Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Running Away from God for my ME Time

It’s been months.  A lot has happened. We welcomed beautiful girl number two back in December. Her name is Lily but she is far from delicate. In fact, she’s quite a beast. God and I grow some healthy girls. I’m not complaining.

Up until Lily was born I connected semi-regularly with the Lord. I mean, I talk to Him throughout the day, but as far as sitting down and keeping up with my Bible study or digging into His word, I was only doing that mostly regularly.

I would take most regularly over what I’m doing now. The past eight weeks I’ve barely cracked my Bible open. I took it into Abby’s (that’s the name of my older girl) room to read her the birth of Jesus from Luke 2 and that is where it sat until yesterday. Dusty. Yes, my Bible collected dust. I took it to work with the intention of reading it. I didn’t. Even as I sit here now, I’m thinking, “I should really go read that chapter about peace in that one book and catch up on Galations for Bible study tomorrow.” And yet here I sit.

Instead of actually reading the Bible, I’m talking about reading about it. I have a go-to list of 47 things that I can do before I actually sit down with the Word. Why am I trying so hard not to spend quality time with the Lord? I’ve tasted and seen that He is good. I know that I will only truly be refreshed and my thirsty soul quenched by the living water only He can give. I mean really, why I am trying so hard to skate on by and waste this precious quiet time (and it is precious. it is a rare thing now for me to ever have time to myself)?

I think a lot of people do this. “Not now God. I’m really busy and I just need some time to myself to ‘relax.'” Me, knowing full well I will only really be relaxed and peaceful after some time with Him. “I need some ME time God. You understand don’t you? Work has been really hectic and I just want to space out and watch some L&O: SVU. ” Well, that’s great and all, really, but since when is life supposed to be about me? And yet here I sit. Me. My me time. It’s funny because I always tell Abby something along the lines of “its a good thing God wasn’t too busy for us that day” or “Jesus didn’t feel like dying for our sins, but He did anyway.” Is that bad? I don’t know, but I have a very self-absorbed 3 years and 364 days old little child. I know, I know, its apparently normal, but still. What if Jesus decided He needed some ME time two years ago when my marriage was falling apart? Or when He was knitting together my two precious children? Or when the eternal life of man hung in the balance? What then?

This is sort of spending time with the Lord, in a way. But while talking about spending time with Him and thinking about spending time with Him are nice in theory, I don’t really think they cut the mustard. Jesus didn’t just think or talk about dying on the cross now did He?

Hmph. Heavy stuff for a Monday. And poof. Just like that. Motherhood calls. Maybe next time.

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Judge Judy Part Deux

Upon further reading and having a mini chat with my awesome church’s associate pastor, I’ve come to a slightly clearer understanding regarding this subject. As with most words in the Bible, the English translation doesn’t always do them justice. The original language usually has a little more to offer and such is the case with the word ‘judge.’

*Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

*1 Cor 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

*Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

*Matthew 7:1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

The word ‘judged’ in these verses is Strong’s #2919 (scroll down a bit to the exhaustive concordance section) and implies punishment, condemnation, damming, and the act of calling in to question. Not very nice. And exactly the kind of thing I am guilty of doing. When I don’t want someone to move into the house across the street from me because I’ve judged their character based on the car they drive (i know. ridculous.), that’s snobbery and judgementalism (i do what i want. like make up words.) at it’s finest. This is when we get into condemning ourselves because that’s quite hypocritical! It’s not like I’m rollin’ around in a Mercedes. These are not good examples. My brain isn’t working tonight. Ooo. Got one. Sometimes I get frustrated with the way in which a certain person in my life spends his/her free time and sometimes I judge their walk with God based on that fact; but, I’m bringing it (judgement, condemnation) back onto myself, because really, how do I spend my free time?! If someone followed me around for a day, would they know that I love Jesus based on how I used my time? Unfortunately, but honestly, I’m going to have to go with no on that one.

BUT! The part that I get so hung up on is when it is ok to judge. Yes, there are times that it’s accepted.

*Matt 7:16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

*Matt 7:20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

These are the verses that kept popping up when I wanted to justify the kind of judging I was doing. Here, the word used is Strong’s #1921 and means to know upon some mark or to become fully acquainted with. So, there is a difference. In these verses it’s more about discerning rather than judging. I believe that discernment is a gift from the Holy Spirit and something that is developed over time.

