Monday, June 30, 2014

Of boats and seas Part 1

This post is too near and dear to my heart to try to squeeze it all in 1 post, so at risk of rambling on til Thursday, I will post the second half of this next Monday.  I hope you'll join me then.
21 years ago this Wednesday it was a hot Saturday night in July and I was a seven year old girl with a burden on her heart that would not go away.
I was young and I didn't know much-but I knew I was lost. I knew I needed Jesus.  
That night on my lavender and white bed my parents talked me through the most important decision of my life, and I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.  

That night began a burning passion in my heart for Him, for His Word.  I could not get enough.  I still remember spending so many evenings on the floor of my little bedroom sprawled out on my stomach with an open Precious Moments Bible and starting with page 1.  Getting to word 12 and having to run back downstairs and find my mom, to find out-what does this mean??  Running all the way back to my bedroom floor and getting to about word 20 before I had to do it again.  And again.  And again.  

To say I read Genesis 1, or at least the first half, of Genesis 1 a hundred times might not be much of an exaggeration.  

Each night would typically end with me feeling frustrated, but telling God, I know that if I can ever understand this Book, I will never be able to get enough of it.

While I've been wrong about many, many things in those 21 years since that day-that was not one of them.  I have had a burning passion for His Word ever since that has never been able to be quenched.  

But somewhere between all those years, all those nights trying to study the Bible, all those sermons I sat through and Bible study classes I attended something got lost in translation for me.  

My God is many things...
Good (Psalm 34:8)
Sovereign (Isaiah 43:13)
Powerful (Matthew 19:26)
Able (Ephesians 3:20)
King (Psalms 29:10)
Most High (Psalms 47:2)
Holy (Isaiah 43:15)
Eternal (1 Timothy 1:17)
Lord (Deuteronomy 4:39)
Exalted (1 Chronicles 29:11)
Provision (Psalm 121:12)
Creator (Genesis 1:1)
Everlasting (Lamentations 5:19)
Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25)
Worthy (Revelation 4:11)
Ruler (1 Chronicles 29:12)
Merciful (Deuteronomy 4:31)
Compassion (Psalms 116:5)
Healer (Exodus 15:26)
Shepherd (Psalms 23)
Righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Forgiving (Psalms 86:5)
Omnipresent (Psalms 139:7-12)
Holy (Isaiah 6:2-3)
Just (Isaiah 30:18)
All-Knowing (Isaiah 48:3)
Faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9)
Savior (Isaiah 45:21-22)
Potter (Isaiah 64:8)

To say I'm skimming the surface with this list is an understatement. 

But one thing I've learned He is not.


And that I learned the hard way.

Part 2 next Monday.

Linking up with:  Momstheword, A Proverbs 31 Wife, Sweet Sharing Monday, The Modest Mom Blog    

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Scripture Sunday

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Stuffed Peppers & Link Up!

Hello friends!  Welcome to another Tasty Tuesday!

Bad news or good news first?

Bad news-I have no pictures of the cooking process on this one.

Good news-This made the Mr. and I take turns saying "this is so freaking good" repeatedly while eating this meal.  

I started out looking for a stuffed peppers recipe for the crock pot, but stumbled upon something similar to this and changed it up a bit and it became this perfection of delicious-ness.  One more thing, the original recipe called for 1 pound of ground beef, but in an attempt to make it a bit healthier I swapped it out for ground turkey.  Feel free to use either! 

Let's get started...

5-6 green bell peppers
1 pound of ground beef (or turkey)
1 small onion, chopped
1 14.5 (oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup rice, uncooked
1/2 cup water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
2 (10.75 oz.) cans tomato soup

Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Chop off the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds.  Once the water is boiling carefully drop the peppers in and let them cook for 5 minutes.  Then remove, drain, and salt each pepper and put aside.

Begin browning the meat and onion together then drain.  Return to the heat and add the diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, rice, and water.  Pop the lid on and let this simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese.  

Place the peppers in a large baking dish and stuff with the meat/rice mixture.  In a separate bowl mix together both cans of tomato soup with just enough water to make it a gravy consistency.  Pour this over the peppers in the baking dish.  Bake this covered in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Remove and top each pepper with shredded cheese and put back in the oven uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.  

Printable version found here!

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Scripture Sunday

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Top 10: 4th of July Decorations

For as long as I can remember 4th of July has always been a huge event in my family.  Growing up our home backed up to the lake that shot off the city's firework display.  It was the perfect view without having to get in all the traffic that everyone else in town had to get in.  So my parents planned the biggest 4th of July party and invited everyone they knew.  
Even the checker at the grocery store down the road.
It's still going today, and it's still a highlight every Summer.  My parents still open up their backyard and invites everyone they know, all the kids swim, all the adults gather around in lawn chairs and talk and eat the night away until it gets dark and the display begins.  
If you lived near, you'd be invited too.  Just us and about 200 of our closet friends that fill the backyard and the night air with laughter and love.  And food.  Lots of food.

It's the best.

So today I was all excited to gather my top 10 favorite 4th of July ideas, but I couldn't do it.  There were just too many.  So I've broken it up into decor and food, and today we'll start with decor.  Next week we'll move on to food!  Let's jump right in.







Source Unknown




Make sure to stop by next week for  
Top 10:  4th of July Food Ideas!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Banana Muffins & Link Party

Hi friends, and welcome to another Tasty Tuesday!!

