You don’t have to face it alone.

    If you are afraid to face your past because you’ve learned that you have to face pain alone, let go of that expectation and know that the Lord will not leave you in your pain. He is the God of all comfort and wants your whole heart, brokenness and all. He will heal those broken places that you’ve been running from, if you can change your perspective and see him as a loving Father who will not leave you, drop you, reject you, or abandon you.  

    In the story of Lazarus, as those around him were mourning, Jesus cries out in frustration. When He is taken to the tomb, he asks them to remove the stone covering the entrance and Martha argues with him, afraid of the horrific odor that would surely be unleashed should they open the door. Just don’t! Don’t open it up, it’s too painful, too ugly, and it smells! Let us grieve!

    I just LOVE the response of Jesus here. He says to Martha; “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

    Welp. He had already told her that Lazarus would live again. She chose to hear it through the filter of her pain, not through faith. 

    God says to you, open up those dark, painful, hidden places. The ones that smell and might be just a little bit (ok a lot) raw. He says, “trust me with this pain, don’t you remember I’ve already told you how this turns out?” He is the resurrection and the life. He has spoken the beginning and the end. He will walk with you through the process of healing, and you can rest in the truth that His Word -every promise He has made and word He has spoken- endures through all generations. 

    Matthew 11:29

    Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

    Psalm 18:35

    You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.

    November 1, 2019

    When Anger Rules, Bondage Prevails

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    I can’t require my child to deal with the issues in their life without showing them that I’m in the trenches doing the same. 

    I can’t expect them to battle generational iniquities, learn repentance and forgiveness if I’m not showing them every.single.day. that I’m 100% in the same battle with them.

    Until they see us owning our own struggles, walking in vulnerability and making things right with them, they will stay locked up in those very things that we battle with! Do you see your child struggling with a sinful pattern? Then pay attention to what YOU are walking in. Because I can tell my son all the livelong day to control his anger, count to 10, pray, repent and all the other things, but if I am not repenting of anger and asking my son to forgive me for setting that example for him, then he can’t be fully released from that stronghold. I opened the door by being angry. I set the example. Why am I surprised when my son is angry?? 

    This isn’t an easy thing to write about, but it’s powerful and necessary for us as parents to walk in. 

    We have been dealing with some issues with my oldest son for a while now. He is a really wonderful kid, but there are times when he really loses control of himself and lets anger rule. I have struggled with this very thing in the past and have gained a lot of victory, but the damage was done when the kids were younger. I opened the door and now I must gently lead my own children out of it. Do they make the choice? Yes, they do. But as young children, we are the shepherds of their hearts. To wound them with angry outbursts or responses at a young age causes deep wounds that they don’t even understand. 

    I have spoken with my boys before about this and repented to them when I lose my cool. But restoration is a process, and my sons behavior was telling me that there was still work to be done. There are some unmet emotional needs that need to be addressed, but I also knew my part was still undone. This morning on the way to school we talked about an incident that had happened the night before. I told them that I knew I hadn’t always set a good example of handling angry feelings well and I am still working on it. I asked their forgiveness for not setting a good example for them in this area. I’ll be honest, I have been so discouraged. The feelings of failure when I see the worst in me surface in him threatened to overwhelm me. Then this afternoon, I happened to open his notebook from school (first time I have looked at it), and at the top of the page it says, “Prayer requests” and his two prayer requests were: “Big Buck Down” and “Help with my anger.” Well I cried, y’all. A lot. 

    Do you know that forgiveness unlocks things that had been previously impossible to open up?? He was locked up and I had no idea how to get through. All I knew was to keep pressing in and let him know that I’m struggling too, but I’m taking responsibility for my part. Do you see how that opened him up to be able to recognize his need for help? 

    What if I had stood over him scowling and shaking my finger, demanding that he “shape up or ship out”? I doubt I would have seen such a victory. Do we allow bad behavior to go unchecked?? I assure you NO. But we want to get to the root of the behavior, that’s where healing needs to take place. Making things right with our children shows them how much we value them and washes them in Truth.  Seeing them walking in wholeness is what I’m chasing after. Anyone with me?

