Thank you so much for reading my blog and trying my recipes! I love hearing from you and getting feedback!
Next week will be full of exciting posts! I will also be sharing the story of my miscarriage. That post will be very tough for me to write, but I feel that it is time. I know that other women have experienced this tragic experience, and I want to encourage and bring hope to those who may need it.
Hello, and welcome to my Sunday Devotional post! I take the day off of blogging on Sundays so that I can concentrate on worshipping God and spending time with my family. I pre-schedule these posts for Sundays. Please join me in this short devotional/book review!
Perfection Is Not What It’s About
I recently bought the book “Steve McQueen-The Salvation of an American Icon”. It is written by Greg Laurie. I am a total “nerd” and love biographies and autobiographies! It is so exciting to me to be able to learn someones story. To see where they came from, where they went, what they did in life. I don’t know why, but I have always been fascinated to look into a person’s life.
I guess you can call me Observant. I may not seem like it, but behind all of my many roles and especially “public” roles as worship leader etc, I usually sit back and observe. Like I said before, I find it fascinating to watch and see what people do, how they act, what they say etc. A lot of times, I am very disappointed, but a lot of times, I am in awe. There are so many strong, independent and awe-inspiring people in this world!
Although I didn’t get to actually “watch” Steve McQueen, I was very inspired by his story!
He was not perfect, in-fact he was far from it!In essence, he was just an ordinary guy who had a hard life. But, he was a guy who persevered and pushed through his circumstances. He spent most his life pursuing vanity, money, fame and a bunch of other things that were less than “desirable”. At the end of his life though, he was empty.
“All is Vanity and Grasping at the wind…”
Have you ever heard of a dude names Solomon?
Solomon was a pretty wise guy. If you have never heard about King Solomon, here is a little snippet of who he was: He was the son of King David, who was king over Judah. I’m talking about way back in the day…before Jesus was born. He was a super successful king who not only prospered individually, but also for the nation of Israel.
It was said that Solomon was the “wisest man who ever lived”. He even wrote a couple of books in the Bible (song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes). He built up wealth, stature and above all….Wisdom.
Although there are a lot of good things about this guy…He was also very foolish. He squandered a lot of things because he started to pursue vanity, money, fame and a bunch of other things that were less than “desirable”.
Steve McQueen reminds me of Solomon.
You know what King Solomon ended up saying about all the “success” he acquired?
“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.” -Ecc 1:14
All this to say, Steve McQueen finally did find Jesus. He found God at a time in his life where nothing else could quench his need. His heart need.
You see, we all have that need. We all have that “hole” inside of us. We need Jesus. Just like Steve McQueen, who had everything he could have ever wanted. Nothing really did satisfy him like Jesus Finally did.
Steve McQueen realized this important truth, just like Solomon, who finally concluded:
“He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”
I loved this book! I would highly suggest reading it if you are able to! It is so great to see what God does in other people’s lives. THAT is the most satisfying form of observing a person’s life!
***If you do not know who Jesus is, please feel free to email me! I would love to talk to you about what Jesus has done in my life! Below is a contact form you can fill out. It’s completely confidential!
Hey y’all! This weekend was a very busy weekend for me. I had three sick kids last week, and I got a smaller version of their cold. It was a very sleepless week, and a busy weekend of nursing kids back to health and trying to stay healthy through it all! I feel all of that sleeplessness and busy-ness catching up to me.
I feel like I am in a “season” of “being in the trenches”. The “trenches” being…having 4 kids under the age of 8 years-old, homeschooling, taking care of my husband and side jobs etc. All that, coupled with eating right, trying to get enough exercise, planning meals, budgeting and overall, trying to stay sane.
It can be daunting at times, but I promise that in the long run…it’s SO WORTH IT! I always say that “consistency pays off”, and I believe that with all my heart!
Although we all have those crazy kind of weeks from time to time, I just want to encourage you to never settle for less!
When we get stressed or exhausted, sometimes it is easy to “settle” and just “let yourself go”. What I mean by that is, letting ourselves become “ok” with being less-than healthy. Less-than energetic. Less-than motivated to do the important things in life.
Eating right, exercising and getting rest is crucial for these seasons of being “in the trenches”. Without them, it is easy and almost inevitable to become lethargic, depressed and worst of all…unhealthy in every way!
I’ve been there!
It is easy to lose the motivation to be consistent, and to become distracted with things that really don’t matter (I.e. the latest greatest show on tv, the newest fad diet, Etc).
Here are some simple tricks…
Pick a healthy lifestyle, be more active and try to see the blessings all around you. Those are the keys to succeeding in consistency!
