Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hope, Love, and Healing

 This Christmas, I thought I would bring something up that is kind of hard for me to discuss.  It is no secret that I am very vocal about the loss of our second child, Malachi.  Part of me wonders why.  Why would I share something so personal, so deep inside me, to people I really don't know?  I think the reason I do share so much is it is my way of healing.  And that is what I want to talk about.  Healing.  I used to love the holidays.  Don't get me wrong, I still do!  But since March 21, 2010, the holidays are so different for me.  Yes, there is sadness, yes, there are the what ifs...but there is also the joy and thankfulness that creeps among that sadness that makes me stop and think.  Have I healed?  I'm honestly not sure.  There are so many days when I feel like I am drowning, no hope in sight.  Those days are so difficult.  Then there are days when Malachi crosses my mind and I smile, thankful for those few days I held him near my heart. 
   It seems to me that those drowning days happen more often around the holidays.  I always wonder why that is...why, during the happiest time of the year, I feel so dark and sad?  Am I really not finished healing?  Will I always feel this way?  I suppose I will never know this here on Earth.  I see other people suffering, and it makes me even more sad...not for me, but for them.  I wish that they would have the same healing that I desire. 
     I have decided that for me to heal, I need to celebrate my child.  To be honest, I believe that all children should be celebrated.  It makes me so sad to see people turn away from such a subject.  I know it is a tough subject. I understand that it easier to just brush it aside.  I know that you "don't want to bring up a sore subject".  But to a mother, what better subject is there than their child?  Yes, we do not have those children with us anymore.  But that that doesn't mean that we don't want to remember them.  On the contrary, it warms my heart and in a way helps with that healing process. My sweet sister-in-law always counts our Malachi when she talks about her nieces and nephews.  That does more to make my heart sing than she even knows. 
   I say all that to say this: don't be afraid to tell us you are thinking about us and our children.  Don't worry about hurting our feelings.  Help us heal.  Help us grow.  Help us remember our angels, celebrating the holidays in the arms of Jesus. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Why I don't celebrate Halloween...but still want my family to have fun!

     As a Christian, I do not believe in celebrating Halloween in the modern sense of the word.  To me the original concept of "All Hallow's Eve" is nice...remembering people who are dear to you.  I don't think that the ghosts, goblins and witches of today's time need to be celebrated, especially by a Christian.  We are trying to teach our children that we can have fun but not celebrate this "holiday" (which means holy day so I don't like to call this a holiday).
     That being said, I completely believe in spending time with your family doing fun, wholesome activities.  I believe there is nothing wrong with letting your children dresa up, express their creativity and imaginations, and go bounce in a bouncy house and get high on sugar! We don't go "trick or treating" house to paranoid mommy brain just doesn't feel comfortable asking strangers for things my kids will eat.  But we do find a local church and join in their activities after visiting grandparents to show off our cute kids.  I mean look at this adorable little fairy!

     I understand if people don't feel like this is something that they want their family to particiapte in.  But if I want to take my children and have a family fun time with them (which doesn't happen near as much as it should! ) then leave me alone and let me do it!  I commend churches who plan activities for Halloween night!  It provides a safe environment for children to have an alternative to going door to door.  And who knows...maybe the Gospel will reach someone who might not otherwise step foot in a church setting.  
     I think the thing that gets me the most is Christians nowadays are so busy pushing their beliefs about what they think is right or wrong onto other Christians,  instead of focusing on getting our beliefs into a lost and dying world!  We all have our don't wear pants, I don't listen to praise music...I go to church on Sunday night...I go to small group and fellowship and learn with fellow believers.  Does that make me a "bad Christian"?  Does it make you a "good Christian"?  Nope.  
     Halloween will always be around.  It will always be a part of our culture (just drive in my parent's neighborhood or walk into Walmart!) Yes there are many evil things that are connected to Halloween...but just because you don a costume and have some fun does not mean that you embrace every aspect of Halloween.   And that doesn't mean we have to look down on people who choose to have family fun!  Maybe they are right, maybe they are wrong.  But its not our place to judge or look down on others for it.  Instead of focusing on how other people choose to have their fun, smile at their cute kids in their adorable costumes,  and shut your lights off and turn your doorbell off and have family fun your own way!

