as did my two helpers. Who knew pureeing was fun for the whole family?

Child Rating: I would say my two-year-old son would rate the quesadillas a 1. He hustled to the table eager to try mommy’s experiment. Picked one right up and took a big bite. However, his enthusiasm ended at that. No other bites were taken, and when I asked him if he liked it, his response was “no”. But at least it looked good enough to try that first bite!

Adult Rating: My hubby gave this dish a 2. I, unfortunately, have to agree. However, add some salsa, and the quesadillas are muchos better. I would even bump them up to a 3.

Additional Comments: Keep in mind, I live with two of the world’s pickiest eaters. So, other children/husbands may enjoy the quesadillas. I didn’t think they were too bad considering butternut squash and navy beans were involved.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Issues, Issues, Issues!

In week three, day 3 of Me, Myself, and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild we are looking at "Speaking Truth to Your Issues!" We are looking at the circumstances of the woman in Mark 5:25. Who is that woman you may ask...well we do not even know her name, but we can learn a lot from her thought closet, because it was full of wisdom.

One thing that all of us have in common on this earth is that we all have issues. Issues like illness, financial troubles, insecurities, relationship conflict, fear, and sadness. Our thought closets are filled with a lot of tricky things. As we look at the woman in Mark 5 we see that "this woman had a single, insurmountable issue, and she had endured it for 12 long years. It had challenged her physically, strained her emotionally, drained her financially, and ostracized her socially."

She had been dealing with the same issue for 12 years. I'm sure some of you can relate to her as you may have endured or have been in the middle of a particular issue for many years. Take heart, daughter of God, and lets look at what this issue laden woman did in Mark 5:27-28. "When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well." She practiced some soul talk. "She encouraged, counseled, and advised her soul. Her wise words prompted her action. With that brush of homespun cloth across her fingertips, her great need ran head-on into His limitless provision. In that instant, her courage met His compassion; Her hope met His holiness."

We see in verse 29 that the blood was dried up and she was healed of her affliction. "The most important thing isn't that she talked to herself. It's what she told herself that matters. She didn't mouth a bunch of happy talk of feel-good phrases." The key is that "she spoke words of wisdom and truth to her soul. Wise soul talk helps us overcome our issues."

What brought her healing you may ask; Mark 5:30-34 holds the answer. Jesus told her that her faith had made her well. Rothschild remarks, "Jesus never said her soul talk made her well. He said it was her faith. Her faith invited healing. Her soul talk contributed to her faith, but it didn't replace her faith. She spoke truth to her soul in the same way you and I need to speak truth to our souls. By faith we receive truth. By faith we believe truth. And by faith we act on truth." It is important to remember that "soul talk can never substitute for faith. The woman could never have talked herself into healing--not in a hundred years. But she did talk herself into seeking Jesus, and that was what she needed. Soul talk is faith's companion, not its replacement."

This days ends with a story,

"Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a desperately unhappy woman who talked to herself.
She might have said any number of things. She might have told herself to cheer up, to walk on the sunny side of the street, to whistle while she worked, or to simply accept her lot in life. She might even have told herself that her problems were illusions; she was really healthy and whole.
But those aren't the sort of things she said when she spoke to her soul. What she did say led her to an act of faith more daring than anything she could have imagined. When this woman talked to herself, it initiated an encounter that brought immediate healing to her body and soul. It was all because of what she had in her thought closet during one of the most important conversations of her life. She told herself the truth, and that led her straight to Jesus. May you be that woman."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Give This Christmas Away" Music Video Amy Grant and Matthew West -VeggieTales Bonus Song

I am always so excited when it is time for Operation Christmas Child. It is such a great organization. I have participated several times and just love going to shop for what I am going to put in my shoe box. We are so blessed and receive so much, it feels great to give especially to kids who this may be the only present they receive. Last year Max and I helped get all the donated boxes boxed up. It was a great way to start showing Max even at 18 months how to give back to others and serve. Get involved, you won't be sorry! Here is the link to Samaritan's Purse. You can find a drop off location near you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Rich Home

By Sharon Glasglow

"Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions." I Kings 10:1 (NKJ)

The Queen of Sheba was rich and beautiful. She had everything a queen could want - gold, silver, ivory, precious jewels and servants taking care of her every need in the palace. What more could a woman want?

She heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the Name of the Lord. Even though her people had many gods to worship, none penetrated her heart as the name of the Lord God of Israel. Her heart was so moved by His name that she decided to take a 1,400 mile trip across the desert sands of Arabia to visit this man who knew this God personally.

The trip would take her approximately six months each way with camels being able to travel around 20 miles a day. She took a great caravan of servants, loads of spices, gold and unusual wood to give as gifts. Her heart and soul longed for riches that she did not have, and she sensed they would be discovered through Solomon. Finally, she arrived. It was the grandest palace she had ever laid eyes on. But her purpose wasn't to see the most beautiful archeological place ever built, it was to find a secret treasure.

The secret entrance to the wisdom of the One and only God of the Universe would be worth a year of travel. She talked to Solomon for hours, asking him deep questions about God. She was exhausted, but satisfied by his answers. She found what she had longed for and she said, "Blessed be the Name of Lord."

Jesus mentions the Queen of Sheba in Matthew 12:42. He honors her desire for His wisdom. The Queen of Sheba took great pains and trouble to find wisdom, yet the wisdom available to her at that time was the lesser wisdom of a man. The wisdom we have access to through Jesus far out shines that of Solomon. If the Queen of Sheba would travel six months to find truth, how much more should we search for wisdom by opening our hearts to Him who freely gives wisdom, truth and the secrets of His heart?

