Tuesday, April 27, 2010

30 Day Gourmet

Hey there! If you have a large family, like to save money, or if you just like to cook, then here's a site for you! I really love 30 Day Gourmet. I've found a lot of good tips for freezing, cooking ahead, and some really great recipes. Click on the link and check it out.

This is one of the first freezer cooking books I ever bought. It's been years now and I still use it. My family's favorites are for garlic mashed potatoes (my kids' favorite), meatloaf and meatballs (my favorite recipe) and there is a GREAT chicken marinade that I use to make chicken tacos. The book has been worth it for me even if those were the only recipes I use. They are great! :)

If you buy the book you get free recipes from the website. One that is a keeper for my family is 'French Toast Casserole'. The kids love it for holiday mornings or just to have a nice weekend breakfast with the family. Another great free recipe I recieved is 'Cherry Angel'. What a great dessert... so easy to make, freezes well, and sooo yummy! You have to try it!

And apparently, when I wasn't looking... they came out with a new one. Not released yet but available for pre-order. I'll have to check that one out as well!

Happy Cooking!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Women of Faith...

Friday morning we were off to the Women of Faith conference. We went with great expectation... and we were not disappointed. The first speaker was Sheila Walsh. She had so much to share and I wish I could tell you everything, but I can't. You know I can't write that fast! :)

I'm sure there was one thing that spoke to everyone in their own way. Not the same for each person. Amazing how God can work that way isn't it? I've heard several different stories of what the women took away from Sheila Walsh... and this is what spoke to me:

Sheila was speaking on TRUST. One of the first things she said was "Trust is what love looks like." I have to admit I have a big problem with trust. I'm used to doing things myself. Being in control so I know what to expect. I don't like it when I don't know what to expect. Well... guess what. For the last two years that is EXACTLY where God has had me... not knowing what to expect. I was just learning to function when things were normal, on schedule. I need to know what is going to happen and when it's going to happen... and if you can throw in why it's going to happen... well then, I'm just a happy camper! But God's ways are not my ways. His plans are not my plans. His ways are higher, and I'm so glad HE is in control.

One story Sheila shared was from her childhood. She recalled that when she was quite young, her older sister used to push her on a swing. She would swing so high... she would close her eyes and imagine she was flying. Then one day, she opened her eyes to see her sister sitting in the grass in front of her. All of a sudden she thought "Who is pushing me?". She turned around and saw the neighbor boy... who wasn't very nice... pushing her swing. And all of a sudden she was afraid. You see, she trusted her sister. But, she did not trust the neighbor boy. And then she asked, "Do you trust the heart of the One who is pushing your life?" You see, when we know that God is moving us, 'pushing' our lives, we have no need to fear. We know He has the best in mind for us. Fear comes in when we allow our lives to be moved by someone other than God. Maybe ourselves, others, or 'things' in our lives. We need to let God do the pushing.

So, Sheila then goes on to talk about fear. "Fear is contagious!" she says. "People are not our enemy. Our real enemy is our lack of trust in God!" Can you say.... Ouch!? Yep... I felt that one deep in my soul. How often do I fear? How often do I get angry with someone for making a bad decision because it affects my life, my future? I realized that when we trust God completely we will not have a need to know what to expect. When our eyes are focused on Him and Him alone, we don't see all that surrounds us. Just the loving arms that are waiting so patiently, so lovingly, for us to run to Him so He can direct our paths. I've heard it said that we tell God 'Show me and I'll go.' But God says 'Go... and I'll show you.' I guess that's the difference between trusting God or trusting ourselves.

Someone asked "How do I know if I'm trusting God with my whole heart?" and she answered with these questions:

1. Do I feel a need to be in control?
2. Is my #1 sense anxiety or confidence?
3. Do I feel a slight disconnect from God and those around me?

I often feel afraid of the future. I believe it's because I'm trusting in myself or someone other than God. I don't always know that the outcome will be for my best or with my best in mind. If I could just learn to let God be in control... keep my eyes focused on Him, I would have to need to fear.

One last thing I'll share. She said, "Wouldn't it be something if we showed up at church with our 'baggage' on the outside of us? People who don't go to church just might come." Sometimes it's hard to admit to others where we are in life or in our faith. If we could just learn to be real... be honest... then we could come together and pray and lift each other up. There is power in prayer! We need the prayers of others and they need ours as well. But how can we pray if we paint our lives as if nothing is wrong? We spend too much time trying to be "Super Christian". That's not what the world needs to see. And we need to stop thinking that life has no troubles.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
-John 16:33

Sheila Walsh is a great speaker and contemporary christian singer. I have loved her music, her books, and now her speaking for years. She has a new book that I was dying to get at the Women of Faith conference (ok... so I wanted them ALL), but I was on a strict budget and didn't buy even one. Now that is discipline! I hope to read it in the future and write a review.... but until then, if you'd like to read it yourself I have posted a link below. I'm sure you will enjoy it. She is a great writer. God bless!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wonderful Day with Women of Faith

Wow! Yesterday was amazing! I can't remember the last time I was gone ALL DAY... or if I ever was. Long hours. 9am - 10pm. But is was worth it.

