Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What I Learned In 2013


I learned... some things I held high on the priority list could sink way far down and not one single thing would change.

I learned... God is bigger than I ever thought He was before now.

I learned... to freely offer compassion knowing that once upon a time I was in the ditch.

I learned... how to let go of a few things and that had me bound and chained to the past.

I learned...  this mama can pray hard enough for her children to move mountains.

I learned... for the very first time in my life to let go and let Him and He proved Himself GREAT to me.

I learned... He's still working on me and what He's making is far more beautiful than anything I could mold.

I learned... to stop and listen to my children, because often it's God dropping little pieces of wisdom in my heart and molding me better.

I learned... fear will continue to rear its ugly head in my life, but I'm a daughter of the King and that trumps it all.

I learned... perfection isn't a fruit of the spirit and I've been gnawing on it far too long.

I learned... that the measuring stick I've been using for so many years was a fraud and NO one will ever "measure up" when using it.

I learned... to take a compliment from my husband as how he feels about me and not how I feel about myself.

I learned... the late thirties really isn't that old.

I learned... sweet little innocent children turn into men and women far too quick, so I must stay vigilant in the surroundings and teachings of my children.

I learned... I can live with far less than I thought and in the end I might actually be happier doing so.

I learned... to be ungrateful is to be unhappy.

I learned... always, ALWAYS back up your computer.  Especially when you house twenty five thousand plus photos of priceless captured memories.

I learned... it's hard to be taken serious in an argument when you have the hiccups.

I learned... God still heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.

I learned... the most beautiful sound in the world is young voices echoing the halls of a school as they sing praises to their God and pledge their allegiance to their country.

I learned... there is a very good chance your child's teacher needs a massage or at least a hug.

I learned... I love Publix even more because of their holiday commercials.

I learned... a five year old tells the cold hard truth with the most innocent approach and you'd be a fool to ignore their simple wisdom.

I learned... pajama days are a necessity in life.

I learned... to live a little bit slower.

I learned... nine little screaming giggling girls in my home for a sleepover is one big chaotic mess, but also an indescribable blessing.

I learned... watching your teenage boy suit up and walk on a football field with kids the size of men never gets easier.

I learned... blowing a bubble gum bubble is to be celebrated as one of life's greatest accomplishments... in a five year old's world.

I learned... little girls expect there to be cupcakes in Heaven.

I learned... event the best mama fails and needs help sometimes.

I learned... the tickle monster trumps any electronic game...  any day...  any time.

I learned... the power of the mind is almost greater than anything... except Him.

I learned... to dream and pray God sized.

I learned... the saying "it takes a village" is spot on when raising children.

I learned... every single choice has a consequence and can alter your ultimate destiny.

I learned... I can consume an entire box of chocolate covered cherries in one shopping day and I won't be banished into immediate darkness.  It's okay girls... have some chocolate.

I learned... it's not about me and it never was.

I learned... I'm still learning and that will never end.

If I know me, I know that I'll have to learn it all over again in 2014 and a million times over again because such is life... a perpetual learning experience that hopefully molds us better.

May 2014 be GREAT and may God be BIG in your life!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Some Like It Hot | Spicy Cracker Recipe


This recipe was a take away from this year’s family Thanksgiving dinner.  I have no idea where it originated, but our crew loved it and I thought I would share here.  It was a hit appetizer while waiting on Titus the Turkey to be served.  It’s SUPER easy and will certainly wake up your taste buds.

Spicy Crackers
1 ¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. crushed pepper
1 pkg. ranch mix

Mix and pour over box of crackers and lightly toss and shake until evenly covered.


Personal review: The crackers are best after several hours of absorbing oils and seasoning.  I like to add a little more pepper than the recipe calls for because I like them HOT!!!  If you like things really salty, you can substitute garlic salt for garlic powder.  I love the recipe the way it is, but you don’t have to stop at these seasoning choices depending on your taste buds.  I haven’t tried it, but maybe add parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes with a side of marinara sauce.  The possibilities are endless.

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

OVER THE FENCE OF FEAR


Life is unanswered sometimes.

Why do things happen?

A place that every time I visit leaves me questioning Him.  

A place I try to tip toe around, but sometimes find myself there.

Days clicked away and I wandered if He even cared.  The sun would set yet again on a day without change.  Once again I’d go to bed questioning if tomorrow would be the day.

Life is unanswered sometimes.

Why?

Why is my baby girl sick?  Why can’t I fix it?  Why hasn’t He heard my cry? 

Ever been there?  Spiraling out of control and into the pit of confusion?

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” I Corinthians 14:33

Each day had in tow a whole new bundle of anxiety, tears and questions.

I’ve not shared here up to this point avoiding giving the enemy and any negativity a place in my life.  I really didn’t’ want it to seem that I’m asking the rest of the world to cry with me.  I’m not the only mother that has ever had to worry about her child and I certainly won’t be the last.  After all, this is so minor in comparison to what other mothers are facing.  Up to this point, it has been my child gets sick, I take them to the doctor and they fix it.  Done!  Not this time.  She’s has been troubled beyond my help. 

