Monday, August 31, 2009

Lentil Soup

I'm making another Rachael Ray recipe tonight, which is rare - I always watch the cooking portion of her show but most of her meals aren't something I care to make. But this lentil soup sounds yummy - it has sausage (which is good b/c we really need to get rid of some deer sausage), potato, mushrooms, & kale in it... yum!

UPDATE: It is DELISH! It is more of a stoup, it is super thick & hearty. I made some rosemary rolls to go along for dipping, & it went together perfectly! I made a couple modifications, of course. I nixed the onions (but used onion powder for flavor), put in 3 potatoes instead of 1 (I like potatoes in soup; Rachael Ray said she really just puts one in out of habit so I wanted to boost up the potato-ness), & since I had more "stuff" due to the extra potatoes, I added some white wine I had leftover from another recipe (around 1 cup) for more liquid, & it added a nice flavor to the soup. I think you should make it... this one is going in the books y'all!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tonight feels like a Panera night

To answer Bailey... the Spinach & Artichoke mac n cheese was not bad. Not super amazing tho. I'm pretty picky with how the things I cook come out... I think I'm a bigger critic when I cook it... it probably would have tasted better if someone else made it! But I don't think it will be something I make again. Which, honestly, is most of our meals... 83.7% of the time I cook new recipes anyways! Maybe when I'm 50 I'll have a good list of reappearing meals... right now it's about 4. :-)

I have been pondering a lot of things lately... humility... what it means to live a "peaceful & quiet life" (1 Tim. 2:2)... obedience even to the point of losing friends (which for me is at the core issue of caring what people think about me)... what it looks like to live Romans 14:22 ("the faith that you have, keep between yourself & God.")... accepting the personality God gave me & living in the confidence of knowing Him... thoughts anyone? Have any of you dealt with any of these issues lately?

I feel like lately God has been specifying what He has for me. For two years I have kind of felt like I was floundering, not quite sure what His purpose for me was... now I think I'm beginning to see what it is at this point, & what it will be. I still don't know how He used me the past 2 years, specifically, but I do know that I have grown more in that time than any other time in my life, have been transformed, refined, given knowledge & understanding, & I'm very thankful for it.

This weekend makes the fourth weekend in a row that we have had normal, at-home weekends... I think that is a record for us! I love it. It is much more restful & we have the chance to spend time with friends.

That being said, we will soon find ourselves in DC again, getting to spend more time with Zac & Cara & see some of the sights we missed last time... yay!

I can't believe it's already almost September... that month signifies the beginning of fall in my mind... cool weather coming... perhaps lower than 100 degrees!! :-)

I hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Spinach & Artichoke mac n cheese

I am so making this Rachael Ray meal next week... yumm! (minus the onions of course... ew)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

He has dealt bountifully with me

The Lord spoke to me through this scripture last week, & I continue to meditate on it, because its truth is amazingly beautiful to me.

"But I have trusted in Your steadfast love, my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me."
Psalms 13:5-6

I love that I can say that the Lord has dealt bountifully with me... not because of my circumstances, not because of what has been or what is to come, not because I have this or that... but simply because He has saved me. I am His & He is mine. My soul rests safely in His big, mighty, loving, forgiving, merciful hand. For that reason alone, I can say, He has truly dealt bountifully with me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


If you have been to our house, you know that one bedroom is our catch-all. Toby's food & litter box are in there, Josh's hunting stuff, unused wall decor, etc. We don't have much storage either, so both of the guest closets were pretty full too. So this week Josh & I decided to tackle it all. We got rid of some stuff, pulled out things to put out in the shed or in the attic, rearranged, & voila - we now have an organized (altho pretty full) guest closet, another fairly empty guest closet, & a CLEAN & EMPTY third bedroom! Ahhhh.... I LOVE getting rid of things, cleaning things out, reorganizing... I don't do well with junky. Amazing that room lasted as long as it did. But, Josh & I have the desire to live a fairly simple life, so as time goes on we end up getting rid of more & more.

In the church realm, things are getting pretty busy. We are going to two services next month, which is exciting, as well as kicking off the new, revamped membership class with our (now bigger) team that I serve with. So this means lots of prep! It's exciting to see all the things the Lord is doing at our church. We are growing, so we have to work to keep it feeling like a church body of connected people, who are experiencing life in Jesus individually & corporately, but it is so worth the time. I really love working with people who encourage & build up each other, pray for & with each other, worship together. I'm blessed!

I need to post the last two parts of the Italy trip huh? Coming soon!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Living under Authority

"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; whether it be the king, as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well (1 Peter 2:13,14).

God used government authority in the lives of many people in the Bible to accomplish His purposes in their lives. Scripture tells us that even the king's heart is in the hand of God (See Proverbs 21:1). God uses these authorities to continue the work that He has started in us and will continue to manifest His character in us through governmental authorities.

Moses and Pharaoh, Joseph and Potiphar, Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, Esther and the king, Jesus and Pilate, and many others throughout the Bible became great men and women of God because they gave those in authority their rightful place.

If we find it difficult to live under the authorities in our life, we'll usually find it difficult to submit to the will of God in our lives too. Rebellion is reflected in our unwillingness to live under the authority placed over us. We may not have respect for the person who is the President of the United States, but we are still to honor and respect the position the presidency represents, and we are to recognize that God has placed him in authority over us. As long as we are not asked to violate a biblical commandment, we must recognize those in authority as God-given and that He is going to work through them on our behalf.

We must not obey the government when it calls us to compromise God's Word. Issues that violate the Word of God may require civil disobedience. However, each person must evaluate these situations in light of what God's Word says and be true to their own conscience.

Pray for those in authority over you.

-From "Prime Time with God" devotion, 8/9/09

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

i'm so brave

You should know that this morning I got blood drawn (just to make sure I'm healthy... Josh will be going soon too)... & I didn't pass out (or cry or scream or kick the nurse in the shins or whatever else may have happened in the past). This is a big deal. I got a shot when I was 16 & hyperventilated. They made me lay down & drink water so I didn't pass out. After that my parents fought (or rock-paper-scissored it, I don't know exactly) over who had to take me to get a mole surgically removed... my dad lost & had to take me (I was 19, mind you). I have had no other needles near me since then.

So it was a big deal that I actually showed up... I was not hog-tied & dragged. I told the guy (in a hurried, high-pitched kind of way) that I could totally pass out & I was gonna close my eyes & he had to put everything away before he told me I could open them. & I survived! My mom was so proud. :-)

But I hurt!! The crease in my arm is all blue & painful. That is IT for being a big girl - no more needles!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A prayer...

'Lord, I pray that you would bring Jews to know Jesus Christ. I pray that you would bring Muslims to know Jesus Christ. Finally, Lord, I pray that you would bring Christians to know Jesus Christ. Amen.'
-Arthur Burns, chairman of the United States Federal Reserve System and ambassador to West Germany in the 1970s

Monday, August 3, 2009

More on Marriage

Here are some tips for marriage, written by people who have been married over 50 years, that I received in an email from Family Life:

Solve a big problem a little at a time.

Consider each other's opinions before making decisions.

Remember, you are not the Holy Spirit.

Always be truthful with one another.

Forgive one another as Christ forgave you.

Don't dwell on past failures; count your blessings and look forward to the future.

Have fun together.

Marriage is a lifelong commitment.

Keep courting and encouraging one another.

Trust each other and trust the Lord.

Say, "I love you" every day.

Look for ways to help and encourage one another.

Pray together.

Live the Bible--don't just know it.

You can't speak everything you think.