I love all the speakers at the Women of Faith conference. Such wonderful people with hearts for God. I love hearing Sheila Walsh. She has a way of sharing her story that keeps you wanting more. I could listen to her speak all day.

Marcus Buckingham was great. What a pleasure it was to hear all he had to say. Valuable information told with such humor and delight.

Lisa Harper was so refreshing. So real. She can have you laughing until you cry... or just crying with her as she shares her life story. An amazing woman... loved her.

And Natalie Grant... Have you heard her sing? I don't mean her songs on the radio... I mean just listening to her sing live, in person. What a gift! She has every right to be out in the world boasting of her gift along with the best of them! But she's not. She uses her gift to glorify God and when she sings her love for Him shines through a humble heart.

Did I say yesterday was amazing??? Well, I was right!

So I'm off for another day of Women of Faith. Only 9am-5pm today. Sooo excited!

I would love to write more as there were other speakers and I learned so much. Hopefully next week I can share a little from my notes. I would also like to read some of the books offered by the speakers and review them here. Until then... have a great day! :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Women of Faith

Today is the first day of the "Women of Faith" conference. My daughter and I will be gone the whole day since we live so far from the venue... won't have time to come home during the break. It will be rush hour. I can't remember ever being away from home for so long. Not being here when the kids get home from school, not here for dinner or to tuck them in bed. Hmmm... I'm sure they will be fine without me. Right? I just really enjoy being with them and miss being home. Even when it's a good thing. I am really excited to go to the conference. I haven't been to one in about 10 years so I plan to enjoy the day with my oldest daughter and trust God to renew my spirit once again. That's what I need most... renewal. Lord, teach me today, as I go with expectancy to meet you there. And give me a little extra so I can come home and share with others. Amen.

Ok... totally off the subject. But, how do they get "won't" from "will not"? Just wondering...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Take your child to work day

My two youngest were excited to miss school in favor of "Take You Child To Work Day". The excitement mounted for my daughter as she was getting ready to go with her big sister to be her 'daughter' for the day. Since I don't have a job outside the home my oldest daughter is always willing to take one of her younger siblings with her. She is a pre-school teacher and I would guess every little bit of help is great. As for my son... he was so excited I thought he would burst. Excited that he was staying home with mom? That he gets to help around the house and see what I do while he's in school? Nope. He just can't wait to have a whole day at home without his younger sister. She is quite animated at times...and a little bossy, so I guess I understand. But his excitement quickly faded as he realized that mom really does 'work'. Laundry, dishes, making lunch, and even a short lesson in bill paying and budgeting. It's been a great day! Busy, but great. I love hanging out with the kids even if it is while doing chores. I'll take it.

Something I like to remind myself...

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. -Proverbs 23:7

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day One Of Blogging.

Today I spent about 6 hours trying to get my blog just right. What a chore! I am determined to learn all that I can about blogging. I have decided I want to write... whatever I can, whenever I can. I'm hoping to help people. To be an encouragement. I want to write about Faith in God and what He is doing in my life... and I want others to know what He can do in theirs. I want to show someone how to live on a budget, how to cook healthier, how to spend time with family.

After browsing many blogs today I must say that I feel inadequate. I see so many women, so talented, so loving and helpful, and so knowledgeable of what they are writing about and who they are writing to... it makes me wonder what I have to offer. BUT... now matter how small of a contribution I make, I will make it all the same. I believe God can use me... as long as I am willing.

So Lord, this blog is for you. Do with it what you will. In Jesus' name, Amen.

God's Amazing Grace.

Have you ever had one of those mornings when you wake up and feel as if everything you have ever done in life until now... is wrong? Especially when it comes to parenting? Yep... that's me. Actually it's been SEVERAL mornings. But God, in His AMAZING Grace has once again stepped in to remind me that He already new me. Then and now. I don't have to be perfect. My children don't have to be perfect. We just need to keep our eyes on Him and trust that He is in control. I've had my eyes on my own inadequacies and what's been going on around me. But God showed me what HE was doing. I almost missed it... God was answering several prayers in other areas than the one I was focused on. He is so amazing. If He can do such great things when I'm not even focused on Him - I can only imagine what He will do when I am. He is so good!


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