In Which I Fall Off A Bandwagon…or two.

Depressing, no?  But wait!  There’s hope!  I don’t have to wait for next New Year’s to roll around (346 days from now) to start with a fresh slate.  My God’s mercies are “new every morning; great is His faithfulness! (Lamentations 3:23)!!!  What’s great about that verse is that, not only does it give me hope for tomorrow morning, but it comes from the oh-so-sad-sounding book of Lamentations.  I can lament over all the bandwagons I fall off of, and then I can rejoice in the mercies of my Great God.  Not only that, but I will seek His face in the morning, seek His direction, because His directions are new every morning, too.  :)   I need to listen to His directions, thank Him for His mercy, and plow into “happening to life,” as an old friend likes to put it.

So.  Go happen to life.

Wise Words Wednesday — A Marriage Retreat

KissingA friend of mine recently asked me if my husband and I would have a chance to get away for a night alone before this baby comes.  Honestly?  It hadn’t occured to me!  But we are going to visit family at the beginning of October, and I’m sure they’d be more than happy to help us out with that.

I’m super excited, because two other ladies have recently suggested ways of connecting with your husband, both of which we can incorporate into our little getaway:

Lori, from The Generous Wife, recently posted a series of questions to ask your spouse, conversation-starters, if you will, ways of opening up to each other and reconnecting.

Christine, from iDreamofClean, wrote a guest post for The Finer Things in Life, suggesting a marriage plan and giving ideas for how to create one.

Thank you ladies, for your sweet and helpful suggestions; I can’t wait to try them out on our romantic getaway next month!

Now, it’s your turn.  What is the wisest advice you’ve ever received about preserving and improving and developing your marriage for the glory of God?  Feel free to link up, leave a comment, or both!

Wise Words Wednesday — A Question

Is truth always true?

I ask because I recently posted a link to a fabulous article about boys who aren’t becoming men. [Note: The original Newsweek article which I read has been removed, but this is a slight variation by the same author.] My brother-in-law immediately disliked the article, not because of its content necessarily, but because of its author.  And he posted a quote from the same author.  And I didn’t like it.  So does that negate the truth of the first article?

Another case-in-point.  Back in my college days, I remember reading Plato and Aristotle, and loving the idea of the “sublime.”  It resonated with me.  I have had experiences of sublimity, usually in relation to God’s word, or some sort of epiphany, or an experience in God’s creation that demonstrated His power and might.  Some of those philosophers’ ideas were so, well, TRUE.  But they didn’t come from God, or the Bible, or even a Christian.

What about things that Mohammed said that actually line up with things that Jesus said?  And Buddha?  Or (gasp!) some of our presidents, or…. Hitler?  Does the identity of the speaker change the truth of the words?

Are wise words always wise?

Wise Words Wednesday – My Blog and Monetization

Little Girl eating ice cream

Things I chose to do this week instead of blog. :)

My wise words this week came from two fellow bloggers, Amy and Steve.  Both of them have their own niche, their own mission, their own goals.  And they don’t let anybody tell them how to run things.  They don’t conform to the blogger norms, the accepted ways of driving traffic and creating readership; they don’t follow the rules.

Steve’s post about creating traffic really struck a nerve with me.  He writes posts that are too long, he doesn’t allow comments, and he most definitely is not creating community.  I realized I have been trying to do all those things, not because I wanted them, but because that’s what I thought I had to do to be a successful blogger.  I want to impact people, and that doesn’t require a post every day or a long list of comments; it simply requires me to sit down, pray, and write something that can impact people.  (And let me just tell you, inspiring you to write a menu plan wasn’t the sort of impact I had in mind, though stories about Big Mommy’s cooking are still fun. :) )

Amy‘s post about comparing yourself to others just pounded the point home.  I don’t have to share pithy tips or heartwarming pictures like my friend Alicia (though I absolutely LOVE reading hers!); her seemingly instant success has nothing to do with my blog, whatsoever.  I’m happy for her, and for Amy, and for Steve, and all those other bloggers who are following their goals and dreams and (hopefully) making a little money into the bargain, and I want to follow their example by not copying their example.

Conclusion?  I’m here to write.  To write well.  To be a peg for God to hang His glory on.  And I’m here to give voice those older and wiser than me who have so much to share.  And to give voice to you, who can pass on their words as well.

So please, share away.  I want to learn something today.

C.O.R.D.


Coined by Jill Bond (who wrote Dinner’s in the Freezer!), “C.O.R.D.” stands for “Clean Out the Refrigerator Day.”  Sometimes Jill Bond would make C.O.R.D. soup with what was in her ‘fridge, but quite often she just set everything out in a buffet.  I loved picking up this book off of my mom’s shelf and perusing all the recipes and ideas!