When people travel to our home it is not the seasonal decor or the cleanliness that will ultimately impress our visitors. It is not the perfectly sculpted yard or the new car in the garage. It's the pearl of spiritual insight that they will be drawn to through the Holy Spirit living through you. They will be full and satisfied when they have departed, and the richness of the visit will live on forever when you impart to them the riches God has placed in your heart.

Your home is where your heart is. Ask God for wisdom. Spend time getting to know Him and you will not only be spiritually rich, but those who enter your home will find treasures that people have traveled the whole earth in search of.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Thought Closet Recap

Wow! Our first week of Bible study really packed a punch! The introduction video to Me, Myself, and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild held so much good information for all of us as we begin our journey to cleaning out our thought closets!

Women have an inner dialogue of 150-300 words per minute. This totals 41,000 to 51,000 thoughts per day. Now, most of these are harmless thoughts like, "Don't forget to get milk at the grocery store." However, we have to be careful of the damaging things we tell ourselves because if you do not control your thoughts, your thoughts will control you. We must monitor what we tell ourselves!

We learned that our thought closets are divided into these six areas:
Cares and Concerns-our responsibilities (as a mom, daughter, and wife), worries, thoughts are we doing a good job?
Likes and Dislikes-who we are, preferences, what we like and don't like to do
Objectives and Goals-dreamy plans, travel, house
Secrets-What we really think about certain things, secrets we have kept inside
Eternity-designed for eternity, eternal matters
Treasures-reflect where your heart is

When looking at which of the closet sections gives me the most problems I realized that I need to place more of God and less of me in my thought closet.

Jennifer also said that our thoughts lead to our destiny. This is why it is so important to have good and true thoughts! We learned that...if you sow a thought, your reap an action, if you sow an action you reap a habit, if you sow a habit, you reap character, if you sow character you reap a destiny! You can trace your destiny back to your thoughts. What is in our thought closets is what we clothe ourselves with.

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my redeemer." Psalm 19:14 KJV

Up this week: "What's In Your Thought Closet?"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday's Mothering Moment

Week 3 for the Deceptively Delicious Challenge!
The Testers for Week 2: The Grisier Family
Jana is a great friend of mine. Her two beautiful daughters Jaylen and Emmie are pictured above as they help Jana cook!

Recipe: Scrambled Eggs

Ease of Recipe: 4 – I wouldn’t give any of these recipes a 5 for being easy, because making the purees does take some extra effort.

Adult Rating: 4, They are pretty good and healthier than my usual way of making scrambled eggs.

Child Rating:
5, Both of my picky toddlers eat them happily.

Additional Comments: Cauliflower seams to be one of the easiest purees to make and can be hidden in any meal easily. I am likely to continue making eggs with both the white and yolk as old habits die hard.

Recipe: Banana Bread (our favorite recipe in this book!)

Ease of Recipe: 4

Adult Rating: 5 - I think this tastes best when it is a day or two old instead of fresh out of the oven.

Child Rating: 5 – They think of it as a dessert.

Additional Comments: This recipe always takes longer to cook in our oven than the 60 minutes suggested. It is a long time for a kid to wait! If you make this banana bread, you have to add the streusel topping. It is so good!

Recipe: Spaghetti Pie

Ease of Recipe: 3 – It has a lot of steps and is time consuming.

Adult Rating: 1 – It was runny and looked nothing like the picture in the cook book. I tried to cook it longer to dry it out with no success.

Child Rating: 3 – Emmie (2 yrs) ate it gladly, but Jaylen (3 yrs) wouldn’t even consider eating a meatball.

Additional Comments: After having so much trouble with my runny Spaghetti Pie, I did some research online to find out that other people were also having this problem. In the future I would just add any vegetable puree I have on hand to our regular spaghetti sauce.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just a Little Update

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

God is amazing. That is all I have to say. I went to MOPS on Thursday morning before departing on my 2 1/2 days away from my little boy for the first time. The segment at MOPS "God Word For a Mom's Heart" was written especially for me that day, unbeknownst to the speaker/writer. But, that is exactly how God works, isn't it. Dropping the right word in your lap at exactly the right moment. Sandy, our speaker, was talking about letting go of your children, and how the process starts right from when your children are born. I had never thought of it that way. You are beginning to let go from the moment that you let someone other than you or your husband hold your baby. Then leaving your child with a sitter for the first time, leaving them overnight, dropping them off at preschool, and on and on. It happens in small little steps. Sandy said, "We need to hold on to our children tight, but not too tight, always remembering that they belong to God."

That was exactly what a needed to hear before departing for my weekend away. The Lord sent me a little word, a word that brought me so much peace. The weekend went extremely well. My little guy did great, and we had a great time away. It was fun to come home to my little boy running full speed into my arms and holding me tight. Thank you God for our children, for they are a gift from you. I pray that we seek to honor you in our parenting everyday, knowing that our precious babies belong to You!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Peace Like a River!

I have to do something very hard today. I have to leave my two year old overnight for the first time ever. I am praying for God's peace today. This verse will be at the forefront of my mind for the next few days.

For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.

13 As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."

Isaiah 66:12-13

I am so thankful that the Lord is our Comforter! I am praying for God's peace for you all today!