What is in the top three fears of a mother with a daughter?  I don’t even have to tell you, right.  Being diagnosed with an eating disorder at age six goes against every dream a mother has for her daughter’s childhood.  Undeniably, the choking event back in the summer impacted her more than we realized.  We are so very thankful that physically she was immediately restored, but we had no idea that she had been mentally injured to the this extent.

We’ve been told that she will most likely overcome it with therapy.  An open ended therapy timeline with a child phsycologist isn’t exactly how I painted her sweet little six year old life’s story.  I mean, it’s not a terminal illness, but it hurts me to the core just the same.  She fears the very thing that sustains life… food.

I’ve worried, I’ve prayed, I’ve begged and I’ve commanded it to leave, yet I’ve found myself stocking up on calorie and vitamin packed chocolate drinks as a source of life for her and whispering prayers by the minute to avoid a hospital bed, IV’s and food pumps.  How are we going to live normally with this thing?  I’m not so naive to think that all prayers are answered.   Again, life is unanswered sometimes. How am I going to accomplish one of my main goals as her mother to provide her with nutrition?   All these questions clouded my thoughts and I would let them drown in the sea of dull noise as I made one more pureed smoothie.

How can an otherwise physically and mentally normal child have a problem that threatens her life? 

The familiar four letter word, FEAR.

It chokes the life out of most of us.

It steers us all.

It imposingly assists our decision making.

It clouds our judgement.

It binds our movement.

It trumps almost everything.

She nods her little head and agrees that she believes me.  She believes that two very pounded and smoothed bananas won’t harm her, but her fear is stronger than her trust in me.  Isn’t it funny how that works?  In all of us.  How our fear can be greater than logic and even God’s promises, leaving us lifeless in the Spirit and concluding God’s love has ended.  How one little fear can control our entire life?  How it binds us from freely living, freely loving and freely giving?

My baby girl, K Grace, she is one of the most free spirited little girls I know.  It’s one of the things I love about her and wish I just had an ounce of her free spirit.  Except I’ve seen fear change her.  I’ve watched a normal little six year old little girl evolve into a fearful mess, coupling every single thing around her with death.  I’ve heard more than once “Mom, am I going to die?”.  Those words claw at my heart, shred it; rip it completely out.  I’m quick to rebuke the lie from the master of fear.  That lie will have no place in her little mind if I can help it, nor mine.

Why am I sharing this most dreadful story?

I read somewhere once that everything He has for us is over the fence of fear.

I had done everything; offered her the world.  She was well into her third month without food and yes, I began to bribe.  Wait just a minute before judging and think about your child not eating for three months.  I promise you, you’d bribe.  I wasn’t bribing for behavior, I was bribing for hope; just one little ounce of hope that she might get better.  Guess what?  It didn’t work.  Fear is stronger than the desire for a new set of Polly Pockets. 

She tried.  She desired to do it to please all of us and show us she could, just like when you were little standing there waiting to dive off into the summer pool which might have as well been the great blue sea.  Fear is greater than fun.  It’s greater than almost anything, except Him.

It was a Friday night, three months post initial onset of problem, when I least expected it… “Mom, I think I might be able to eat some pizza” she said.  The child said she wanted pizza… SO LET THERE BE PIZZA!!!  She sat there staring at it, you know, the dive into the pool, the shimmering water mocking you and binding your feet to the edge, immovable.  She’d pick it up and lay it back down, pressing her little finger into the pillowing dairy topping and give me the look like “I don’t know, mom”.  “You can do it baby, I know you can" just like those cheering at the side of the pool “Go ahead, jump… YOU CAN DO IT!”.

“I CAN’T!” I yelled while stepping back from the ledge as fear trumped desire.  “I just can’t”.

Then, she dug way deep down into the pit of desire grabbing His hand for strength.

Stepping back up again, holding my breath and with one giant leap over the Fence of Fear, I plunged into the deep blue sea, letting the sunlight lead me as fear washed off me as I surfaced.  

Do you remember when you were washed of a fear?

“You did it, K… YOU DID IT!”

One bite after another, I watch her bind fear.  It took over an hour for one half slice of American pie, but SO WHAT… I prayed for this for over three months!!!

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.  He freed me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:4

FEAR IS A FRAUD!

How many times have we/I allowed fear to dwell in our hearts and minds and mold a big ole' monster out of absolutely nothing?  

Whether it's a child scared of the dark, taking that dreaded dive into the pool or fear that rest in your heart today of another sort, I pray that this four letter word will have no source of life, knowing it's a product of the master enemy.

We aren’t “out of the woods” as they say.  We still have bad days where not one single bite of food is to be had, but we are so very thankful for the hope of the good days and the promise of our Father that He’ll never forsake us and He sees us right where we are. 

I share my daily prayer for her here in hope that you might be able to pray it with boldness over your fear as well.  Bind fear and cast it into darkness where it has no source of life.

I pray that the thoughts of fear will be ushered captive into the obedience of Christ.  Fear, you are a liar!  I will not receive or believe your lie in the name of Jesus.  You WILL NOT set up came in her/my mind.  I’m claiming them washed of fear today.  God is my Master and you have no place in my life.  My God is crafted her body and will restore her to a whole sound mind.  Now, bow and knee before me author of fear!!!  You are no match for me, because GREATER is He that is in me!!!



For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – II Timothy 1:7
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