So, this is my “short and sweet” Monday Motivation. Here it is in a “nutshell”…
Know that you are not alone in this season of “being in the trenches”.
Be consistent in a healthy lifestyle (however that looks like for you).
Never settle! Even when you feel like giving up…Keep at it!
You can do it! You got this!
Maybe I am weird, but I am my biggest motivational speaker! I always think to myself, “I’ve got this! This season is only a few years long! There is a light at the end of the tunnel!”
There really is only few years where we have the full attention of our kids. That is sometimes hard for me to remember. I get frustrated very easily, and lose patience. But, when it all comes down to it…this season is short! Our kids are only kids for a short while. They are only under our influence for a little bit of time!
Let this be an encouragement to you, if you are in the “trenches”. Be motivated! Keep at it! Never Settle!
I received so many accolades from people all over the country, who were appreciative that I wrote about christian married sex (check out my page on “Let’s talk about Sex”)! Thank you so much for your support! It truly means a lot.
Sex-Talk is Inappropriate?
Unfortunately, there were a few that had issues with my last post about sex. Some argued that their teenagers were reading it, and that it was inappropriate for me to discuss sex in a public forum. I would argue that it is the most appropriate thing a teenager can read (if thats what they really want to read about).
Why? Because I would rather a teenager stumble upon a post about christian married sex and be educated on what a godly marriage and sex-life looks like, then to peruse Teen Magazines (look at this one! It’s for teens!), Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook (not to mention the internet!!!) and read about all sorts of INNAPROPRIATE talk about un-married sex and teenage promiscuity.
Is your teenager on Pinterest? Think it’s an innocent and safe place for home decor and recipes??? THINK AGAIN! Yes, it can be a great resource, but just type in “sex”, and you will find out what “inappropriate” is. There is stuff on there and many other forums that is so dangerous! The fact of the matter is, teenagers are curious.
But, that’s a whole different subject.
People WANT to talk about Sex!
What these facts on both sides made me realize was…people (and teenagers) WANT to talk about sex. People (and teenagers) want to know that it is ok to talk about sex.
People also want to know that other people struggle with all sorts of sex related issues.
Marriage is hard sometimes. But marriage can be amazing too. If we educate our young kids to what a godly, healthy and awesome marriage looks like (including a healthy sex-life), I think we would have so much less curiosity going on with our young people.
There are so many facets to a married sex-life, and unfortunately, not enough people talk about it. ESPECIALLY in the church. As christians, we have the privilege to be able to tell the world that we can have the best sex ever! Why? Because we understand that sex, in it’s truest form, is a picture of intimacy with our God! It is not only a fun and exciting thing between a man and women, but it is truly beautiful.
These guys say it perfectly:
“Sex. For some, the topic is taboo. Others find it repulsive. Those willing to market and exploit it make millions. Did you know that most couples have as much trouble talking about their funeral as they do talking about sex? That could be why the Christian Church has largely gone silent on the issue.
Some have bought into the myth that sex is only to be discussed between a husband and a wife, yet while sex is sacred and the marriage bed should be guarded, the topic of sex must be discussed if it’s going to truly be honored and protected. God is not afraid of the topic of sex. Did you know that God has given us more instructions about sex than He has about parenting? The Bible provides more instruction and guidance for how to make a baby than for how to take care of one! God has given us sex as a gift and it’s one to be thoroughly treasured, celebrated, and enjoyed.” -Ted Cunningham (Pastor at Woodland Hills church in Branson, Mo) and Dr. Gary Smalley (Bestselling author and Dr.)
Why the “Hush, hush”?
Why is it then that this topic has become so “hush, hush”? Is it because of our culture? Is it because it’s portrayed as “ugly” and not to be discussed in public? Is it because it’s “wrong” to “air your dirty laundry”?
There are so many “why’s”.
I’ll tell you what, I sure wish I was able to discuss sex in an open way as a young person! As a teenager, I was curious. Aren’t we all? I wanted to know about sex, but I didn’t know how to bring it up. I had heard that it was a “taboo topic”. That I wasn’t allowed to discuss it or ask questions about it, and God-forbid, bring it up in a church setting!
Luckily, my mom gave me a book about married sex later on in high school. I was able to read it, and try to understand it (in my finite pea-brain of a mind, at that age). Unfortunately, I still didn’t understand, and I wasn’t able to discuss it with anyone. Later on, when I went to public school (I was homeschooled for 10 years), I heard “talk” that I had no idea what it was about. I was so naive (looking back now…it was a good thing), that I could not understand half of the vulgar things that were being said. Trust me….vulgarity is totally a common thing in our high schools! To think otherwise is just being ignorant.