Anyway, this week, my refrigerator looks like a bomb went off in there, so we’re going to eat and eat and eat whatever I find that’s still good (including the butternut squash ravioli and chicken enchiladas from last week) until it’s gone.  And then I’m going to the freezer and organizing there.  Whew.

That said, the plan for tonight is chicken enchiladas, tomorrow is ravioli, and Wednesday is chef salad.  Thursday my husband and I are celebrating together (an “inside” celebration), so maybe dinner out?  And the weekend?  Lots and lots of veggies, because it’s time to finish up with the garden and go to the farmer’s market!  I’m also planning to eat up the Magic Cookie Bars I made with my sister and brother-in-law who were here visiting.  I miss them.   *sniff*

Oh, and snacks are coming from Kaia Foods [now "Alive and Radiant"]….  YUM!!  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win some snacks for yourself!

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at www.orgjunkie.com

Yummy Snacks – And a Giveaway!!

Little Girl eating kale chips

She loves them...really!! :)

Guess what I’ve been munching on today? Kale chips. Yeah, I know, I was lost at first too. Don’t think potato chips; think snack mix. It’s a blend of dried kale, sprouted sunflower seeds, sprouted sesame seeds, and sundried tomatoes. Barbecue flavor. And all I can say is, YUM.

This week I got a box full of natural snacks from Kaia Foods [now "Alive and Radiant"], and let me just tell you, my family is in heaven. Even my husband, who is a white-bread-eating, vegetable-shunning, steak-and-potatoes kind of guy, had to admit that he liked the Lime Ginger fruit leather I gave him to try.  Liked, mind you, not tolerated, put-up-with, or managed-to-get it down.  :)   I’m sold.  And my little girl has been begging for more kale chips all day!

Cocoa Molé granola

I'm totally addicted.

The sprouted sunflower seeds are so yummy, and especially good for me, since I’m a snackaholic.  We tried the Curry and Cocoa Molé flavors, and both are good.  I think the Cocoa Molé may be my new go-to when I need a chocolate fix!  And the Cherry Pie granola?  Packed with nutrients and flavor.  The best part about this is that it’s all organic, sweetened with agave nectar, and totally, irresistably good for you.

The next best thing?  Kaia Foods is giving away one product of YOUR choice from their website!  Congratulations to Emma Peel, who won this giveaway and will be receiving her pick: Lime Ginger Fruit Leather!

This post is linked to TheDiaperDiaries.net, www.freegrechen.com, www.sandysrealm.com, www.grandmajam.com, www.contestguide.com, and www.5minutesformom.com

Wise Words Wednesday

Bible in 90 Days

As I read through the Bible in 90 days, I am continually bewildered at how people either refuse to take good advice or readily run with bad advice. So, this week, we’re going to look at the top ten most UN-wise actions I’ve read about this week. I figure God’s Word contains the wisest words, even if we come at them in a backwards way. :)

1. “But after the death of Jehoida the officials came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them. They abandoned the house of the Lord…” (2 Chronicles 24:1-2)
Flattery pulls us away from the presence of God. As long as I worship Him and Him only, I will avoid worshipping myself.

2. After God delivered him from his enemies, Amaziah decided to worship other gods. “Then the anger of the Lord burned against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet [...] It came about as he was talking with him that the king said to him, ‘Stop! Why should you be struck down?’ Then the prophet stopped and said, ‘I know that God has planned to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.’” (2 Chronicles 25:15-16)
Usually Always when God sends chastisement, it’s to prevent our destruction. Listen.

3. “But when he [Uzziah] became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corrupty [...] They opposed Uzziah the king and said to him, ‘It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord’ [...] But Uzziah, with a censer in his hand for burning incense, was enraged; and while he was enraged with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead…” (2 Chronicles 26:16-19)
Pride makes us think we can worship God the way we see fit, and the consequences of that sort of pride is a disease that separates us from His true followers.

4. “In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill; and he prayed to the Lord, and the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud; therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.” (2 Chronicles 32:24-25)
Our pride and lack of gratitude for God’s goodness can provoke the wrath of God, not only on ourselves, but on those around us!

5. “The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.” (2 Chronicles 33:10)
Manasseh and his people were carried off into exile.

Now, interesting fact about these five instances: The first three started off on the right foot; they were following after God but made poor choices and reaped the fruit of unrighteousness. The last two, however, humbled themselves and finished well. Hezekiah was healed, and Manasseh was brought back from captivity. Moral of the story? No matter your past, whether you’ve been obedient or rebellious, what matters is NOW.

6. After God brought the Israelites back to their land from captivity, they rebelled by taking foreign wives. This blows my mind. How could Israel have not learned their lesson already? Oh, wait. Am I the same person who was lazy yesterday and vowed to be diligent today? How could I have not learned my lesson already? Deliver me from my captivity, oh God!

