Thursday, March 5, 2015

Prayer Challenge (4)



Today, many people may cross your path.  You won't know them but one or two of them are going to stick out to you in some way.  It may be their look or the way they carry themselves or a situation you see them in.

Pray for them.

Don't think about it....just do it.

Dear God,

These people I have seen in passing today, I pray that you will care for them and keep them safe and be with them in whatever they may be going through, good or bad, big or small.  Let them know You love them.

Amen.




Thursday Thoughts, Stuff & Things.

Beautiful Things


I think....Stuff n Things like.....

Hurt is a constant in this world.  I hate that.  It comes in all forms and fashions.  Be smart enough not to hurt anyone over and over again.

Growth is important...spiritual, emotional, relationship.  Don't stop growing or you will fail.

Time with my positive and uplifting friends is precious.  I am so thankful to have Ashley and Jennifer in my life.  They are fabulous.

I am not a picture painter.  But I sure do have a fun time learning!

My baby is growing. He sat in my lap for me to read him story books.  It melted my heart but heightened my alert that indeed he is getting older much faster.

He still isn't sleeping in his bed for a full night....I may go insane.

I want the best life ever for my daughter.  She's now 7 1/2 and she's smart as a whip but caught in that scary time of middle childhood.  I want her to be safe and still have big spacious fields to run wild in.

There should be a Starbucks closer than 16 miles away.

I need to run.

Peach champagne is too easy to drink.

Creame cheese brownies are highly addictive but I'm glad Jennifer & Brian cleared them out for me!

I want spring leggings and thin sweaters.

You guys enjoyed my MCD rant last week....it felt good to get that out!

I cannot wait until we have grass in our yard instead of red mud.

My dog smells horrible.  She needs a bath faster than next Monday.

I wish I could make my dog smell as good as the Vet's Office does.....I fail at that.

You're either the first call of the day or the last call of the day.

Fit with Deb on You Tube kicked my butt.




Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Prayer Challenge (3)




Prayer challenge day 3....coincides with the end of our Love Notes series.

Today, lets pray for our "other halves".

The husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, special friends....

Let's pray that they have a day that is wonderful, safe, and happy.  Let's pray that they do not get frustrated and that they feel peace in every moment they are given.

Let's thank God for this special person He has put in our lives and the vital role they play.

Let's ask God to heal them from their problems that they may face.

Finally, let's allow God to work in our relationships to make them even more loving and stronger.

Dear God,

Thank you for giving me __________.  I ask that today you fill them with your love and grace and keep them safe and happy as they go forward in this day.  Please let them know that they are appreciated and loved beyond measure.  Work in them on the things they struggle with and let them always be reminded that I am so appreciative of them.  Please work in our relationship to make us stronger and better than ever before.

Amen.





Love Notes: Grand Finale




Get this...if you want a successful marriage then when you get angry you should both strip down and see if you still want to fight it out.

Did that catch your attention?

Just kidding but I have heard it works wonders.

I'm closing up this topic today to make way for a new topic for March.  


Today I want to end the marriage enrichment blog posts with this....probably the most important lesson learned in our enrichment study that we enjoyed immensely.

There are six words that you should never forget to say to your spouse.

I am sorry

&

I forgive you

I could sit here and type about how you need to say I love you all the time but folks that is a given.  You know you need to say those three words and normally they fall out of our mouths without us even thinking about it.

The words - I am sorry and I forgive you do not seem to just roll off the tongue with great ease.  They are almost too difficult for us to say.

I am sorry.

Those are three powerful words.  When you say them with genuine meaning then you are truly a strong person. When you say them you are admitting you were wrong.  As humans it is very hard for us to admit we are wrong.  It starts early and sticks with us. 

I know how hard it is to say I am sorry.  I am a tough cookie to crack. Yes, I am bull headed as they come! Those three words are so very laborious for me to mumble, let alone clearly speak!

But the power they have is incredible.

When I am a wife that has said something out of anger or rage or hurt feelings I am a difficult and scary creature.  It is too easy for me to say words that cut flesh and bone.  I can rattle cages and do so much damage with my words.  

As I have gotten a little older and wiser and as I have been married longer and experienced more bumps in the road I have realized I can better hold my fiery tongue.  I have also learned, though it is hard on me, I can also apologize for hurt I have caused my spouse with angry expressions.

I forgive you.

My husband forgives my anger.  That is so powerful.  If he couldn't forgive my dagger throwing mouth then we couldn't make it.

Forgiveness is harder sometimes than apologizing.  

People hurt us and we want to cradle that hurt like a little baby.  Then we want to in turn use that hurt against the person who hurt us.  

