Monday, March 23, 2015

By HIS Grace, I Am Enough


There seems to be a common topic going around the blogosphere of late. The topic of feeling as if you are not enough, coming to the point where you realize on your own you are not enough, and discovering that by GOD's grace, and in HIS eyes, you are enough for HIM.

I am not going lie. The feeling of not being enough, whether it be for GOD, my husband, peers, it's plagued me my ENTIRE life.

I'm shy, and introverted. Always have been.

As a child and then a teenager, that caused me to be a target of emotionally, gut wrenching, verbal bullying.

No matter how hard I tried, I was never fully accepted for who I was. And the older I got, the searing pain and fear of rejection, caused me to retreat ever deeper into my shell.

But, praise GOD! HE has healed those injuries.

Unfortunately though, that sort of pain has left some pretty deep scars. And to this very day, I struggle with opening up with others, trusting them, and sharing the person GOD created me to be.

At times I have found myself longing to be accepted so much, that I will not express who GOD has created me to be. Who HE is training for a special purpose in life, that only HE knows about.

I lose my voice. I restrict showing how HIS spirit is working. And that stifles that great work.

That great work of being fearfully and wonderfully made in HIS eyes. The one whom HE has made me to be.

The 24 year old, sinner, that is oh so thankful to be saved by grace.

The one who fails her LORD and Savior miserably on a daily basis, and is blown away by HIS never ending mercy and forgiveness.

The one that has undergone so many trials, and by HIS grace alone, has for the most part become reliant on HIM alone.

The young woman that loves hunting, and getting her jeep muddy.

The girl that has a passion for weight lifting, running, herbal healing and eating healthy, but ain't gonna hesitate scarfing down chocolate cheesecake.

The worrier, the bossiest ever, laugh way too loud at ridiculous things, and cry at the drop of a hat kind of person.

The wife who feels as if she loves her husband too much at times, and desperately longs to be a mother.

And how wrong it is to hide whom GOD created, and is creating me to be.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14

By GOD's saving grace, I am enough.

By that grace, and HIS never ending strength, I will overcome the fear of not being enough, and the sin of hiding who HE has created me to be.

Is the LORD teaching you that you are enough for HIM? Have you ever had to overcome the pain and fear of rejection? What encouragement did the LORD bring into your life?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. The post by Arabah Joy, titled "Dear Underdog, How to Be On Top" heavily inspired these thoughts. As well as...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I Bought Some Ice Cream

Justin decided to rake the leaves off of our roof Saturday. Guess what he found at the back?
A hole in the roof.
I thought I was being my usual clumsy self, and spilling water on the floor, while drinking a glass at our kitchen sink for the past few days. Guess what?
I looked under the sink today and found the pipes leaking.
I called Justin at work to inform him of the situation. Guess what?
I shamefully got irritated, and short with him while he so patiently asked questions on where the pipes were leaking.
I cooled down, drank a cup of coffee, took a walk outside, and called my hubby back to ask for forgiveness. Guess what?
He forgave me.
I thought about crying about the two situations at hand. But decided on another idea. Wanna guess what?
I hopped in the Jeep, rode to the grocery store, and bought some ice cream.
My GOD is great. And despite problems that arise in life, life is good.
I am alive, I am healthy, I am married to the man of my dreams, and that Southwestern Black Bean and Quinoa casserole in the oven smells AMAZING right now.
Yeah, my house might be falling apart (exaggeration). And we might being staying up late tonight trying to help put it back together.
But there is some ice cream in the freezer, and after the work is done, me and the hubby are going to sit down and enjoy a big 'ol bowl of it. :D
And by GOD's grace, I choose to smile at that rainbow in my life.
What are you choosing to smile about today?
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Seeing Children As A Blessing

With Justin's Niece, On Our Wedding Day

I wrote a post a month or so back, talking about how the LORD has been working on my heart, in becoming content if HE never allows me to become a mother.

I’ll admit, I am kind of surprised at the fact I have been so disappointed at not becoming pregnant quickly. Justin has been pretty surprised too.

Up until last year, I can’t say that becoming a mother has been one of my greatest desires.

I’ve never been a “children” kind of person.

