God knows just what we need…

February 22, 2018

Go figure, right…God thankfully knows exactly what we need and we should trust in Him and trust that His plans are greater than ours.

This past weekend we had a fun weekend trip planned with our friends, one that we had looked forward to for months! In the stressful weeks leading up to it we (my friend and I) both vented how we couldn’t wait to have a fun and relaxing weekend with our families all together. The kids were all packing and talking about the adventures we were going to have.

I had been praying for over a month that we would all be healthy and nothing would stand in our way of going as planned (and because it was already paid for as well!). I still couldn’t help this feeling in the two weeks leading up to our weekend that someone was going to be sick or something, getting in the way of this perfect weekend from happening. Well I guess, unfortunately, my gut feeling was accurate; my daughter woke up Thursday morning with a fever. Sure enough, it was the dreaded influenza.

Side note: I was obviously very concerned about her first and foremost and was sooooo thankful for all the praying and concerned family and friends we have. Her case of the flu was much shorter than it could have been! So very thankful for that and for the power of prayer!!

Unfortunately, there was still quite a sting of disappointment in our house as we realized our weekend away was not going to happen. I have to admit I didn’t deal very well with this disappointment- I felt so badly I needed this break and looked forward to just relaxing and laughing with our friends for the weekend! I was not only looking forward to time with our friends but a fun time together as a family and time with my hubby; he’s been so busy with work and extra obligations lately. We were also supposed to take a weekend away together as our Christmas gift to each other, but after other expenses arose we decided this trip with friends was our only trip for now. So now, no trip. In turn I was a total grump for the weekend; not a very good example, I know. It’s no fun unpacking from a trip, let alone a trip you didn’t get to go on.

However, I know it could be so much worse, it could always be worse. Thankfully my daughter wasn’t worse and so far thankfully, no one else has caught it.

It took a couple days to snap out of this pity party, grump funk I was in. I started by turning to God and admitting I was being a jerk and continued to praise Him for the restored health of our daughter! Not something to take for granted, I know! But as I knew and was reminded of by my friend, it’s ok to tell God how you feel or what’s on your heart. He cares.

Yesterday I felt really blessed and felt like God was giving me a hug through the people around me. It was just little things, but they were all so appreciated.

Started my day with my running partner, which I may have taken for granted prior to this winter, because our runs together aren’t as often due to weather, and it makes me thankful for the days we do get to run together!

Next, my hubby surprised me with a card waiting for me in the car to start my day; it was super sweet and totally unexpected, and a great, much appreciated smile to start to my day. 😊

Then, this was definitely a God thing, my secret pal at work surprised me with a random gift…and not just any gift, but a devotional book and some of my favorite chocolate candy, with a sweet little note that read ‘what goes better with chocolate than God.’ How sweet and the timing was perfect. I don’t believe in coincidences. 😉

Then to top it off, this morning I was spending time reading my devotionals, including one we are doing with our church during this current season of Lent, ‘40 Days with the Holy Spirit’ by R.T. Kendall. Today was titled The Holy Spirit Overrules and talked about times when God might overrule in your life. You may have set plans, when God in turn says, ‘nope, sorry, I have something else in mind.’ Well thankfully God has got it going on, lol. He is good, He knows more than we do, and His plans are always better.

So, 1. He knew exactly what I needed – blessed me with some extra love and pick-me-ups when He knew I needed them, and 2. For whatever reason, we weren’t supposed to go this past weekend, it’s ok, I trust it was for a good reason and I accept that His plans for me are better. (I know this was just a little hiccup/small disappointment in life compared to so many other bigger issues, but I am glad I was able to learn something from it in the end.)

God is good and He cares; tell Him what’s on your heart and trust His plans for you.

