Friday, September 9, 2011

It's been awhile

It's been a long while in fact. I guess I haven't had the motivation to write. there has been plenty to write about since I am so busy I can barely see straight, but I just didn't feel like writing.

Last weekend I went to a retreat with some old friends and made some new friends and will be bonded to these particular people forever. We share a special experience that no one can understand unless you have actually been through it, called AIM (Adventures in Missions). Anyway, the retreat wasn't really about AIM. In fact, I don't think we ever even talked about it unless we were on breaks and just reminiscing or trying to catch up with each other or about other people we know. The theme of this year's retreat was By His Wounds, My World is Right Side Up. We talked a lot about wounds: how we got them, how they have shaped our lives, and how they define us. We also talked a lot about Satan's attacks. What was very, very interesting was how just about all of our wounds could be boiled down to ONE KIND OF ATTACK. It might have been different for everyone in the room, but Satan is efficient. He just has to use one kind of arrow on me: I feel unworthy of love. That's what it all comes down to. He just hits me with that arrow over and over and over. You aren't pretty enough for people to like you. You aren't smart enough to do this new job. You aren't worthy of love from Christians, b/c they are better than you.

But the fact is, no matter what the worst thing Satan makes me think about myself, it doesn't come close to the truth of how bad I really am. I killed Jesus. I killed the Son of God. It doesn't get worse than that!!!! Here's the really good news, though. Jesus died FOR ME! So when Satan occasionally tries to attack my pride and pump me up, there is no way he can really touch how great I truly am. GOD SENT HIS SON FOR ME!! Someone shared with me yesterday that in Eph. 1:7-8 God tells us that he didn't naively give us grace. He KNOWS me and my faults and He STILL sent his son for me. And Jesus gave up his life for me!!

I started reading the Psalms this week and journaling. That's a big deal for me, so that's a God thing. Anyway, I was reading Psalm 17 and David talks about how he knows that God will show him the path of life. (I'm honestly not sure if he means the path in life he was supposed to follow or the path to eternal life, but I just tried to go with what was running around in my head, so go with me, won't you? ;) ) I started thinking about why I won't let God lead my life.
Why do I need to hold so tightly to my own reins? Because I am afraid.
What am I afraid of? I'm afraid of letting other people down.
Why am I afraid of letting people down? Because if I fail them, they might not love me or like me anymore.
REALLY??!!! So I am afraid to let God lead my life because people might not like me anymore? How does that even make sense?? It doesn't. And that's the point. Satan is so crafty that he has convinced me (and I have let him, in all honesty) that I have to take control of my life so that I can feel worthy. YIKES!!!!

So now what? I don't know the answer. But I know that being aware of my wounds helps me avoid making them bigger. Please pray for me as I continue to discover what God wants for my life and then to actually let go and let Him lead me.

I am a child of God. Jesus died for me. God loves me unconditionally. (I say this to myself many, many times a day to remind me that Satan's definition of me is just not true.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Yesterday I had what my friend, Bill, calls a "holy hunch." After I dropped Taylor off at school, I just felt compelled NOT to go home. I didn't really know where to go or what to do, but just started driving and ended up at Sunset (the congregation where we attend). I didn't know what I was doing there, but got out and went inside and thought maybe I would just find a quiet place to be still and just be. Bill's wife, Betty, is the Dean of Women for the Sunset International Bible Institute and her office is very close to the entrance I went in. I poked my head in her office just to say hi. I didn't plan to stay long or have a deep conversation. I just wanted to give her a hug. But we got to talking. We both shed some tears that we needed to shed and we both got some encouragement that we needed. Betty has been one of the most influential people in my life, along with Bill, and to be able to be a shoulder for her for just a little bit was the least I could do and I got so much back in return. Satan is working hard on some close friends of mine, but God is working, too! It was good to be reminded of that. We talked about love: love that we have for our kids, for our friends, for our God. We talked about struggles that we share and how we could help each other in this journey here on earth. We talked about heaven and how wonderful it will be when we leave all the strife and hurt and sin behind.

