Monthly Archives: February 2016

02/11/16

In the Thick of it

How often do you find yourself both in the center of God’s will and simultaneously in one of the most chaotic, busy, scary, and oftentimes downright discouraging stages or times of your life?

Odd how the 2 often coincide, huh?

Not really. A spiritual battle wages around us, all day, every day.

When Nothing’s Going Right…

A devotion from Lysa Terkeurst, Proverbs 31 Ministries

“I was discouraged.

I’d really started serving God with all my heart and spending more time in His Word than ever. But instead of circumstances getting better, they got much harder!

In two months’ time, my life went from being wonderfully fulfilling and clicking right along to being completely topsy-turvy.

My computer went a little crazy and some very important documents disappeared.

A big book deal I was excited about fell through.

Our well broke, and we went several days without water.

My kids were much younger then and required more energy than my worn-down emotions had to give. I carried around this sense of guilt for not being a more patient and fun-loving mom.

Then, on top of a host of other interruptions and haphazard happenings, my husband blew out his knee and had to have major reconstructive surgery, leaving him bedridden for nearly five weeks. I felt myself getting caught in a whirlwind of emotions.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. A friend of mine hit the nail on the head when she said, “Lysa, I think when you go with God to a new level, you get a new devil.”

While I’m not sure about the exact theological correctness of that statement, I do know Satan hates the radically obedient soul. He hates it when a person jumps off the fence of complacency and into the center of God’s will. A spiritual battle is raging around us and because of that, life can be hard. While saying yes to God does bring blessing, it’s not easy.

If our desire for obedience is born merely out of duty, we may be quick to give up. Especially when everything in life seems to be going haywire. However, if our desire is born out of delight, out of a love relationship that burns deep in our souls, it won’t be extinguished — no matter the cost.

One of my favorite love stories in the Bible is that of Jacob and Rachel. Jacob’s love for Rachel gave him purpose and perspective, which led to amazing persistence. He served Rachel’s father for many years to earn the right to marry Rachel because he loved her that much: “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her” (Genesis 29:20, NIV).

Do you see what love can do for a person’s view of his circumstances? When you are crazy in love with someone, you’ll do anything for him — and do it with the highest level of sheer joy. I want to be so crazy in love with Jesus that not only do I serve Him, but I do it with absolute delight — even when life gets hard and messy.

You see, a real sign of spiritual maturity is looking to God for purpose and perspective instead of comfort and convenience.

Trust me, I understand asking God for comfort and convenience, but I’ve seen that often leads me to complacency. Once God solves my issues, I move on and forget to look for lessons I need to learn from what I faced.

But looking to God for purpose and perspective forces me to learn crucial lessons in perseverance and maturity. Then I can understand the meaning of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV). This does not mean that everything that happens to us will be good, but that God will work in and through every situation to bring good from it.

And let’s not miss the last four words of this verse, where we are reminded that it is all “according to his purpose.” God has a purpose, and His plans to accomplish that purpose are perfect. Trusting God’s purpose, and seeking to understand that He takes all the events from our life and orchestrates good from them, leads to a changed perspective.

So although it may be difficult to maintain the right attitude with technology on the fritz and a house that hasn’t been cleaned in weeks, it’s important to look to God for that change in perspective. We can trust that in the midst of all the things that seem to go wrong, something will go right.”

Lysa TerKeurst

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV) 

– See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/when-nothings-going-right/#sthash.ftvDARLB.dpuf
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02/05/16

Food for Super Bowl L

First of all, were you aware that “L” is the Roman numeral for “50”?

I hate to admit it, but I had to look it up.

That’s what this blog is for. Constant accountability & self-awareness.

So, let’s talk football. And food. And friends. Some of my most favorite things come together on this day, Super Bowl Sunday! So, whether you are hosting a bit soiree or taking a covered dish to a friend’s house for a quiet night in front of the TV, I hope these fun food ideas fill your tables… and your tummies!

I am absolutely crazy for dips! And when I think football or tailgate party, dips is the first place my mind goes.

Here are some of my favorite classic dips:

Mexican Skillet Dip

We have been making this stuff for years & it feeds a crowd! Layers of spicy beef, refried pinto beans, and cheese in a melty skillet served with chips and all your favorite toppers- lettuce, sour cream, jalapenos, olives, and chopped fresh cilantro. It’s deconstructed nachos, if you will.

Trisha Yearwood’s Hot Corn Dip

I’m a huge fan of a Corn dip and this one is the very best, and so easy! I just have a few edits (you know I can’t leave good enough alone). I substitute 1/2 the mayo with sour cream and use Pepper Jack cheese instead of Monterrey Jack for extra spice.

This can literally be thrown together in minutes and kept in the fridge until ready to bake right before party time. A crowd favorite, guaranteed!

Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Salsa 

salsa2

Because some things are classics and stand-bys for a reason.

I don’t know anyone that turns down chips n salsa. And if they did, I don’t want to know them.

Really.

And it wouldn’t be Super Bowl Sunday without Hot Wings, now would it?

I happen to love the classic Buffalo-style chicken wing, but this is a great baked version.

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings 

Baked Crispy Chicken Wings

My mouth is literally watering just looking at that picture above.

And another even lighter version from Skinnytaste.

They are pure poppable, spicy deliciousness!

Serve either variety alongside cool, creamy blue cheese or ranch dressings, carrot sticks, and celery stalks for the ultimate party starter.

For game days, or any day for that matter, I love the classic little ham and cheese sliders with poppyseed dressing that my grandmother has been making for most of my life. They are so simple & everyone loves them!

Ham and Cheese Sliders. A girlfriend served these at my baby shower, and they were so yummy. Most delicious sliders ever!:

They are truly great party food!

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches:

And for another similar variation, Pioneer Woman makes a similar recipe with roast beef. Nothing wrong with that one either! Plus, they are assembled well in advance and then baked off in the oven as you need them. They can even be frozen for later! So simple and so, so good.

And because we typically need to satisfy any sweet tooths ( or is it teeth?) present at the party, including our own… let’s just be honest, here are a few ideas for simple and delicious dessert ideas that can be made in advance and set out for all the party-comers to graze on between touchdowns.

Salted Caramel Butter Bars from Inspired Dreamer

Salted Caramel Butter Bars Recipe Oh my yes!:

Who wouldn’t love to sink their teeth into one of those?

And because I think any occasion is an excuse for a really, really good chocolate chip cookie. And these are made with malt powder and are soft, chewy, and irresistible!

Soft Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies:

It’s an all-American sweet treat while watching America’s favorite sport. At least as far as I am concerned.

And Mini Lemon Blossoms… pure, poppable, delicious fun! I have never made these and they not disappear!

Have fun! And may the best team win…

Go Broncos!!!

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