    November 1, 2019

    Roasted Veggie Curry Soup

    Posted in Home, Recipes by
    IMG_6798

    Well, this is my first-ever blogged recipe and I must admit I really want to ramble on and on about how I came up with it, how wonderful it is, and how it's going to change the course of my life.

    Bottom line, I needed a low protein, veggie soup, with minimal animal protein. I was craving a warm earthy flavor, and somehow managed to pull it off. Mind you, I keep things pretty simple in the kitchen, so I'm pretty proud of this simple but lovely creation.

    Warning, I loved it, family didn't. I've been minimal sugar for weeks now, they haven't. Do what you will with that info. My recipe makes enough to feed my big family!

    But great news! I'm done rambling. 😉 Here it is! Drop me a comment if you try it!

    Roasted Veggie Curry Soup

    Yields: 4 quarts

    1 cup: 16g total carbs, 4g fiber, 11g fat, 4g protein, 179 calories

    Ingredients:

    (all of my ingredients were organic)

    • Cauliflower: 1 1/2lb, coarsely chopped
    • Sweet potatoes (unpeeled, diced): 1 1/5lb or 19oz
    • Peppers: 1 yellow, 1 red, diced
    • Garlic: 6-8 cloves, coarsely chopped
    • Olive oil: 2tbsp
    • Kerrygold salted butter: 2tbsp
    • Sweet onion: 6 1/2oz coarsely chopped
    • Organic vegetable broth: 32oz
    • Garbanzo beans (not drained): 15 1/5oz
    • Organic coconut milk unsweetened: 27oz
    • Diced canned tomatoes: 10oz
    • Turmeric: 3/4tsp (or to taste)
    • Curry powder: 3/4tsp (or to taste)
    • Smoked paprika: 3/4tsp (or to taste)
    • Pumpkin seeds to garnish: 1/8 cup or as desired

     

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    Preheat oven to 375.

    Toss cauliflower and sweet potatoes in the olive oil. Spread in a shallow pan and roast until cauli edges start to brown and sweet potatoes are almost soft.

    While they are roasting, sauté peppers, onions and garlic in the butter. Start with onions first, cook a few mins, then add peppers, then garlic towards the end. Do not cook until soft.

    In an 8qt or larger stock pot, add broth, garbanzo beans, canned tomatoes, spices, and all the veggies.

    Let this slowly simmer until all veggies are soft. Using an immersion blender, thoroughly blend everything together. This will have a lot of texture from the potato skins, so if you wish you can peel them first.

    Garnish with pumpkin seeds.

    Enjoy my unprofessional photos in horrific lighting and dirty stovetop.

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    Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
    February 12, 2019

    Fueling the body = Fueling the spirit

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    I made theeee most delish soup today, and it had zero sugar, sugar subs and zero dairy. It was amazing and had only FOOD in it. REAL FOOD. 

    As I continue to make changes in what I physically eat, I am seeing so many parallels to my spiritual diet. 

    I thought that I could take the easy way out of losing weight and getting control over my relationship with food, but it turns out it didn’t solve the heart issues that were at the root. I still lacked discipline, self control, and ability to hold MYSELF accountable for how I was treating my body. Because I wasn’t taking ownership of what my diet consisted of, I continued to falter. Additionally, what I sought after proved to be a manufactured substitute of the REAL FOOD that my body really needed. 

    Isn’t that the way it is with our spiritual walk though? We want the easy drive-through Christianity. The kind that doesn’t hold us accountable for our actions and choices, and just gives us the step-by-step way to go through the motions and not require any work on our part. 

    I have continued to cut out processed sugar and most sugar substitutes. What I have found is that the more subs I eat, the more I want sugar. The more I remove it altogether, the less I want it. Did I eat cake when I made it for my husband’s birthday? Yes. And I found that I still have a long way to go when it comes to self control. Because ya’ll, that stuff was LEGIT. I’m not saying I’ll never have sweets again. What I do need is to be able to not eat the sweets because I had a hard day, week or year. This is quite a process.