The preaching team at Sunset has been doing an incredible series on I Thessalonians. A couple of weeks ago, Monty preached about the excitement we should feel when we think about being called up to heaven. I don't know about how you view the "end of days" but I have always kind of been scared of the end of the world. I know that as a Christian I am supposed to be looking forward to Jesus' second coming. And part of me was. I want to go to heaven, but I wasn't sure I was ready to leave the earth. What about my kids? What about the lost? What about.... But Monty said two things that really clicked with me. 1) In heaven, Satan will not be there and all the things that he has done to me and done to my friends and family will not exist there. 2) We will be in eternal love.

Wow, what a concept! I have struggled with not feeling loved because of the lies that Satan tells me and the way he has used people in my life to manipulate me and hurt me. I can give you specific examples, but this is a public blog and I'm not willing to hurt those people by calling them out. But there are very specific times in my life when I have felt horribly unloved and alone. Heaven will be a place where I will be eternally loved. Oh what comfort and joy and HOPE that brings me! I can tell you that over the past 4 or 5 weeks my entire paradigm about going to heaven has changed. I am ready to go when the Lord is ready to come get me. I will live my life here on this earth as well as I can and to the glory of Him, but I long for Him to call me up. I will shed this mortal body and all its weaknesses and be with my Savior and my Father! Does it get anymore hopeful than that??!!! I don't think so!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Feeling Blue

Do you ever have those days when you feel like every one around you is better than you? or feel like everything you say is being discounted by those around you? that nothing you do is the right thing? that all you want to do is bury yourself under the covers and cry? Yeah. Me, too. Today. I'm tired and worn out and would like nothing better than to just pause my life so I can catch up. But I'm the mom of two very demanding children and a wife and a student (sort of) and life doesn't have a pause button. So I'm sitting at my computer in between planning our summer schedules and making a grocery list and meal plan and doing laundry, crying because I don't know what else to do. Am I the only one that ever feels like this?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dancing With the Stars

I love, love, LOVE DWTS! So I am going to blog about the show, LOL!

First up, Chelsea Kane: I really liked her dance! It was very high energy and she seemed to get all the steps in. I do agree with the judges that she needs to extend more, but for the very first dance of the season, she rocked it!

Wendy Williams: I'm a little surprised at how poorly she did considering she said in here promo that she is big and loud. She wasn't big and bold at all. Very timid and not like her personality at all. I hope she sticks around because I think she can work it and it will be awesome.

P.S. I'm not sure how I feel about Brooke's dress. It has a lot going on and not my favorite thing she has ever worn. But she is a beauty and so sweet so she can wear whatever she feels like!

Hines Ward: Wow! Awesome, awesome dance! He swiveled and grooved and full of energy! He had great timing and musicality. I loved it!

Petra Nemcova: No matter how she dances, her story of survival is so inspiring! She did ok. Not fabulous, but definitely not the worst I have ever seen at all! She was very charming, as Len said. And she is just a sweetie! I hope she survives the cut next week.

Romeo: well he can't possibly do any worse than his dad, Master P! Lol! That guy was AWFUL! His shoes are definitely sparkly! Ok, I'm not that impressed. His energy was good but he just didn't dance that well. He looked like he was club dancing and not ballroom dancing. I love his partner, Chelsea so I hope they can go really far.

Sugar Ray Leonard: he is trying so hard! Lol! He looks really uncomfortable in hold but looks good side by side. I liked it! Len is an idiot, btw. Bruno totally called it!! LOL! He said SRL looked like a ninja turtle in hold. BWAHAHAHA! But I still liked it!

Kendra Wilkenson: I love Kendra. She makes me laugh so hard. I hope she rocks it out in this competition!!! She did a good job! Lots of energy, very sexy, nice moves! Her steps weren't super clean, but she had some really hard choreography and she totally went for it! Go, Kendra, go Kendra, go Kendra!