I am blessed by my husband in so many ways, but one of them is definitely his non-picky attitude towards food.  Combine that with his encouraging character and there are days I feel like I could spit on a piece of dry toast and he would tell me it was the greatest thing he's ever had.
I love that man.
Because of his easy to please style he never requests much when it comes to food.  He may ask what I'm fixing that night, but hardly ever say-will you make this?  
Except these muffins. 

He raves about these muffins to strangers.  He asks for them frequently.  When he notices the bananas turning slightly dark he happily yells from the kitchen-babe it's muffin time!!!!  I typically happily oblige, because they take a good 10 mins. to throw together, they really are that delicious, and I really love seeing him so happy when he's probably silently suffered through many a rough meal.  

Here's what you'll need:
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-4 bananas
-1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
-2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla 
Start by mashing 2 bananas and mixing them with all of the other ingredients except the other 2 bananas.  Mix this well for about 3 minutes.

Then mash the remaining 2 bananas, but leave a little bit of "lump-ness" to it.  

Then fold it into the batter and fill your muffin tin about 1/2-2/3 of the way full.
Make sure you're as messy as I am and make as many drips as possible during this step.
Bake these in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.  
So so good.  If you're feeling rather dangerous I dare you to make cream cheese frosting and turn these into the most delicious banana cupcakes you've ever met.  
I make no apologies for that one.  You could put cream cheese frosting on a rock and I'd probably still devour it.

Printable version found here

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Getting Back Up

If I were honest, if it were up to me I wouldn't write these words, and if I did I certainly wouldn't hit "publish".  I'm sure we all go through these ruts, but do we really want to admit them and talk about them?  But I suppose I'm nothing if not real. Human.  Messy.

Lately things have been out of balance in my life.  Unfortunately sometimes it takes the results of the imbalance to realize anything has been going wrong.  That's where I ended up this weekend, when I eventually found myself sobbing in a hot bath realizing it all.  

...I've been thinking much more about a new DIY wall piece then I have the callings God has placed upon my life.

...I've been planning more and surrendering less.

...I've been thinking more about what I want than what God is leading me to.

...I've been thinking of what's best for me instead of the biggest blessing for someone else.

...I've been exchanging my personal time with God for a head start on my to-do list for the day.

...I've been putting off working on my scripture memory for another day.

Maybe we can all bide our time running like this for a little while, but eventually doesn't the junk always hit the fan?  Yesterday was that day for me.  I realized I was snapping at the ones I love most, and truth be told I had been for days.  I was being downright ugly.  I wasn't trusting God or having faith, just doing a lot of worrying.  I was feeling lost and hopeless.  It was easy to see why.  

I've spent the rest of the weekend doing a lot of praying, repenting, surrendering, and trying to follow where He is leading me next to re-focus on Him.  

So this week I'm going for more of Him and less of me.  Way way less of me.  Handing all my minutes over to Him knowing that on my own I'm just going to mess this up.  
Keep me accountable?  I'll be trying to post some updates on my Twitter here of my progress this week.  Also, have any tips for getting back on track and re-focused?  I'd love to here them!  While it's hard to fall in front of community, the beauty of the fall are the hands around you to help pick you back up.  

Hello Monday.  Let's start over.  

Linking up with:  Mom's the Word

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Scripture Sunday

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Top 10: Fun Summer Snacks

Today I've gathered 10 super fun/super ingenious-why-didn't-I-think-of-that Summertime foods to make for your kids, or for the kids at heart.  (i.e.-I would be a giddy fool if someone made me these and I'm far from what you would classify as a "kid")  Whether you're planning a Summer party or just want to make a Summer day more fun, try some of these ideas out!!

1.)  Beach Pudding
This is such a fun way to turn a simple pudding cup into a beach party!  Rachel shows all the things she used in this here

2.)  Lemon Bowls
This is such a cute idea for kids or for adults alike!  As a little girl I would've felt so special if my mom would've served my ice cream in a lemon bowl like that.  So simple to just save the lemon "shell" after you've used the insides, and it adds a delicious fresh taste!  

3.)  Fruit Necklaces
For years we've strung popcorn, cereal, and even candy on string and worn it around as a necklace, munching as we go.  Why in the world haven't we thought of fruit?!  Such a fresh, healthy alternative that's perfect for kids on the go that may not like fruit as much.  

4.)  Pudding Pops
How easy is it to make your own "fudgesicle" by using pudding packs!  Simply cut a slit at the top for a spoon and pop in the freezer.  I'd love trying yogurt cups like this as well.

5.)  Flip-flop Cookies
Source unknown 
  If you're in a quick time crunch and still want something a little festive, all you need is a package of Nutter-Butter's and a tube of frosting!  So simple but cute!

6.)  Watermelon Stars
Source unknown
Make fruit fun for the kids by simply using any shape cookie cutter you have on hand!  

7.)  Beach Trail Mix
Source unknown
Get creative with a few ingredients and a clean pail and shovel!  My favorites in this photo are the goldfish, Kix cereal (to resemble beach balls), and yogurt covered round pretzels (to resemble life savers).  Get creative with this one!

9.)  Beach Balls and Pool Noodles
Source unknown
Using small disposable cups for individual treats, or larger ones for a group centerpiece idea, use gum balls as balls or twizzlers for pool noodles!!

10.)  Snow Cone Cupcakes
How adorable are these snow cone cupcakes!  All you need is a basic cupcake recipe, white frosting, 3 different colors of sanding sugar, styrofoam cups and straws!  

Linking up with:  Create with Joy, Inspiration Monday, Pin it Monday Hop, Making Monday, That's What Che Said, Mom's the Word