    The same can be said for an empty walk with God. Learning to depend on cheap substitutes to fill the voids that only He can will leave you empty and never satisfied. (HELLO SOCIAL MEDIA)

    If you’re rolling your eyes at this, go ahead, but please read it. Yes, this is something I’m talking about more now. Not sorry. I am not some self righteous organic hippie guru. I really love food so much. Pizza, wings, bread, cake, cheese danish, Chick-Fil-A fries (lawd Jesus). But I am literally telling you the honest truth, that my taste buds have changed DRASTICALLY in the past month. I found myself craving fresh vegetables today, after having grown up on canned veggies and feeding my family canned veggies. That feels like a big victory for me. Maybe it’s not for you, but I’ll celebrate yours if you’ll celebrate mine. 😉 

    I have found that removing the dependency on food has left an interesting gap in my life and heart. It has brought a lot of things I’ve been choosing not to face to the surface. I find that it takes a considerable amount of energy right now just to plan, prepare and schedule when it comes to food. When you’ve done things a certain way for almost 40 years, well change is hard. Maybe you can identify with that.

    As expected, fueling myself properly is a lot of work. As expected, fueling my Spirit properly is a lot of work. I can’t run away from either, because I need both to survive. I need both to be healthy. Our bodies are created to function best when they are given real fuel as God intended. He created foods for us to consume, and we shouldn’t be scared of them! If we are using them properly, and not as a crutch or a coping mechanism (ahem, Crystal) We should give as much care in fueling our physical bodies well as we do with fueling our spiritual lives. 

    If you’ve made it this far, I want to say thank you for listening and letting me pour out my heart. 

    February 3, 2019

    Get in the photo!

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    Grab a friend, husband, sister, brother, father, mother, cousin, stranger, self timer, even a family pet will do. Just get IN THE PHOTO!!

    Do you ever feel like you sometimes lose touch with what your life looks like when you’re always the one taking the photos? I so rarely get in photos with my kiddos that when I do see myself in one, it sometimes catches me off guard. Who’s life is that, because it looks amazing!! Either there’s no one around to take one or I just don’t look good enough to get in it. It’s easy to get stuck in the hamster wheel of every day momming that we forget how beautiful our life is.

    Recently, a friend of mine came to our home for a lifestyle photo shoot, and it’s something every mama should do! Not only does it force you to clean your house😂, but it also encouraged me to consider how much I was trying to hide before she came, so things looked better…. So our house looked as if it were tidy all the time but also lived in. It’s a hard balance to find when you fake clean your house, people! Let’s be honest, we all know that 99% of the time, every day life is usually not very clean and tidy. But, clean or not, to see from another perspective the love on your face for your babies, their adoration for you, the good, bad and ugly of every day life moments…. It is such a beautiful reminder of how blessed we are, and sometimes on the hard days, we need those to look at.

    Get in the photo. Make a point, no matter what you look like. Your babies don’t care and you will be forever thankful that you did! 

    January 15, 2019

    The God of Hope

    Posted in Hope, Self care by
    Our Christmas Day Amaryllis

    Last year (2017), as part of our advent study, (Slow and Sacred Advent, I highly recommend it!) we planted a single bulb. The week’s theme was “Jesus the Seed Brings Hope” and we were supposed to plant a seed/s at the beginning of Advent and see it bloom at the end. The bulb we planted never bloomed and it was sort of disappointing for us. It grew leaves which stayed green through about half of the year. I had never planted an Amaryllis before so I didn’t know what to expect. I finally cut the leaves back, and then it seemed to just go dormant. Several months went by. I planted a couple of small things in the pot with it (because plant lady) and started watering them sporadically. Nothing happened. I thought it had died, and almost pulled it up several times to throw it away. Then, all of the sudden, one day I see leaves starting to come out of the top! Within a couple weeks The leaves were shooting up and a bud had begin to grow. I have never enjoyed watching something grow in my kitchen window so much! As Christmas approached I realized that the bloom was about to open, and sure enough it did, on Christmas Day! The thing we had planted and eagerly anticipated 13 months prior finally bloomed!!! This was so precious and meaningful to me, and I felt a depth to this that I wasn’t able to quite unpack at the time.

