Thursday, March 31, 2011

What's So Great About Married Love Anyway?

The other day my husband said to me that he likes it when I admit my faults. If you don't understand what Christian married love is about, you might think that statement is meant as something negative. But we need to realize that we ALL have faults and that none of us is perfect. A spouse knows this better than anyone because they see who we truly are. There's no fooling that person and the harder we try, the harder we make life with them. So when he said that to me, I understood that he was merely reflecting the love that Christ has for us. He loves us no matter what. He also knows our faults, but when we confess them to Him, we are opening up to that love even more. It is a completely unconditional and no earthly love can compare to it. However, the committed love of two married people who have also committed their life to Christ is something that mirrors it. In fact, there is a reason why Christ is referred to as the Bridegroom and His people (the church) are the bride.

Ephesians 5 explains the marriage relationship and how it is to mirror the relationship we have with Christ.

So back to what my husband was saying...because I understand what he meant, I know that what he was telling was that he loves me even MORE if I admit my faults to him. I don't have to pretend! There is such freedom in knowing he has that kind love for me.

This kind of love can ONLY happen between two people who have made that marriage commitment in front of God. Two people simply living under the same roof cannot know or understand it because their relationship does not mirror His love, therefore it is not blessed by Him.

So, yes, married love is the closest thing to the perfect love of God and God IS love. What could be greater?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sometimes Life Can Be Just Plain...HARD!

Maybe it was the fact that is was Monday...or maybe it was that I woke up to a house that was 50 degrees...or maybe it was the moment my husband told me that he needed to extend his business trip and would not be coming home on Tuesday. What ever is was, I ended the day feeling nearly defeated. How does the song go? "Momma said there'd be days like this..."

We all have those days; when it seems like everything happens at once. We feel so small, so out of control. Those moments when we open the mailbox and pull out a letter from the insurance company that tells us our last visit to the doctor will not be covered. Or the moment we turn on the washing machine and see water seeping out from underneath. Or that moment when the dog looks up at us in complete misery and we find he has a mysterious limp. And it seems that these "moments" have an uncanny way of heaping themselves if to gang up on us and hit us all at once. The thought might cross our minds that maybe we are being tested, to see what our breaking point might be.

With Christ, there doesn't have to be a breaking point. I had a choice. I could either give up and give in to the pressure...or I could give it to Him.

Many are the affilctions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:19

Sunday, March 27, 2011

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Short and Simple)

You may have noticed me posting more these days and I intend to do it even more regularly. Most of my postings will be geared towards my faith (hence the title) since it is the most important part of my life. In fact, I have dedicated this blog to the Lord as a way of blessing Him by sharing how He has blessed me. Call it a form of ministry, if you will; I believe all Christians should strive to share God's Word and His love in any way they can.

So, in writing this blog, if I want to be successful I have to remind myself to just keep it simple. I'm not a theologian discussing deep interpretations of the Bible. I am just a student, ever learning, and as I learn and grow I feel a desire to share. I love what God is showing me so much that I can't keep it to myself...and I want to be obedient to Him.

But the word of God grew and multiplied. Acts 12:24

One way I plan to keep it simple (and to keep the attention of the reader) is to just make the posts short. I realize people are busy and my posts should only take about 2-3 minutes to read. I know when I read a post on another person's blog, if it takes more than a few minutes to read I tend to skim down to the end or just quit reading all together. I just don't have the kind of time to read lengthy (and sometimes drawn out) writings.

I shall make my point, share the Word, and we can all go about our other business of the day! :)

Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 106:1

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Fluffiest Pancakes Ever

2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 c. whole wheat flour (optional to use regular white flour)
2 Tbs. baking power
1/2 tsp. salt

Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Beat egg whites with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form and then set aside.

In a separate bowl mix together egg yolks, milk, sugar, vanilla, and oil. Add flour, baking power, and salt. Mix just until blended then gently fold in egg whites.

Heat an electric griddle to 250 degrees and spray with cooking spray. Pour batter onto griddle with a 1/4 c. scoop. Check underside and flip when golden brown. Check to see if pancakes are cooked through by gently pressing on the center to see if they spring back up.