Think back to Chuck & Larry....


It is a circle, a never ending, good for nothing circle that cannot make anything stronger but hatred and resentment.

I have been hurt badly in my life.  I wanted to hang on to that hurt and use it to fuel my detestation for the people who had hurt me.  What did that do?  Make a mockery of me?  Of course.  I couldn't move forward if all I wanted to do was hold something against someone else.  I was the brick wall and I was making situations worse by not allowing them to heal.

When I offered forgiveness - wholehearted forgiveness - my life became so much better.

I held the idea of forgiving my husband for some of his wrongdoings in a little box, tucked away.  He wasn't worthy of my forgiveness because he had only thought of himself and never regarded me or our daughter.

That is irony folks.

The irony is I was hurting him by only thinking of the pain placed on me by his ill decision making.  I was being a stupid human.  By being that stupid human I was making the pain worse and I was not allowing healing to take place.

Marriages cannot survive if your own spouse cannot give you mercy and by mercy I mean forgiveness.  As far as that goes no relationship can last if you cannot ask for forgiveness and offer it up.

As Christians I owe everyone who ever hurts me forgiveness. We were granted the most amazing forgiveness in a horrific death on a piece of crossed wood.  Your spouse is the person who you made a covenant with that says you will bless them and love them and pardon them just as Christ did for you. 

If you want your marriage to last always admit your wrongdoings and give apology. But with that apology should be a better you who strives to NEVER repeat the hurting cycle.  It takes work and will not automatically come to you.  You must practice self discipline and selflessness.  Never forget that apology without action is pointless.

 Always, always, always offer forgiveness.  If you can do this you can grow together into something so amazing, strong, and beautiful.

For those who have been hurt, deeply, and find the marriage at its end...you still owe it to yourself and your spouse to apologize for the hurt.  Divorce brings such devastation to hearts and souls and you both owe it to each other to apologize and forgive so that you can move forward into a healthier view and hopefully healthier and much happier relationship down the road.


I have enjoyed sharing what I have learned in this series.  Also, I would recommend you picking up Adam Hamilton's Book Love To Stay.  I had planned to do a give away of the book but I decided it deserves a spot on our shelf.  It is a good reference and something that I feel like some of my local friends may want to divulge in at some point.  You can purchase this book by clicking the link below.








Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Prayer Challenge (Day 2)



Today you are going to experience several emotions....

Chances are you'll be happy, so-so, maybe go a little mad over something, and then return to happy.  There is a chance that today you will, indeed, giggle or laugh at something that is funny.

If you're a teacher it could easily be a student (kindergarten all the way up to high school can say things that make you smile and giggle....)

If you're in an office there's always that one person who strives to make you smile in some way.....

If you're in sales maybe you're going by that one place where you always get a good grin from the secretary or the owner....

If you're a stay at home mama then one of those kids (or even the dog) is going to make you laugh (after you feel so angry and shed some tears hahaha)....

Even if you're away from people you'll hear something or read something that will make your mouth turn upwards and your eyes crease a bit and cause you to erupt a bubbling sound from deep down.

Pray for that feeling....that happiness and that lightness.  Pray for your day to be one of ease and happiness.  Pray for giggles in place of stress and fear.  Pray for giggles instead of a case of road rage.  Pray for a connection with the people you meet that leaves a smile on both your faces.

You're Tuesday is going to rock.

Dear God,

Today I ask that you give me more happy moments and fewer moments of stress or sadness or anger.  I pray that the people I meet will be met with a smile and in turn as will I.  I pray that those I meet as well as myself enjoy the gifts of laughter and happiness today and that our Tuesday is filled with peace and joy.  I pray that the goodness of this day shines through in every minute.  Thank you for these blessings.

Amen.






Weekending...2/28-3/1


I had a wonderful weekend and I hope you did too.  It isn't often that I post about my weekends but this is one I wish to remember.  It involved a lot of fun time with my two best friends....Ashley & Jennifer.

First off, I have to tell you my husband is amazeballs.  Most days I'm out and about making a dollah bill ya'll but a lot of the time I am at home doing all the lovely housewife duties like cooking, cleaning, rearing children, going insane, drinking too much coffee, you get my drift.  My hubby has no problem (if I can give him a head's up) to watch the junior mints on his day off for me to run away for a while.  He even expects me to go over the amount of time I expect to be out.  I told you he is amazeballs.  So thanks, lover.

My Saturday morning started off at 6:30 AM....yes my two and a half year old slept in.  It was nice....you know sleeping past 5:30.  By 9 I was on my way to the lovely Wilkes County to see my college bestie.  Not only was she throwing a painting party (I'm throwing one too in the coming months) but she also just moved into her new home!  So I get a threefer....see her (awesome as usual), paint (fabulous, I love to paint), and see her new home (grand!).