    This morning I heard so clearly, “The God of Hope” and I just kept repeating that and letting the truth of those words wash over me. This verse came to mind, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises. (ROMANS15:13 AMP) and although I usually like another version, I really loved this particular verse in the Amplified. 

    Hope. It’s something that deep down some might feel like they don’t really deserve. Or some may have had such a lack of it in their lives, they don’t dare even try. Maybe you’re just too tired to hope for change. The thing that has lay dormant in your life, the thing that you thought had died…. Could it be that it’s just not the season for it to bloom? Could it be that you threw it away, thinking it was dead? 

    When you don’t FEEL hopeful about your situation. When it seems like there is no way things will get better. Remember, He is the God of all HOPE not the God of all feelings. Whether you feel hopeful about your situation or not, stand firm on the truth of the great HOPE we have in Jesus. I love the amplified version of this verse, because we really CAN walk in confidence in His promises. He doesn’t change. His promises are sure. His principles are eternal, and you can rely on them working every. single. time. Planting seeds = a harvest. It’s not always the harvest we expect, and doesn’t always come in our time frame, but it comes, because God doesn’t make mistakes. 

    Just like we can confident that a seed will sprout when we plant it, we can be confident in His promises. Feelings aside, what He plants, He causes to grow. He’s the God of all hope. 

    December 31, 2018

    How to handle the big kid emotional swings with grace

    Posted in Motherhood by

    A foggy Fall afternoon walk to the creek is always good for the soul.

    If I can just do this…. mom life will get easier!

    Momming is hard, guys. I used to think that things will get easier, “If I can just get them sleeping,” or “If I can just get him weaned,” or “When they become more independent…”

    Nope. It actually doesn’t get easier. You may get a little more sleep, but when your responsibilities evolve from “basic needs” to “building character” it is next level sanctification stuff, people!! This season is making a demand on MY character, and the responsibility of this can feel very overwhelming.

    When the emotional stages hit.

    My oldest is 10, and hitting a pretty emotional stage right now. When he slams his school book down, how will I respond? When he overreacts and gets angry at his brothers, what is my next step? I will be the first to admit that I don’t always respond well in the emotionally charged situations. I have allowed my emotions to rise up to meet his, I have rolled my eyes, and I have been sarcastic. I have done the “go to your room” thing, and I have done the heavy handed drill sergeant thing. Those rarely work.

    If I stick to my boundaries with quiet, loving firmness and just listen to his frustrations, (whether they seem valid to me or not, they feel very big to him) I am creating a safe place for him to sort out these big feelings.

    I just listened, and empathized.

    This morning we had major frustration over school work, fighting with brothers, and just downright awful attitude. I was irritated and I really didn’t want to deal with it! If I’m being honest, I just wanted to have an attitude too! I wanted to send him to his room for eternity 😂 But, I looked at his frustrated demeanor and my heart went out to him. It’s a tough season for this little-guy-about-to-turn-big-guy. I made him sit in my lap and asked him for a list of things that were frustrating to him. We took them one by one. We didn’t really solve any of them, but I just listened. I empathized. I didn’t diminish. I said “I know it’s frustrating when you don’t get to pillow fight when you want to, but this is why you can’t right now.” “I know it’s frustrating to have to sit down and do your work, I don’t really want to do mine either, but it’s part of growing up and part of life.” “I’m sorry it’s raining and you can’t do what you want to do outside, what if we did ________ instead?” And that was pretty much it.

    His demeanor changed. He sat down and did his work and stopped fighting with his brothers. Compassion, understanding and validation paired with boundaries settled his heart. Motherhood is sanctifying.

    November 10, 2018