Daily devotionals…

January 7, 2018

I know there are many great Bible apps out there or apps for daily devotions, but I enjoy visiting the Crosswalk website for their daily devotional.  I read the daily devotional that they offer, by a variety of different authors. My husband and I also started taking advantage of one of their devotionals for couples as well, since we finished the book we had been reading together before bed. This has been something new for us to do together in the last 6-8 months. There’s definitely something to the saying ‘Those that pray together, stay together.’  Spending time together with God, through devotions and prayer, has brought us closer than ever before; we both wish we would have tried harder to do this from the beginning of our marriage 12+ years ago. 

I wanted to share a blurb from our devotional last night: 

As the new year has just begun, and many are focusing on new beginnings and fresh starts, myself included, this is a good reminder: Our words are either building each other up or tearing each other down. There’s a lot of power in our words; they can stick with someone for a life time- good or bad. As I have set a goal or resolution to be love, I hope to keep this fresh in my mind and allow my words to lift others up. Like our grandmas and mothers have told us…’If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ Enough said, I guess. ❤

Good food…for the most part…

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December 4, 2017 

Well, sometimes you win some – like grand slam, out of the park – and sometimes you lose some…like big fat flop. In reference to food, we had some of both this weekend.  It had been a while since I had such a baking flop! I was so excited to make Carrot Cake Cheesecake for a special birthday this weekend, as I’ve made it in the past and its super yummy!  I put a teaser on Facebook and couldn’t wait to share a picture of the finished product with you all… but perhaps I was a little too proud of my baking abilities.  It definitely was NOT picture worthy…edible, but not picture worthy.  Honestly, it could have benefited from a few extra minutes in the over (as if 15 extra minutes wasn’t enough already).  Oh well, like I said, ya win some, ya lose some…live and learn.  Thankfully the celebration was with my family and they were all kind and said it was delicious; but I have tasted it when it was delicious and this did not measure up!  Hopefully it will be share-worthy next time I make it! 

On to the things that were share-worthy: 

Fresh sautéed pears over French toast for Sunday morning breakfast hit the spot after a quick 10 mile run.  It was a crisp, beautiful December morning at 30* and another beautiful sunrise.  They aren’t all brilliantly vibrant in color, but they are all beautiful.  The run was exactly what I needed as I felt God ‘fall fresh on me;’ needed to feel renewed and to destress.    

For the birthday celebration my hubby was firing up his new smoker that he built himself a couple months ago.  His tastiest creation so far has been this melt-in-your-mouth, super tender and moist, bursting with flavor, beer-can-chicken.  It is seriously so good- like the grand slam, out of this park good I mentioned earlier; by far the best chicken I’ve ever had.  Honestly, he doesn’t really ‘know his way around the kitchen,’ so for him to prepare two rubs and a marinate to inject into the chickens, all by himself – and have it taste this amazing, I am super impressed!  I’m going to have him share more details on his homemade smoker and beer-can-chicken recipe in the near future….stay tuned. In the meantime, this is for your viewing pleasure (and if there was only a way for you to smell the aroma that lingered around the outside of our house)… 

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I also had the pleasure of helping my little chef, Lila, create her own pasta salad side dish to go with dinner…stay tuned for more on that later in the week.  And lastly, my sister-in-law brought the tastiest oven roasted, maple glazed mixture of vegetables; they were so good everyone, including the kiddos asked for seconds! I might be able to share that recipe in the near future as well!  Lots of yummies to be on the lookout for! 

 Finally, here is the recipe for the pears we enjoyed for breakfast.  The recipe was adapted from Annie’s Eats, which is one of my favorite food blogs (she now offers more than just recipes…).  In her recipe the pears are intended for a homemade granola, which I have made before and is very satisfying as well; I would recommend it!  They would also be a great topping for waffles or in a ‘stuffed French toast,’ perhaps on pancakes as well….or even ice cream (sweet after thought)!

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Sautéed Pears 

2 Tbsp butter 

5 pears (I used bartlett)  

2-3 Tbsp honey 

1 tsp vanilla 

½ tsp cinnamon 

 Melt butter, add pears, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until pears start to soften, edges begin to appear translucent, and juices are released.  Then stir in the honey, vanilla and cinnamon until well combined. Continue to cook a few more minutes.  Enjoy. 

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