02/11/18

When You Don’t Feel Good Enough…

There are so many days, so many moments, so many interactions where I feel less than. Not enough. Lacking.

Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not interesting enough. Not engaging enough.

Unliked. Unloved. Misunderstood.

Lonely. Tired. Seeking approval.

Life is messy, unknown, scary, and uncertain. And everything this earth gives, you earn. You strive for. You work really, really hard for.

It’s all about status, performance, what we can control, and what we can manipulate.

In a world where love and acceptance are so often performance-based privileges, it seems love must be earned… and once it has been earned, it must be kept.

Because of the limited conditions placed on the world’s version of love, it can be easy to evaluate our relationship with Christ based on how well we do. If we can say things are “basically” under control, we feel good about ourselves. We decide we’ve done just good enough to approach God’s throne room and ask things of Him, or to enjoy His presence.

But when we look around and see chaos and one mess after another after another, we decide we must be doing something wrong. That we are stuck in a rat race of our own invention and our own making, devoid of an escape. We somehow determine God isn’t available to us in that “not good enough” season — or He’s waiting on us to figure it all out before we can once again approach Him.

But, nothing could be further from the Truth.

When He first came to this earth, the Angels did not announce His birth to the Kings, Rulers, and wealthy of the day, but to lowly shepherds watching their flocks by night. And He placed a star in the sky to announce it to learned Magi in a faraway land; who, if they’d only follow, would unlock the greatest story ever told and the greatest gift ever given.

He came to heal the sick, give comfort to the broken, offer forgiveness to the ones that society had forgotten and shunned.

He met them in those broken places.

He dwelt among them. Among us. In all the muck, chaos,and out-of-control situations the world can throw our way. He knows, He understands.

Simply because you belong to Him, you are known by a forgiving, gracious Savior, and you are valuable to Him. All of that combined, makes you very worthy of pre-approval.

No need to prove anything! 

If I could just remind my heart of this when I have these feelings of inadequacy, these moments of feeling nonacceptance, and those nights of loneliness imagining I am truly “alone”, instead of listening to the murmurings of the Evil One.

Write these promises on your hearts.

Remind yourself of them each day.

Place scriptures around your house. On your desk. Or on the dashboard of your car. Places you will see them every day.

His love and acceptance is not performance based, not given on merits of attractiveness, and not doled out to those who have worked hard to “earn it.” Nothing we could ever say or do could EVER earn His love. It’s the only type of love that is freely given with nothing expected in return, but everything in this life to gain!

I want to be swallowed up by this sort of love. By His acceptance and His stamp of approval.

Uniquely made and gifted to carry out His plans for you; your own unique life-print!

xoxo….

 

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02/01/18

Super Bowl | Fan Food Favorites

Y’all.

Super Bowls are typically not really my thing, you all know I am much more of a college football fan than a professional one. Although I don’t think I’ve missed watching one for as long as I can remember, so who knows?!? But, I love the experience of Super Bowls.

In my younger years, Mom and Dad always got invited to Super Bowl parties with various members of our their Sunday School class and I always loved getting to stay up past my bedtime on a school night and play with all the other kids, typically in the basement away from all the adults. And it was such fun, and are some very fond childhood memories for me!

But, of course, besides the fellowship and the always-entertaining Halftime show, the real star of teh show is the food! No Super Bowl experience would be complete without some delicious food for those all-important Super Bowl party buffets. So, whether you are still sticking to your 2018 health goals and wanting to stay on track this next weekend, or you are going for the full touchdown and serving up some guilty favorites, I have you covered on every angle.

Here are a few of my favorite football-themed foods that travel well, can be served at varying temperatures, feed a crowd, and ones that will keep your guests coming back for more at every quarter break… and even in between too!

I am a firm believer in the simple fact that no football party or tailgate is complete without some type of chip-n-dip combo. I crave chips-n-dip almost constantly. I can kill a bag of tortilla chips and a small bowl of salsa without even thinking.