This batter is very versatile. You can add a smashed banana and walnuts, or grated apple and cinnamon for a different twist.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Beauty Of The Storm

At our home in Wisconsin we have the pleasure of experiencing true country living. It's wonderfully peaceful, but there are a few things we're learning along the way. For instance we have a driveway that's about 400 feet long and the last couple of days have brought tremendous amounts of snow to it. Seventeen inches was the last count. So that means we are now officially snowed in. I'm learning to prepare for times like this and enjoy them to the fullest. In fact, it is possible to turn it into a special memory, rather than a dreaded experience. Here's my list of rules to make that happen:

Rule 1. When you hear that first weather alert head straight to the grocery store and STOCK UP, making sure you have plenty of eggs, milk, and toilet paper. It might even be a good time to get a few special treats that your family that sugary cereal they're always eyeing and you're always saying "no" to.

Rule 2. Plan ahead by mailing out any up coming bills and take care any bank deposits.

Rule 3. If you have library books or movie rentals due back, get 'em back! Or prepare to pay a little extra to have them longer.

Rule 4. Make sure the kids pick up any toys laying around outside. Once the snow hits...they're gone for a while.

Rule 5. This one is most important! ENJOY! Realize that God has given you a special opportunity to slow down a bit and be together as a family. Play games, bake cookies, make a big bowl of popcorn and watch a movie together, and PLAY OUT IN THAT SNOW!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry

1/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. soy sauce
1 Tbs. minced garlic

1/2 lb. of whole wheat linguine - cooked according to package directions
1 bag frozen stir-fry veggies
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 c. water
2 tsp. of corn starch
soy sauce - to toss on noodles
seasame oil - to toss on noodles
red peper flakes (optional)
cashews (optional)

Mix ingredients for marinade and poor over chicken. Let marinade for 2-3 hours in fridge. Remove chicken from fridge and cut into bite size pieces. Saute on med-high heat in about a tablespoon of olive oil until cooked through.

Remove chicken from pan. Turn heat down to medium and add veggies to pan along with marinade and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Mix corn starch into water and then add to simmering veggies and allow to thicken. Add chicken back to pan.

Add about a tablespoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of seasame oil to linguine noodles and toss.

Spoon stir-fry over noodles and serve. Top with a pinch of red peper flakes and some cashews for extra flavor if desired.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Not Who I Am...It's Who He Can Make Me...

I am the kind of person who thrives on a schedule. My world is in synch when I know what to expect from one hour to the next. I guess it might have something to do with the fact that my father was a Boy Scout and always likes to be prepared. I like things planned out. I don’t do well with interruptions or unexpected events. Or at least, I tend to…when I let my human nature come forth, but lately I've been much more accepting of the unexpected. So when these times do occur (and with a newborn in the house, it’s daily) I know it must be the Holy Spirit working in me, rather than myself. That is what the power of God can do; give us the ability to do what is not typical of us.

If I didn’t know better, I would be amazed by it. But I do know, because I have learned how great my God is. Yes, I’m still learning and will continue to learn about Him until the glorious day that I meet Him face to face.

Until then…I get to see His work in me. Of course, that work will not come to fruition unless I give Him the control over my life daily.

“Heavenly Father, I do not want to do things my way. I can’t do things my way. I want You to have the control. I want the Holy Spirit to work in me.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beneath The Dirty White Snow...

Here in Wisconsin, Spring is somewhat resistant. In fact, as I write this, my weather app is flashing out of the corner of my screen, indicating that there is yet another winter storm warning in effect. It prompts me to say, "make up your mind." Is it going to be spring or winter today? And as I ask that question, it's good for me to ask the same of myself, am I going to be like the harshness of winter or the hopefulness of spring? Spring offers newness and a tender rebirth of things. Hidden beneath that dirty layer of snow out there are fresh shoots of life waiting to break through the ground. In some areas of our yard where the snow has melted, they have already shown themselves, giving hope to a ravaged ground that has seen such bitter cold for so many months.

God gives us such wonderful object lessons! No matter what storms I go through, He is there, steady and constant and ready to renew my soul. So with that...I choose...

You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth. Psalm 104:30

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Swept Away

Yesterday, I swept my kitchen floor four times through out the day. And then this morning, as my tired eyes began to focus, I noticed all those crumbs seemed to have reappeared over night. It got me thinking about the troubles and challenges of life that we face. They never stay away. That could be a very depressing thought if we let it be, but there is a profound scripture that was given to us just for that reason.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19

So, yes, we will deal with crumbs, but God is always there to give us strength, comfort, and a hope for a future with Him. He provides a peace that will "sweep" away the anxieties of life. The key is to always seek Him and to rely on the promises in His Word.

And one last note (to self): Serve less corn bread at dinnertime!