7. Vashti, by refusing to come to the king, lost her place as queen. Now I know there are all kinds of conjectures behind this one, but bear with my thought: Perhaps we, as wives, lose a little of our “queenship” when we refuse to honor our husbands. Let’s just keep the crown (halo?), okay? :)

8. Haman’s wife and friends suggested he build a gallows for his enemy. Jesus said to pray. The gallows got Haman himself hung. I think I’ll pray.

9. Job’s wife told him to curse God and die. Job patiently answered that he should accept hardship as well as good times. Though it’s good to vent with your spouse, perhaps Job’s wife went a little too far.

10. And then there are Job’s friends. All I can say is, don’t be them. I want to learn to be the kind of friend that offers wise, godly, helpful advice. Deliver us from those who think they are wise, and yet, “professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22)!

So friend, think carefully before you offer me advice. :) Just kidding. I would love to hear what you have to share this week, what you have learned, what someone said, even a quote that resonated with the wisdom of God. Link up!

This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday at OhAmanda.com

An Adventure in Tofu…Wait, WHAT???

Do you know what happens when you mix great-grandmothers with a crunchy diet? It’s not good. One of my great-grandmothers (not Big Mommy!), staying with family, happened upon a carton of soy milk in the refrigerator. Her thoughts? “What in the world? ‘SOW’s milk?’ I didn’t even know you could milk them things.” (For those of you city folk, a sow is a female PIG. Gross.)

Anyway, this week I have some tofu to get rid of. I thought of making pad thai, but since my husband dislikes it, I’ll wait and fix that for myself when he’s out of town. Instead, I found some recipes that “hide” the tofu. :) Without further ado:

Monday: Roasted Red Pepper Soup with grilled cheese, chocolate chip pound cake for Ladies’ Night
Tuesday: Tofu Creamed Spinach (spinach from the garden!) with leftover meat from this weekend
Wednesday: Chicken Enchiladas with homemade refried beans from the freezer rice and Tofu Sour Cream (oh boy!)
Thursday: Homemade butternut squash ravioli from the freezer, gingered carrots
Friday: Bean and rice stew from the freezer

Saturday and Sunday: Family coming to visit + friend’s birthday party = lots of good food and good times, but no planning! :) Can’t WAIT to see my sister. :) I may try this Heavenly Pie Recipe while she and her husband are here.

Menu Plan Monday @ orgjunkie.com

Blog Hop 2010

Sleepover time!  I’m getting ready to share my deepest darkest secret or maybe my most embarrassing moment, and it makes me feel like I’m twelve again.  I have to decide which story will make you like me and want to be my friend.

You want to be my friend, I promise.  :)   I’m the friend who volunteers to bring you dinner after your baby is born and then totally forgets, until the next day.  Oh, but wait!  I will make you homemade banana breadand fresh salad and my mom’s famous potato soup (I’ll even give you the recipe!) to make up for it.

Little Girl blogging

My little blogger

You really do want to be my friend.  I have the cutest baby on the planet, and if you’re my friend, I’ll let you kiss her cheeks.  And maybe babysit her too, as long as you don’t follow my example, letting her fall out of her stroller and bite her lip.

You want to be my friend because my husband is a Marine and protects our country, and I’m so proud of him.  (My deepest darkest secrets are all shared with him, so I guess you’re missing out on those.)

You also want to be my friend because I have the coolest Big Mommy who tells the best stories, or, as she called them, “trugars.”  Like the one about the skunk in her closet….

You mostly want to be my friend because I love people, and I love sharing what I’m learning and hearing about what you’re learning, and just learning together.  This blog is all about women helping each other to grow into maturity, and especially about older women passing down their wisdom to us.

Come back and visit regularly.  You want to be my friend because I love company:)

Blog Hop '10

Okra and Tomatoes — Big Mommy style

I’m a little behind; Tuesday was Okra & Tomatoes day, according to my menu plan.  But even with the wait, this dish was definitely a finer thing!  My little girl ate four helpingsAlicia requested this recipe for her own menu this week, so with my apologies to her for the delay and my hopes that you all enjoy Big Mommy’s cooking, here it is!
First, chop up a quart of okra in small rounds:

Chopping okra

My amazing knife. Thanks, hubby!

Then, send Little Girl (with hubby) out to the garden to get tomatoes.

Little Girl with tomato

Isn't she adorable?

Chop up the tomatoes (about a pint’s worth), add them to the pot, and realize you needed to get a bigger pot.

Pot overflowing with tomatoes.

Not enough room!

Get a bigger pot, then add one chopped onion, 1/4 stick of butter (Big Mommy’s official recipe calls for “Oleo” — is that margarine???), 2 tablespoons sugar (you can use a little less and it’ll be fine), salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over medium heat until okra is tender.  Ouila!

Yummy okra and tomatoes all finished.

Yummy!

And there you have it, folks.  More to come from the recipe file of Big Mommy’s greats, so stay tuned!

 

Finer Things Friday