Maybe not something to brag about?!? 

Here are a few of my favorite dips for the dippers of your choice!

I have shared this Hot Corn Dip recipe before, but I think it certainly warrants a second look. Every time I serve it, people just go crazy! Beware… it is highly addictive!

Trisha Yearwood Hot Corn Dip Recipe ;) ****this is YUMMY!! Used all low fat ingredients, half of the mayo, added a block of cream cheese, only one can of chopped green peppers, added a can of rotel, sliced jalapeños on top!!! Seriously gooood:

Best Ever Texas Caviar Dip is my go-to each fall, and my family and I enjoyed it no less than 3 times this last UGA football season, so I also think maybe it’s a bit of good luck too?!?

7 Layer Dips typically show up on a Super Bowl game day spread for a reason. They are easy. They are delicious. They are crowd-pleasers. My motto, when it comes to game day food, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

This version is slightly updated and uses fresh(er) ingredients than some other recipes. It’s chunky, bright, colorful, and really delicious.

7 Layer Dip -- a fresh recipe for this classic dip that's always a crowd-pleaser! | gimmesomeoven.com:

And then, this one is a little nontraditional, but my cousin made this last year as an appetizer for a family gathering and it was smash hit! It is Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips and it was fresh, cool, and the perfect amount of sweet. A perfect compliment to all the spicy and savory on the table.

Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips by the girlwhoateeaeverything #Snacks #Fruit_Salsa #Healthy:

Now, moving on to other things… we need some protein, don’t you think? And absolutely nothing says football season quite like buffalo chicken wings.

When September rolls around, I literally start craving that family buffalo, spicy flavor.

For the traditionalists, these Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings are a bit lighter than their fried friends, and full of spicy flavor!

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings coated with spicy buffalo sauce. A family favorite for dinner or a game day appetizer favorite for a crowd!

And, for those non-traditionalists, always trying new things, check out these Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pinwheels for easy, bite size party food.

Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pinwheels Recipe

Aren’t those cute? And you can serve them alongside some ranch or bleu cheese dressing too!

Something salty and crunchy is always what I enjoy snacking on while I am watching the big game, and I think snack mixes are just perfect.

This Parmesan Ranch Cheez-It Snack Mix “bakes” right in your slow-cooker! Full of nuts, crackers, and pretzels, there is sure to be something for everyone in this mix.

Crunchy, savory and completely irresistible! This crock pot snack mix is made with everyone's favorite Cheez-It crackers, cashews and a Parmesan ranch seasoning, its the perfect snack for any occasion! #MVCheezIt #ad:

And for a sweet n salty, no bake version? Look no further than this Best Sweet n Salty Snack Mix.

M&M19

Finally, let’s round out the menu with a little something sweet.

Love, love, love classic apple dips. Always one of my favorite party foods! And this is a 5 Minute Salted Caramel version that is just perfect when you are in a time crunch. You might even already have all the necessary ingredients right in your pantry and fridge!

5 minute Salted Caramel Apple Dip. so easy and so tasty! bigredclifford.com:

I love a good bar cookie. You can make a big pan of them, don’t have to individually scoop out little mounds of dough, and it is a simple one-time baking process. And these Absolute Best Blondies as vetted by America’s Test Kitchen is sure to be the perfect hit to everyone’s sweet tooth. Chocked full of chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and roasted pecans, they are a perfect way to celebrate each touchdown, or just your favorite commercials.

Best Ever Blondies! Using white chocolate chips plus semisweet chocolate chips gives these blondies a rich, full flavor. Recipe from America's Test Kitchen. . plus a cookbook giveaway! #blondies #baking #holidays #cookbook:

Do I hear a “Dilly, dilly!” ??

So, there you have it! Some inspiration for your game day table. I think you are really going to love these.

Hope you all have the most fun at your Super Bowl parties reveling in every gasp-worthy catch and thrilling defensive stop. Sure to be an exciting game.

xoxoxo….

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