Monthly Archives: April 2016

04/27/16

Seeing Brokenness as a Blessing

I recently read this devotion from Micca Campbell on Proverbs 31 blog and it bowled me over. So many of the thoughts that I had been having as I look around and see brokenness all around me.

I hope your heart finds peace and comfort as you read these words.

The Blessing of Brokenness 

“I clenched my teeth and closed my eyes as I waited for the explosion. My favorite lamp had fallen to the floor and smashed to smithereens. Somehow, in the scattered fragments I saw a picture of my own broken life.

As I carefully collected the shattered bits, tears stung my eyes and the pain of brokenness surfaced again. It’s a deep hurt. The kind not easily healed. My heart was crushed as if it had been stomped on, broken and discarded. Unable to progress in my work or relationships, I became a hostage to my own sadness. I felt weak and desperate for hope.

No one enjoys the pain of brokenness. Normally it calls for a letting go of something near and dear to us. At the time, it doesn’t make any sense. Yet, since the broken lamp, I have learned that brokenness leads to an unexpected good.

It’s for this reason that God breaks us. Not to cause us undue pain. Not because He doesn’t love us. Instead …

God breaks us to bless us.

He chips away anything that keeps us from finding our true life in Him.

God targets an area of our life that we’re unwilling to submit to Him. Perhaps it’s an unhealthy relationship we won’t release. It could be laziness that’s stunting our spiritual growth. Or even a bad habit that’s standing in the way of experiencing the fullness of God.

Whatever the cause, our tendency is to hold tightly to these things because we believe it’s what we want. We’re convinced they please us by providing the joy, pleasure and fulfillment we seek. But God knows the truth. Only He can truly satisfy our deepest longings. All else is counterfeit to His provision.

Therefore, God selects the tools it takes to break our self-sufficiency and cause us turn to Him. When we give up our independence, we gain a new perspective of God’s plan and purpose for our lives.

A great picture of this process is found in our key verse. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).

Unless the kernel is buried and dies, it will produce nothing. It will remain a lone, solitary stalk of corn. Imagine passing a field that only hosted one blade of corn. You might ask, “Where’s the rest of this farmer’s harvest?” However, if the kernel dies, it will produce a great harvest.

Consider the life of Jesus. On earth, He was like a single stalk of corn. Yet, through His death, burial and resurrection, His life continually produces a harvest of souls.

In a similar way, as long as I live a selfish life fixed on my own wants and desires, I will produce little. On the other hand, if I die to myself and live according to God’s plan, I will yield a productive life that’s beneficial to God and others.

It sounds difficult, I know, but the unexpected good of brokenness is that it revives the life of Christ in me. I become less and He becomes more. That’s a good thing!

The more we become like Him, the more we become like the true selves God intended. The more love and patience I have in my heart, the more joyful and content I am with others.

Think of it this way. For the wheat to reproduce itself, it had to die. For Christ to reproduce Himself in others, He had to die. If I desire Christ’s life to be reproduced in me, I, too, must die to the lure of the world and my own selfishness. Then, I will experience the fullness of God I desire and reproduce disciples of the same kind. Jesus put it this way:

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25, NIV).

Sometimes God has to break me to bless me. As challenging as that can be, I’m thankful. Because honestly, I want the life God wants to give me instead of settling for the counterfeit.”

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24 (NASB) 

I want all of that life that God wants to give me, never settling for the counterfeit. Chip away anything in my life that keeps me from finding true life, love, joy, and contentment in You.

xoxo…

Share
04/22/16

Creamy Herb Dip

I like many of you, love a good dip! It’s the ultimate party food and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love to gather and gab around the dip bowl!

This Creamy Herb Dip is one of Ina Garten’s classic party recipes served the the veggie dippers of your choice. Serve this at your next get-together and watch it go fast! That’s precisely what I did at Katie’s engagement party. I doubled the recipe that you see below for a total of 4 cups of dip, but the recipe is very forgiving to make 1/2 the recipe size or to double or triple the amount as well.

herb1

Creamy Herb Dip 

Yields 2 cups

{original recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa cookbook, 2004}

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 scallions, white & green parts minced finely
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Assorted crudites and/or crackers for serving

Directions:

Place the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend.

herb3

herb2

Transfer to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2-3 hours to allow the flavors to develop.

Serve at room temperature with vegetables and/or crackers for dipping.

Engagement Party 045

Engagement Party 046

My favorites are cucumber, carrot chips, cauliflower, sweet red or yellow bell pepper strips or little baby peppers, and even classic Pita chips or wedges for extra crunch! But, other great options would be broccoli, sugar snap peas, endive leaves, cherry tomatoes… just use your imagination! The sky is truly the limit. This dip would also be a sensational spread for toasted bread or even a great baked potato topper.

Engagement Party 047

It’s beautiful, colorful, fresh, and most importantly, it’s absolutely delicious!

You will be making this one all spring & summertime long…

Enjoy!!

Share