     Its just a matter of perspective. 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday Night Dinner

So I usually  am at my parent's house on Saturday night for dinner, but my mom and sister were at a wedding tonight, so we stayed at home.  I really am tired (baby comes in 5 days, woo hoo!) so I REALLY didn't feel like cooking much tonight (big surprise).  So I did what I normally do-experiment!  There may be a recipe out there for this, but I didn't find an EXACT one, so that is why I called it an experiment! I call them Cheesy BBQ Hogs in a Sleeping Bag (Pigs in a Blanket sounded so...done!) So easy, and the kids loved them too! 

Here's how you do it! Take one can of refrigerated biscuit dough (the big ones, 8 in a can), roll out each one.  Brush with BBQ sauce, add a slice of cheese (I used colby jack...mmm), put your hot dog on (I used angus all beef ones) and roll it up!  seal the ends, then place seam side down on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  That's it! My kids like dipping them in the yummy sauce (what they call BBQ and ranch mixed together).

Monday, April 29, 2013

Why do Mommies fight?

     Ok, I will admit, I look up EVERYTHING on the internet.  My kid sneezes funny, I Google it.  My cheesecake cracks, I Google it (btw, bake it with a pan of water to avoid that).
     Many times in my searching, I am directed to mommy forums.....dangerous, I have learned.  VERY dangerous.  Because you either leave the page freaking out because your kid may have an incurable disease and you need to RUSH to the ER, or you leave angry because you were made to feel like a TOTAL failure by some cloth diapering, toddler nursing, all natural organic momma (and there is NOTHING wrong with that, by the way) who thinks that every momma who doesn't do things HER way is a bad parent.  (If you can't tell, that has happened to me, haha).  So yeah, I am (slowly) learning to stay away from mommy forums.

     My big question is, why do moms have to be like that?  I mean come on, we are all trying to do the same thing essentially (trying to keep our kids alive and thriving day to day), right?  My message to mommies every where is this:  If you can't be nice, don't say anything at all; as well as, If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen!
     Dearest mommies who are all natural, etc.:  GOOD FOR YOU!  YOU have chosen that lifestyle for your family, and that's GREAT!  But PLEASE don't make other mommies feel like crud when they don't do the same things!  Get off your high and mighty horse and take care of your family for heaven's sake, not everyone else's!  (And disclaimer, by the way, MOST all natural type mommies are not like this, but believe me, there are plenty out there!) I was reading on a Facebook page the other day, and a mommy had a question about nursing, and she mentioned that she would have thought the world was going to come to an end, and I'm sure from reading the comments that poor momma went to her room and cried for an hour (I know I would have!)  Every mom does things different, and that is her choice as a mom!  As for me, I use disposable diapers, and I only nursed my first two until they were 5 months.  There were reasons, and frankly, that is no one else's business!  So for goodness sake: BE NICE!  If you carried that child for 9 months, then you have a right to make decisions.  But you didn't, and I didn't (thank goodness, because these three have been MORE than enough for me!), so tend your own house!
     Dearest mommies who stalk these forums and pages (ok, ok, this is me, haha): STAY AWAY!  For goodness sake, don't bring things on yourself!  And believe you me, I am preachin' to the choir!  I get so mad sometimes at mommies who sit there and take this "abuse" from other mommies.  Why do you do this to yourselves, haha...I ask myself that each time I get ruffled at something someone said to me.  If you feel you are doing the right thing for your family, guess what...YOU ARE!  God gave you what is commonly called "mommy instinct".  If you feel that something is right for you, then GREAT!  Do it!  And don't take any rudeness or condescension from any other mommy.  You are responsible for the health and well-being of your child and your child alone.  Keep your chin up, and keep on doing what is good for YOUR family!
     I pretty much needed to get my frustrations out at reading what other moms were saying, and to pep talk myself into listening to my own advice.  There is too much crazy stupid stuff going on in this world for us to worry about each other and what Jane Doe is feeding her children and putting on their butts.  Stick together, moms!  Support each other, moms!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Life