Getting down on a child’s level has never been easy for me.

My mom has always called me her “old soul”. I’ve always had a serious disposition, and tend to behave much older than I am. Being silly, and “childlike”, can be foreign to me.

My patience runs very thin too. Teaching a K-3 class, I am around children a lot. I’ve experienced firsthand how much training is required, to help them overcome their natural tendencies to be disobedient and selfish. That has made me shamefully afraid I will not be able to handle behavior issues well with my own children, and become tired of them quickly.

But the LORD has been working on my heart. And by HIS grace, I finally see children as a great blessing. And the most important work.

Yes, they require A LOT of work. But GOD’s word says they are one of HIS greatest blessings. I mean, where else in life can you have the possibility of directly influencing GOD’s kingdom, than with raising children that will prayerfully live lives to serve HIM?

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5
I guess, knowing that children are a great blessing is what makes it so hard for me to give up that desire of wanting them. 

But GOD can use me in other ways. HE knows what is best for my life.

I will trust HIM.

And I truly feel at peace, knowing HE knows best. :)

What is the LORD teaching you in your life?

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

So, I have not been feeling the best in the world today. Those lovely female hormones that like to visit each month have wreaked havoc on my emotions. Not to mention my appetite.
My body is telling me that I could currently survive on peanut butter, chocolate, and coffee. Contrary to what my chocolate, peanut butter, coffee loathing hubby thinks, I say in a perfect world, we should all be able to thrive on those foods. . ;)
But, we can enjoy those delectable treats every now and then. And I found one way to do so today, without completely destroying my healthy eating habits. Here's a recipe for "Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies".
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with mixer for 3-4 minutes. Spoon onto cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes, at 350 degrees. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, before transferring to cooling rack.
Refrain from gorging on them right before dinner. :P


In a perfect world, what foods would you thrive one?

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Simple Pleasures Today

The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist: Writings from the Ozarks   
It was a cloudy and rainy day in my neck of the woods. The day was spent indoors, enjoying some simple pleasures of life.
Like watching the finches at the feeder...

 Drinking coffee, and working on a gift for a friends upcoming wedding shower...
Kicking another weight training session out...
Watching 45 minutes of this favorite on my lunch break...
Having the house all spic and span, and then trying to find a way to float over the carpet so the vacuum lines stay...
Coming up with a new outfit combo that was warm and comfy...
Baking banana, avocado bread on national "Banana Bread Day"...
And enjoying leftovers for dinner with this hot thing...

Thank-you LORD, for your many blessings on me!

What simple pleasures did you enjoy today?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thank for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Common, Everday Blessings to Be Thankful For

Hello there! I pray that each of you are having a wonderfully blessed day in our LORD! It's been a cold few days here in NC. The high yesterday just barely reached 30, and today was only about 35. Thankfully I have not had to go outdoors. Today was happily spent inside lifting weights, and catching up on housework. A blessed day it was. :)
So, how have you dear folks been of late? Other than suffering through horribly cold weather, life has been quietly pleasant.
I've kept up my New Years goal of exercising daily. I'm still lifting weights 4 days a week, with cardio intervals, and twice weekly Yoga. I've even accomplished a long set goal of completing a deadlift over 100 pounds. Last week I was able to complete 3 sets of 110 pounds! WOO-HOO! :D
I've also kept up my Bible reading schedule. Currently I read one chapter in Job and 1 Corinthians a day. Last week while finishing up Romans, I was comforted by these words...

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Romans 12:1-5
I've been working hard at my goal of trying as many new recipes as I can for 2015. We have had at least two new recipes each week. Black bean soup with mango, avocado quesadillas were a big hit for us both. :D 

Justin entered into a new role in life. He was elected a deacon at our church last night. Words cannot describe how thankful I am, that the LORD allowed me to marry such a serving, patient leader, as he. :)

Here's my most recent craft project. A sign I hope to set outside by our door come this spring.
I've been reading quite a bit too. I recently finsished up these two books...