Maybe some of this is what some of our young people are experiencing?
I can’t even imagine the things that are put right in front of children these days! When I was a kid, we didn’t have technology like we do now. We were not able to literally have any kind of content at our fingertips at any given time!
Sex sells in popular teen movies, magazines and books. Not to mention the amount of pornography and disgusting stuff that is available at a touch of a screen!
I can assure you in the this current millennial culture…the topic of sex is NOT taboo! Our young people are more familiar with sex than you think! The only problem is their understanding of sex is often not the kind of sex God intended!
“With the advent of the Internet, parents are finding it increasingly difficult to shield their children from pornography. Now, in addition to the exposure kids might encounter from classmates who borrowed one of their father’s magazines, most school-age children and adolescents are spending large amounts of time online for homework or entertainment reasons. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft has estimated that nine in ten teens have been exposed to pornography. Unfortunately, many of these teens are susceptible to developing addictions or compulsions to these images.”
Why wouldn’t we want to make sex a topic that is a good thing? A thing that is modeled to younger people. A right way to have sex…within the constitution of marriage.
We can no longer be ignorant. Sex is a topic that needs NOT be taboo!
Let’s talk about sex!
With all these facts in mind, I think it is important we as christians find a way to talk about sex! We NEED to make it a subject that is both honoring and enlightening to the next generation! But, how do we do this?
This subject is a passionate subject for me (no pun intended). However, I wish I had more understanding about married sex, BEFORE I was married. Even after I was married, I wish I had people to discuss sex and intimacy (two different subjects) with.
I’ve thought a lot about what I would do differently in the church, and how I would help marriages to thrive. Here is a list of things I think need to be made more of a priority in our churches…
Couples bible studies on marriage. One of my favorites is Love and Respect.
Women’s and men’s groups on specific topics about sex and intimacy.
Discipleship from older couples in the church who have experience at being married.
These are just a few.
Am I saying that all y’all need to go tell the world how you and your husband “make-love” on any given day? NO! We don’t need to know details. But I would say that we do need relevant discussion. ESPECIALLY in the church! There is nothing wrong with having a conversation (in the right setting) about sex, sex issues, marriage and intimacy.
Let’s be real…we all have sex (if we’re married). It’s a common occurrence. It’s normal!
Why wouldn’t we talk about SEX; in all of it’s forms and all of it’s glory?
I would love to hear from you and get feedback on what you think about this? Shoot me an email or go to my Contact Me page.
I hope this post will be one of the many posts on this specific topic! Stay tuned for more!
I don’t know about you, but I say yes a lot. I say yes to ministry, to helping people, to watching friends or families kids, bible studies etc. All these things are good, but they can be bad.
Follow me now…Ministry, helping, bibles studies and the like, are all good things. No, they are great things. But, when you say yes to too many things…that is when it becomes bad.
Now, I LOVE being busy. I love having multiple things going on at the same time. There is nothing wrong with that either, but I would argue that there are seasons for those times when you are busy, busy.
“…For every season…”
Women in the church
“What we know, and research supports, is that post industrial revolution there was a shift in the home and thus in the church. As the men went to work outside of the home, women began to take on a larger role in the spiritual development of their children. They also began to take on a more prominent role in the church as leaders and volunteers. What we know, currently is:
The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories. (Some churches the % of female members can reach up to 70%)
On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands. (Even if their husbands profess to be Christian)
Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.
There are more women attending, and participating in the active life of the church. This is why you may see that Women’s Bible Studies outnumber their male counterparts. Or, why Women’s Ministry is still a vital ministry in the church… but Men’s Ministries are waning.
As women, we are naturally inclined to fill the gaps when we see them. We naturally want to help, and so when we see a need, we are more prone to just say “I can do that!”, and help out where needed.
My personal opinion is that because men in our culture are being demasculinized (making men “weanies”), a majority of them are prone to just say, “what the heck…let the women do it…they seem to be in control anyways!”
(Feminism at it’s finest)
That’s another story for another day.
Now, let me just tell you…I love being busy. I love being involved in everything. I am good at taking charge, and I love to use my gifts in areas of leadership, music, decorating, coordinating….you name it! And, for a while, I was doing all these things. All at once!
Last year, I had one of those seasons where I had to learn to say no. My youngest was one-year-old and I was overwhelmed. Having 4 Littles, homeschooling, leading worship on Sundays and Wednesdays, house chores, bible studies, supporting my husbands hectic schedule with work, etc. I had to learn to set boundaries for myself and for my family. The problem was, I didn’t know how.