Ralph Macchio: He's 49 years old. How is that possible?? Nice lines! He has definitely got the performance element down! So fun to watch. He did a great job. They did the best so far tonight by far.

Chris Jericho: he is total performer so he should be entertaining. He has a weird body type for dancing and he doesn't really seem to be dancing as much as walking around while Cheryl danced. No hip action at all. But he definitely knows how to work a crowd!

Mike Catherwood: First of all, what is up with Lacey's hair??! Ok so on to the dancing. ;) Oh, yeah, he's bad. Stiff and awkward. Poor Psycho Mike --- it was awful! Um, yeah..hmmmm...I was trying to think of something positive to say, but there just isn't much.

Kirsty Ally: she is working it out!!!! She has the footwork and the performance and the energy. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! My favorite so far!

Ok well this season is going to be so awesome!! Only two really bad dances and some really exceptional ones, so I am excited!! Anyone else watching??

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chicken Taco Bake

I wish I had pictures to post, but I had no idea if this was going to be tasty or not and after the fact, there weren't even any leftovers! Taylor, who NEVER eats dinner, had his helping and Kami's helping. Kami's doesn't like spicy foods at all, except for queso (she is a Texan, after all) so she had rotisserie chicken, shredded cheese and a tortilla. I adapted this recipe from one I found on United's website here.

And here is my modified version:

2 1/2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
Taco seasoning packet
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 package Mission Carb Balance Plus small flour tortillas
shredded Mexican blend cheese, I would guess 8 oz, but I don't really know how much I used
tortilla chips (optional)
lime wedges (optional)

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*In a large skillet over medium heat, mix chicken, taco seasoning and water. Let mixture come to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
*Stir in sour cream.
*In a greased casserole dish, place tortillas to cover the bottom of the dish.
*Sprinkle cheese over tortillas.
*Add 1/3 chicken mixture over the cheese.
*Repeat layers until you end with the last of the chicken mixture.
*Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
*Add a layer of cheese to the top and bake for another 5 minutes.
*Serve with chips and limes, if desired.

*I diced the chicken into about 1/4" cubes.
*The chicken sauce was fairly spicy when I tasted it before putting it in the casserole and I was a little nervous that no one was going to eat it. However, it mellowed almost completely and was just right for a family dish!
*I really recommend squeezing a bit of lime juice over the casserole. It brings an unexpected flavor note (don't I sound like I know what I am talking about here?? LOL!).
*I asked for reviews and Taylor scarfed his down before anyone else was even half way finished, so that was his review, I guess. Tim said he really liked it, but next time I should add some rice and have some onions on the top. My dad liked it a lot and then looked at me funny when I offered him a lime. But he is game for anything when it comes to food, so he tried it and was blown away. :D My mom enjoyed it, but agreed with Tim about the onions. Kami tried it, but I didn't really think she would like it, so my mom had a back-up plate of food for her. ;)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Last week was one I would just like to forget, so that is why there is no blogging. LOL! It was awful, but God is good and life moves on. So what's for dinner this week at your house? At my house, here is what we are having:

Monday: I have no idea. Because last week was so awful, I didn't make it to the store, so we don't have food here. Perhaps Little Caesar's will be cooking for me tonight. ;)
Tuesday: chicken stir fry from the freezer
Wednesday: ham and baked sweet potatoes (turkey sandwich for Taylor)
Thursday: chicken taco bake
Friday: date night
Saturday: tortellini and roasted asparagus
Sunday: pot roast with potatoes, carrots and wild rice

Have any new recipes you have tried out lately that you just love? Send them my way, especially if they are easy!! :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wild Olive is having a giveaway!!

I LOVE my Wild Olive tees and now they have a hoodie that is beyond cute! See that button on the side of my blog?? That's the design. If you want a chance at winning it, too, check them out at