I recently started drinking nettle tea. I am loving the light flavor, and how chock full of nutrients it is! :D

My K-3 teaching job is moving right along. We celebrated Valentine's Day on Thursday. I made them some chocolate, chocolate cupcakes. But I think the only part of the cupcakes that were eaten, was the frosting. :P

Oh yeah! I made a cupcake for each teacher in the school as well. I've been wanting to bless them with a treat for a while now, and this was the perfect time to! :)

Our second Valentine's Day as a married couple came. Our quiet, introverted selves, are not "big crowds" kind of people, so we spent the day at home. I set up a candlelight steak dinner, and we dressed up, and danced to every sappy love song I have on my MP3 player. ;) 
Beautiful roses Justin bought me. The first since we have been married...

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness -- just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”  
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder - Volume One: On Wisdom and Virtues
Thank-you LORD, for your blessings on me!
What have you been blessed with of late?
Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Is GOD Your Refuge?

“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts.”
― Elisabeth Elliot
“Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.”
― Elisabeth Elliot
“Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security.”
― Elisabeth Elliot
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Raising and Eating Our Homegrown Chicken

I love chickens! To me they are the best pets in the world. Sweet, mostly calm, and best of all they give you delicious, nutritious eggs to eat.
I grew up raising chickens, and was sad to leave chicken raising behind for a bit, after getting married. But spring of last year came, and my hubby told me I could purchase and raise some birds of our own.
So I excitedly headed to Tractor Supply, and picked up 5 bantams.

I quickly became attached to these birds. They would get excited when they heard my voice, and come running up to me when I called. But, as fate would have it, their lives only lasted two weeks, before a neighbor's dog broke into their pen and killed them.
So, we tried again. This time we purchased 6 Australorps. 

For some reason, I did not become attached to these birds. And it's a good thing I didn't. Because as they began to grow, a problem with them arose.
We had 5 roosters and 1 hen.
I tried to sell them, but there was no interest. So, Justin decided we would fatten them up, butcher them ourselves, and eat them. :)
And that is what Justin and my mother did on January 2nd.

It was the first time Justin had butchered chickens, and my mom's second time.

They killed 3 of our roosters, plus 3 my mom brought from their farm. The only part I had in this venture, was catching the birds, and snapping a few pics. I made myself scarce when blood was present...

It was a blessing to be able to raise our own birds for meat. We have ate the meat on 3 occasions, so far. I love knowing they lived happy lives roaming the woods, and ate only the most natural and nutritious foods for chickens. I hope to be able to raise some more birds for meat again.

But only after I am FINALLY able to raise a batch of birds that will be pets, and good egg layers! :D

Have you ever raised chickens, or other animals for meat?

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. If you want to see more of the butchering process, hop on over to my mom's blog. Be warned though. The pics do show the full process, blood and all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Breath Taking Heights, And Choking Swamps

First up, I want to say thank-you to each of you dear ones, that took the time to leave such encouraging words in my last post. A peace washed over me soon after reading all your sweet words. And even though I do not know if GOD is going to fulfil my desires to become a mother, I do know that HE holds my future, and HE does know what is best for my life. :D
"Romance, sex, and childbearing are temporary gifts of God. They are not part of the next life. And they are not guaranteed even for this life. They are one possible path through the narrow way to Paradise. Marriage passes through breathtaking heights and through swamps with choking vapors. It makes many things sweeter, and with it come bitter providences.”
John Piper, This Momentary Marriage Quote 
It was an emotionally turbulent week last week. Filled with highs and lows. Flying high, with my returning to regular communion with GOD. And then the disappointment at not being a mother. 
And I am ashamed to say, that I tended to push my husband away while I was hurting.
But the LORD showed me how wrong that was, and after asking HIS forgiveness, I asked Justin for his.
GOD does not promise us happiness in this life. It is only a temporary pleasure, on this path we are taking to our forever home in heaven (if we have accepted HIS Son into our lives).
I am thankful for this gift of marriage.
As last week showed, it is filled with breathtaking heights, and swamps with choking vapors.
But marriage does make the path of life sweeter.
I feel blessed beyond measure to be a part of a marriage. And I cannot wait to continue this path, and see where GOD is going to lead us next.
Pics are from some much needed quality time, spent this past weekend.
What has the LORD brought into your life, to make the path sweeter?
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!