At first, I just kept on with everything. I didn’t get much of any “down time”, which I did fine with. But, I started noticing how drained I was becoming. I was starting to get “short” with my kids more often, and would get angry easier. I didn’t like that, so I began praying that God would show me what to do. You see, I never could stand being a “flake”. I have always admired consistency in people, and was striving to be “consistent”; to the detriment of those around me. Especially my kids.
I think that is when God started giving me a word. One very simple word. SIMPLIFY. That word kept “showing up” in my devotional times, in worship music, in talking with people. It was everywhere. And it was then that I started realizing that the word meant something deeper to me. I started realizing that God was trying to tell me something. “SIMPLIFY.”
To me, that was a clear “writing on the wall”. I knew I had to start “off-loading” some responsibilities. I knew I had to be intentional about not only saying “no” to things, but also letting go of some things. I cannot even tell you how liberating it is to do that! As a semi-control freak, I thought I would have a harder time of letting go of things, but I think that God gave me the peace I needed to do it.
So I did. I started saying no. I started planning for days that had nothing planned (which was foreign to me). Days where I could take my kids to the park, or on a hike, or just sit with them and read a story.
I aint gonna lie…for this need-to-stay-busy mama…it was tough. I think of that season of my life as a discipline season. One that I struggled finding a comfortable “groove” in. But, like any discipline, it got easier over time.
How do we say NO?
You may be able to relate to me. Maybe you have too much going on right now, and you are thinking, “how do I get rid of all of this responisbility?”
The question is, how do we as women begin to say “no”, when there is so much that needs to be done?
Let me just tell you…It’s not your job to do everything, be involved in everything or to be apart of every ever-livin bible study!!! AND THAT’S OK! SHHHHH…
I’ll give you what I did…I began to just say “NO.”
Here’s where you can start:
Begin to prioritize your life.
Sit back and think about what you want to be important in your life, and focus on that.
Be intentional on that.
Do I have it all together? Nope. Do I practice this stuff perfectly? Nope.
But, I know that since I have begun to say no, and to limit the things I say yes to…liberation has began to envelope me. I do feel a “lighter load”, and I also feel freedom. I love that I can take the day off school if I want to, and just spend the day doing fun stuff with the kids. I love that I can take the day to just deep clean my house (I’m a nerd and like to clean). I love that I can take a day and spend it being with my family.
Let me make something clear real quick…something that I am STILL learning. MY HUSBAND AND MY KIDS ARE MY MINISTRY. They are the most important ministry I could ever be involved in! They deserve my attention, my love, my service.
All that being said, I pray that this little post encourages you. If you are struggling with saying no to people, ministries or work…just know, you’re not alone. The struggle is real! But, with God’s help, you can do it! JUST SAY NO!
Welcome to Talk Tuesday! Today, we will be discussing what to do if your kid asks, “Mommy, where does meat come from?”. We will also discuss the health benefits of meat and veggies. Join the discussion! Here we go…
Warnings about warnings…
(Warning: Graphic pictures of an actual cow being butchered-you know, where meat come from.)
(P.s. Its ok to know where your meat is coming from.)
(P.P.S. This is reality.)
(P.P.P.S reality is good for the soul.)
(P.P.P.P.S Im not being sarcastic…at all 🙂
We recently had our cow butchered. Yes, they still do that sort of thing in Southern California! (We’re not all yuppies down here :)).
Anywho…I used our cow being butchered as a “science lesson” for the kids and took them “out back” (we have 6 1/2 acres of land) to see the cow that would be our meat for the year. It was a great time to show the kids the reality of ranch living and teach them where their meat comes from.
Some would say that it is “too much” for children. I would have to disagree. Even though it can be gruesome in some ways, it is in-fact reality. I believe it is important to show the reality of life to kids, in some ways. One of them being where meat comes from. There are a lot of lessons to be learned in the process of butchering meat.
This is our meat cow.
My kids were definitely curious, so I was happy to oblige their request to “go see the cow being killed out back”. In this instance, it was the perfect educational tool to explain to them the reality of life. The reality that our meat does not just “appear” on the grocery aisle shelf.
Thats one thing that I do love about homeschooling. You can use almost anything to teach your kids a lesson. This one was great because it was “hands on”, out in the open and real. For my almost 8 year-old, it was awesome, because he could write a little report on what he learned. He was able to describe to me the process in such a detailed way. Im pretty sure that I wouldn’t have been able to teach him half of the stuff he learned that day.