NO offense but my table rocked out....there are two artists at that table and none of them have the name Amanda.

Ashley shooting stealth photography of me.  I'm looking all professional.

Yep, that's MY Ashley!  She was a little skeered.  However, she did an amazing job.

So here are the finished products.  The only person I knew was Ashley but I met some super friendly and sweet ladies and that's a true plus!  Didn't we do well?  

I had a BLAST!  I also ate a butt load of carbs and one of those fabulous carbs I plan to make as soon as I whip my tail into shape.....oh yeah it is coming at you next Tuesday.

Around 3 I got home and guess what.....the hubby had cleaned the house.  Like really cleaned it!  The kids were content and it was like ----




Our friends Jennifer and Brian came over that evening with pizza and wings.  I failed to take any photos but we had a really fun time together.  Jennifer brought a bottle of Aftershave (some of you will get that).  I never knew you could drink it.  It was like drinking your grandpa's cheeks.  

I love to be around happy people and those are two happy kids.  Makes my heart all warm and thumpy.  Wait...isn't that how it normally is?

In the course of four hours we planned a lot of porch memories and a potential fall beach getaway. 

 

I.love.my.friends.

Sunday was gross (weatherwise).  I woke up to all this banter about ice.  Church wasn't cancelled so we headed over and participated in a phenomenal service.  We are so happy and blessed to have been led to such an amazing atmosphere to worship.  My husband and I have both said over and over how much we love our church.  It may be large but it is so comfortable and really does make you want to be a much better servant.

After church we hit up Big Lots for these goodies.....


I have this weird obsession with birds.



We had an extra 20% off our order....#happydance.  We also got some awesome pillows.  Valentine's weekend, when we were on our retreat, we had some awesomely wonderful pillows in the condo and I vowed to get us some.  Mission, accomplished.

The little kid got all out of sorts after that trip so we were home for the afternoon.  Until I had to go volunteer for a consignment sale.  I think that was my last volunteer shift ever.  Afterwards I met the hubby and little man at our favorite mexican restaurant and picked up the Diva from her Nana's.

By the way....the Diva basically resides at her Nana's.  Home is no longer cool....yes we are entering tweendom.  




Can I also just say I think the child has grown, literally, over night.  She keeps getting taller!  I weeded out her closet and chest of drawers Monday and replaced with a size bigger.  

So yeah that was my awesome weekend and I just felt the HUGE need to share it out here.    







Tasty Tuesday



No recipes this week but I am sharing my March Menu Snapshot.  Once again I sat down to plan an idea menu for the month so I'm not scrounging for ideas when its time to go to the Teeter (haha that sounds funny ya'll....its Harris Teeter....ok you can tell I spend wayyy too much time around teenagers).

March in NC tends to be a bit chemically imbalanced. On Monday it may be 40 degrees and Tuesday 78 degrees.  Trust me after 33 years here I am pretty used to it...though I do spend many minutes in prayer that the 78 will stay forever.

With the weather being mentioned March is when I do two things (food wise):

1.  Stop the heavy foods.  Goodbye comfort foods, we don't need you, its warming up we need lighter fair so we can get outside and have fun.....not be drooling on our couch pillows.

2.  Hello GRILL!  (AKA HUBBY COOKS)


So cute, via....

When I plan a menu I always take into account the calendar.

How many days are in the month that I will actually be expected to cook....this time about 20-24.  I don't schedule a meal for Wednesdays because we eat on the way to church.  I also try to skip a weekend day because we generally order out.

Week 1 (Happy March!  Spring is coming!)

Crab Cakes 
Sausage & Corn Chowder from Mix & Match Mama
Lasagna 
Burgers to celebrate the arrival of anti cold weather!!!



Week 2 (Happy Anniversary to my hubby & I)

Slow cooker Greek chicken pitas
Pineapple Pork Sandwiches (crock pot meal) with smiley fries because the kids love 'em!
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Grilled Salmon with mushrooms and asparagus (we kinda love it)



Week 3 (Happy St. Patty's Day!)

Cajun Shrimp & Quinoa
Chicken Caeser Salad Wraps
Stuffed Chicken Marsala  (such a pretty dish!)
Taco Night!



Week 4  (Spring is here!!!!)

All American Burgers  
Chicken Supreme Pasta Bake
Steak Kabobs
Grilled Salmon (that stuff is off the chain)



Week 5  (April is coming quick!)
Passover begins on Friday at Sundown!
EASTER WEEK!  Look for Easter ideas on the blog for all things food!