As with most things regarding God, it all comes down to the condition of your heart, and this is a behavior He has begun to point out in me that is less than desirable. The main thing for me to realize is that what I’ve been doing–seeing someone’s external appearance (cars, behavior, etc.) and drawing conclusions about that person’s character, their heart, is sin; to look at a person and condemn them in my mind as a ‘sinner’ who “must not be walking closely with God because of this, this, and that.” Only God knows hearts.

When I first started doing this blog I was kind of worried about how it would affect my quiet times and my desire to spend time with God. I tend to over-extend myself, over-inflate my ability to do things, and take on way too much. It’s been good though. It’s made me more self-aware, more aware of the things of God, things like this, places where I’m pitifully falling short. It’s been good.


On a lighter note :) I realize that I haven’t posted anything cooking related in a while; that’s because I haven’t been cooking! It’s been a whirlwind of fast food and restaurants the past couple of days (parenting fail), but I hope to bake something today or tomorrow and maybe even cook dinner on Thursday :) PS-there is a new tab up at the top labeled “God Stops,” check it out and share! :)

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Pensive Patty

    So I’ve been thinking. About a lot of things. Homeschooling. Parents. Parenting. Living. It’s only natural I would start a blog about dinner and then not cook all week, right? This may seem be a bit morbid, but it’s really not. I ran away and moved to Aspen a while back. It changed my life. It changed everything. If I died tomorrow, what would my funeral be like? How would my epitaph read? I remember that being one of the first questions asked at (as I remember) the first sermon I heard a good friend preach there, in Aspen. Who would come? Family, sure, but have I made an impact on anyone else’s life during my time here? Have I nurtured and pursued relationships with those outside of my bloodline? I’m not looking for responses, but these are good questions to ask ourselves every once in awhile; get a good read on our lives and what we’re doing, or not doing, with them. Will my husband remember me as a good wife? Will my daughter remember me as a mom who stopped everything to play with her, or was I too busy cleaning to be bothered?  Would people know that I love Jesus by the life I left behind? Or that I was even a Christian? I wish I could find my original notes from Brent’s message. It really was fantastic. Just something to think about. The website is here if you’re interested.
    Homeschooling. This world is getting so ugly, so fast. Five year olds want cell phones. Everybody (including me) has their phone attached to them like some kind of informational umbilical cord. God is being systematically removed from every single government institution. Kids see and hear trash more than they do praise and worship. Saying “God” or speaking His Word in schools will get you into more trouble than being amoral. Daughter will be starting school soon. The days are fast approaching. I’m pretty much opposed to public school. Period. But there are drawbacks to Christian schools and homeschooling too. So we should choose the ‘best’ choice right? What do we want daughter to hear and see and learn day in and day out? I want her to learn ‘stuff,’ of course, but I want her to know God more. Can’t do that at public school; kind of hard to learn about Him when you can’t even speak His name. I went to Christian and public school. I was one of the bad kids all the parents are afraid of at Christian schools. I had a horrible time in high school, but I have to ask myself this: had I been in public school when I went through my rough patch, would I have had the kind of friends who supported the crappy decisions I was making or the kind who stood against it and tried to get me help, like I did at my Christian school. Our daughter has grown up very sheltered so far (she sees kids 3-4 times a week, but they’re all church kids. yea! and I know there are ‘bad’ church kids too, relax, I was one of those too) and I’m totally fine with that because the Bible says:

Romans 16:19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

    I WANT that. Where does she stand more of chance of being innocent about what is evil? Public or private Christian school? Yes, there are bad seeds in Christian schools, I would never deny that because I was one. But using that as an argument is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. The Bible also says:

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

    Where does she stand the best chance of fostering and beginning a good, solid life foundation on the Word of God? Because once she turns school age, the majority of her time will be spent at whatever school we choose. No more spending the days with Mommy. She will be spending the days with her teachers and peers. Just something that’s been weighing on my mind lately. Heavily. People get really touchy and sensitive about this topic, but please don’t. There are pros and cons to all choices involved. But for me, the most important ‘pro’ is daughter being able to keep her innocence as long as possible; for her know and love God and express that love daily at school; for her to grow up to be a better woman than me, a better Christian; to give her the best opportunity to do the most important thing in life: live for Christ. Where can she do that best?
    Yes, I turned out fine. My husband turned out fine. Lots of people turn out fine and that really is wonderful. But I know what I and my husband had to go through before we turned out fine and I do not wish for my daughter to have to go through those things. I don’t know. It’s a hard thing to think about. But the day is fast approaching when a decision will have to be made. I just pray we make the right one.