Its amazing to me how much kids retain. They really do learn so much more than what we give them credit for (or at least I do sometimes). My oldest, Jesse, is “wise beyond his years”. He is very smart and never ceases to amaze me with his “smarts”.
He is however, my most sensitive, and had the hardest time with watching the cow get butchered. I was able to explain to him that the reality of where meat comes from is kind of ugly, but that it is a necessity if he wanted to have those yummy meals that we eat. He understood and was able to write a report about it later. Sometimes the most important lessons are the hardest to explain.
Vegetarians vs. Meat eaters
My dad always told me this joke:
“Question: What do you call a vegetarian? Answer: A bad hunter.”
Hey, I get the reasons why people would want to be a vegetarian. It is a great way to cleanse your guts and become more healthy. However, I believe in meat.
I believe that meat (in its organic and natural form) has the ability to offer so many nutrients that you just cannot get with only vegetables. I know, I know…I probably got “poo poo’d” by some vegetarians….but that’s ok! I have a deep respect for vegetarians. I really do. But, at the end of the day, we all can have our own opinions, right?
Benefits of eating only vegetables:
A number of studies dating back to the 1950s have been done to examine diet-disease associations and many of these looked specifically at the effects of a vegetarian diet on health. These studies focused primarily on prevalent conditions that have high mortality and morbidity, including different cancers, heart disease, and diabetes . In addition, studies have also examined if vegetarians have lower rates of mortality compared to non-vegetarian counterparts . Taken together these studies suggest that vegetarian diets (that are appropriately planned and nutritionally adequate) may lower the risk of certain chronic diseases, notably cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. –https://www.bu.edu/themovement/past-issues/spring2011/being-a-vegetarian/
Benefits of eating meat:
While the current trend is all about going vegan, the idea of eating meat (thanks to the horror stories about red meat) is rapidly diminishing. Most people consider vegetables and fruits to suffice when it comes their daily nutritional needs while also thinking that plant protein is better (and safer) than animal protein.
As this is not true, here is a list of the health benefits of eating meat that all contribute to carrying out vital metabolic functions but also giving one a lot of energy as well:
Benefit 1Since meat contains a large amount of protein, this could be beneficial to the body as the need for protein is an important one for the body. Since protein is said to improve the overall health and well-being of one’s body, there are other benefits such as the repair and building of body tissues as well as the production of antibodies that will protect the body from infections, thus strengthening the immune system as well. Most importantly, since meat contains all the essential amino acids, it definitely ranks as one of the best sources of protein.
Benefit 2Of the many nutrients that meat contains, it is rich in iron, zinc and selenium. While iron helps in forming hemoglobin that transports oxygen to different parts of your body, zinc helps in tissue formation and metabolism as well as selenium breaks down the fat and chemicals in the body.
Benefit 3Vitamins are also a big part of the one’s diet, and Vitamin A, B and D are commonly found in meat as well. Not only do these vitamins promote good vision, stronger teeth and bones but it also support the central nervous system thus promoting mental health as well. Another big benefit of eating meat is the maintenance of your skin’s health. –http://www.medicaldaily.com/3-benefits-eating-meat-234798
Pork loin roast with bacon on top, served with veggies! Yum!
You gotta do you
Again, you have to make up your mind for yourself when it comes to deciding if you want to become a vegetarian or sticking with a balanced diet of meats and veggies. I chose the later, only because I believe that meat has so many health benefits., and because I just love the taste of meat!
However, in our current culture there are so many harmful things added to our meat AND to our vegetables.
It would be so awesome if we all lived on a working farm, and were able to eat only home-grown vegetables and meat, right? (I wish). But that is just not possible for all of us. We are made to rely on our grocery stores and our local farmers markets to get “nutritional” foods.
Unfortunately, a lot of our meats are full of hormones, fillers and sometimes chemicals. It is so disappointing, but it is reality. We cannot all have the “homegrown” and healthy meats and vegetables, but we can be aware of where our meat and vegetables are coming from and whats “inside” of what we are eating, and choose to make the healthiest choices that we can.
I try to buy as many “organic” foods that I can afford, but unfortunately, our budget does not always allow for that. It is very unfortunate also that organic foods are so expensive, but that’s just the “name of the game”. There is big money in the production of organic foods, and I think some farmers have to charge more for it to be able to produce a lot of it.
All that being said, “you gotta do you”. What works for some families, does not work for others. Some budgets are able to afford all organic, and some cannot.
In the end, you gotta do you!
Hope this post was encouraging for some of you who might be on the fence about vegetarianism and or meat eating.