Psalm 25:4-5 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

    I’m sure some people probably think I’m crazy. That it’s not that serious. But it is to me. I went through a lot to get where I am and it’s only because of God that I sit here now. Having her start out with a strong, loving, daily relationship with Him is my first priority in her life. I will not apologize for that. I don’t want her to ‘play’ Christian like I did for so many years. That’s a crappy way to live. I don’t even currently live like I hope my daughter to someday. Not even close. But I am a work in progress. God says so, so I’ll go with it. I choose not to let my past condemn me or determine my future or to allow people to beat me with it.
    Going to public school doesn’t automatically mean a child will turn out ‘bad;’ going to Christian school doesn’t mean that a child will turn out ‘good.’ However, why not stack the deck in their favor? Why not try to put them with people we can be fairly sure are like-minded in the sense that we hope kids in Christian schools have parents teaching them Christian values? Is it easier for a child in their formative years to live out a Christian walk swimming with or against the pack? It’s kind of like this: Athletes foot won’t kill you, but it isn’t all that pleasant. You could help yourself out by wearing shower shoes at the YMCA, simple fix. Sure, it’s not an absolute truth that you will get athletes foot if you don’t wear the shoes, but there’s always that possibility. Likewise, there’s no guarantee that you won’t get it if you do where the shoes, but your chances of staying germ free are better. Public vs Christian school is kind of the same way for me.

    On a lighter note, I might actually cook dinner tonight. Still deciding :p

What’s it like being a Christian?

   It is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then he cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.
    He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc., and then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.

    This morning started out pretty yucky looking. I knew I didn’t have a shot with the cold, but “God, could you please please bring the sun out” was mine and daughter’s prayer this morning at breakfast. I knew it was going to be one of those days where everyone, the dog included, needed to get out of the house or..else. When I packed everyone up into the car, it was windy and still kind of gray, but I have learned one thing this winter: daughter will not be hurt by cold weather. She tells me when she’s done and wants to go back inside, so I will not make excuses to stay inside based on the weather. I’ve also learned that I avoided going outside on cold days more for my concern (who likes standing around in the cold?!) than hers (parenting fail).
    Everybody was happy to be there today. The dog did great for her first time out on the leash and daughter played on in spite of the wind. I even ignored my frozen hands (why didn’t I bring gloves for myself?!) and had a good time. And then it happened, the sun came out and the wind stopped. I mean, ordinarily this isn’t all that newsworthy. Really, it isn’t. But it’s such a blessing to me to be able to show my daughter answers to prayer even in the little things. We thanked the Lord and just had a great time at the park. There is nothing on earth more precious than hearing a little person bless His name about even the smallest answers to prayer. Yes God made the world, but He hears you, and brought you some sunshine today.

Psalm 8:2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

    It’s just been a good day. I love opportunities like that. Even though I worked 16 hours the night before, came home and started on my 8:30a to 9:00p (tonight, anyway) motherly duties, God answered my cries for sunshine too.

    We will be celebrating daughter’s third birthday this Saturday! WOWIE ZOWIE! I will be making my first fondant-covered cake, so be looking for that exciting experience on D&D :) The recipe for dinner tonight came from the back of a pierogi box :p I’ll let you know…

To Die for Blueberry Muffins

After dinner, husband, daughter and myself decided it would be a good idea to do a family cooking project. I don't have much in the way of baking supplies at the moment (grocery day is Friday!), but I did have some blueberries sitting around :) Set your butter out to soften! 1/4 cup. I never used to do this until recently. I made chocolate chip cookies one day and 'softened' (aka melted into a runny mess) my butter in the microwave. It seriously affected the taste and texture of the cookies, so set your butter out ahead of time or take extra special care when microwaving. If you can squeeze it by hand or squish it with a utensil, it's softened! 


Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup white sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/3 cup vegetable oil 
1 egg 
1/3 cup milk
         1 cup fresh blueberries  
 
 Topping:

1/4 Splenda brown sugar blend (1/2 cup regular brown sugar) 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Full recipe found here. Note: The topping in the original recipe calls for white sugar but based on reviews and experience, I used brown sugar (Spelnda blend; supposedly healthier?). It also said to fill 1 cup with 1/3 cup veg. oil and then an egg and then finish off with milk; I just did each ingredient separately.

Husband and daughter put everything together. It's fun getting to see them together. Mommy and Daddy certainly do things differently in the kitchen, as in Mommy doesn't destroy it :p Mix your wet and dry ingredients separately, always, unless otherwise instructed. I hate dirtying an extra dish, but it's proven worth it. Once husband and daughter mixed the two together, it was extremely dry, like "Man, something has gone horribly wrong and this can't be right" dry. We forged ahead though and scooped it into 6 muffin cups and a mini bread loaf pan (I only have a six shooter muffin muhbobber, but recipes making 12 muffins also fit this way :)). They forgot to add the blueberries, so we just mushed them in at the last minute. The topping made more than enough and a fight ensued: smushed butter and brown sugar is not something to be eaten with a spoon, daughter! haha :)

They came out wonderfully. Not all that pretty, but delicious nonetheless. Not going to do much for your figure, but if you're eating muffins as part of a diet plan, you're probably on the wrong plan :)

Would I make these for someone else? Probably. I would play around with adding a teensy more vegetable oil to make them a little more moist. They came out good enough, but I’m weird about what I will serve to other people :)


Nutrition info:

Serving Size 1/8 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe 8

Amount Per Serving
Calories 383
Calories from Fat 145

% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16.1g 25 %
Saturated Fat 5.2g 26 %
Cholesterol 43mg 14 %
Sodium 322mg 13 %
Potassium 73mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrates 56.9g 18 %
Dietary Fiber 1.4g 6 %
Protein 4.3g 9 %
Sugars 33.6g


 


Blogging, really?



Most people reading this are doing so because I thought they might be interested and told them about it. For those of you who stumbled here some other way--a little about myself. I’m a Christian. Not an awesome one, but I do love the Lord and my desire is to live in such a way that is pleasing to Him. Some people who know me might even be surprised by that, which means I haven’t done all that great a job, but I am a work in progress (Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus). Christian, check. I’m also a wife. I’m not trying to get stalked or anything crazy like that, so my name is wife and my husband’s name is husband. I love him bunches. Since this is introductory, I won’t go into a lot of detail about that, but I’m sure it’ll come up again. I’m also the mother of a darling angel named, you might have guessed it, daughter. She’s beyond description in the best possible way. I’m a daughter and sister too.
 I’m a stay at home mom, which is way harder than working outside the home. How do I know? Because I work evenings and midnights outside of the home too. I wouldn’t call my outside job hard,  but it just complicates things and causes me to be outside of the home where my real joy and love and work is, but I do have time to blog there! Ha! I’m old-fashioned. I cook and clean and grocery shop, all that jazz. Husband is great to help when I ask and sometimes even when I don’t. It’s dizzyingly exhausting some days, but shockingly rewarding too. I wouldn’t change it. Well, to be honest, that’s a lie; I would love to not have to work at all so that I could focus on what I think I do best, taking care of my family. Anyhow, I digress. 

So why one earth do I think I need to start a blog? Because I have hours of free time just sitting around waiting to be wasted, that’s why! Not really. I’m not sure why exactly. I love to talk about myself, obviously? No, not that. It started out because I try to cook dinner five or six nights a week (try, don’t judge me if I only make it to four or something) and I try to keep things poppin’ and mixed up, so it was going to be about my dinner adventures. I also make other random things: muffins, cookies, bread and so on in order to pass the time on slow days with daughter. Then I came up with a catchy name to include things beyond dinner, so that if I wanted to do a movie review one day it would fit within the parameters of my description. And so, Dinner & Discourse (D&D) begins.	 So that’s that. I’ll do it as often as I feel keen to and time permits. I’ve got my hands full, but I like to talk :) And smile, and share dinner and recipe ideas, etc.