There is just something about the Spring that I love so much...well, if it would ever get here this year!  Just when we think it is here, it gets below freezing again!  At least we don't have to deal with snow!  Anyways, as I was saying, I love Spring.  I think that my absolute favorite holiday has to be Easter.  Christmas is great, and who doesn't love their birthday and the 4th of July, but I love Easter so much!  I mean, that was the day when I got my freedom!  Freedom from sin and Hell when Jesus rose from the dead!  As my 4 year old would say, "It's just amazing!"  
Spring gives us a hint of new life.  The flowers are blooming (my allergies are terrible), the air is fresh and clean, the sun is's just refreshing after the long, cold winter!  New life is wonderful...and this Spring, we are experiencing new life all over the place!  Of course, our precious Makenna is just months away from making her grand entrance into the world, and we are busy getting things ready for her arrival.  But a few days ago, new life was once again experienced in our house.
It all began when my 4 year old came home from school yelling "Crucify him!  Crucify him!"  Pretty brutal thing, right?  I knew immediately what she was talking about, and I thought that it was a perfect time to bring up this conversation with her since I knew she was getting it in school as well.  So at bedtime, I asked her what her Bible stories had been in school.  We talked about the people waving the palm branches at Jesus and saying Hosanna...she really likes that part.  We then moved on to the Crucifixion and Resurrection after that, and I asked her some questions about why Jesus died, and is he still dead, etc.  She really knows her stuff!  
When I asked her if she wanted to pray, she said yes, and we did.  I was so proud of her in that moment.  What a precious thing to lead your child to the Lord!  After she prayed, we talked about what it meant, and she said, "Jesus made my heart clean Mommy!"  And I asked her if that meant it was clean forever.  She said, "well, it won't be clean when I do bad things."  So I went on to explain to her that she only has to ask Jesus into her heart one time, but when she does things bad, she needs to pray and ask Him to forgive her and make her heart clean again.  I told her that it didn't mean she got saved again, just that she was getting a new start.  Once you are saved, you are always saved.  She didn't really seem to understand that, so I grabbed a shirt from her drawer, and I asked her how many times did mommy have to buy this shirt from the store?  She said just once.  I then asked her, what happens after you wear it and it gets I have to go out and buy her another shirt to wear?  She said no, we wash it in the machine.  So I told her it's kind of the same thing when she does bad things.  She then said "Jesus puts my heart in the washing machine?"  I had to keep from laughing, she was so cute!  I said no, but He does make it clean again.  She looked at me and said "that's so amazing!"  Yes, my sweet girl it is!
How many times do we forget about the amazingness (if that's even a word!) of salvation?  I mean, we were saved from Hell!  We are promised life eternal with our Lord!  Seeing my child realize that fact made my heart just want to sing with joy!  
Never forget the gift of salvation. Always remember that you have a hoome waiting for you in Heaven, and tell everyone you can about that gift!  It is too precious to keep to yourself!

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Man, has it been a rough few days!  I have been so tired and cranky!  I'm going to blame it on the hormones, but it makes me so MAD sometimes (which doesn't help matters!).  I am to the point now where very tiny thing makes me cry, and I hate that!  In one word, I am WORN!           

One thing I like to do when the kiddos get to bed is turn on music and just sit for a minute.  It lets me refocus so I can get those last few things done before the night wraps up.   Tonight, I am feeling particularly emotional after a VERY trying day with the kids, and the first song that came on was this one I'm going to share.  How appropriate, right?   Take a listen, then keep reading.

Awesome, right?  Listen, I know there are people out there going through MUCH harder things than I am...but I needed this tonight.  To me, life is tiresome right now.  To you, it may be something else, but personally, it is YOUR life.  Everyone goes through things, and it is important to them, even if it doesn't seem like a big deal to me, or someone else.  I really don't think I am making much sense right now, but it works in my brain.

 Think about those words--
    I'm tired, I'm worn, my heart is heavy. My soul feels crushed by the weight of this world.  We have ALL been there, haven't we?  It's tough sometimes!  There's that despair, that feeling like you aren't going to make it...but the part of the song I love the most is Let me see redemption win, let me know the struggle ends, that You can mend a heart that's frail and torn.  Yes, all that's dead inside will be reborn. Though I'm worn, I'm worn.  Therw's hope!  Even when it seems like there's not, God can take your broken and torn heart and mend it with His love.  One day, the struggle within us WILL end!  It may not seem that way right now, but be of good cheer, He has overcome the world!  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

One is the loneliest number...

     Have you ever been in a crowded room, and felt completely and utterly alone?  I can't tell you how many times I have felt this way.  These past few months have been pretty tough for me, and most of it is all because of an important decision I made.  I believe I made the RIGHT decision, but the "results" are harder to take than I thought it would be.  

     Sometimes when you stand up for what you believe in, the world becomes a lonely place.  People who you thought were your friends completely turn from you, and voila! you are completely alone.  It's a tough place to be, but at least you did the right thing...right?  

     As a woman, I think that it is pretty important to have a good to laugh with you, cry with you, and generally just be there for you in a way that your husband can't be.  Someone who understands your emotions (because she's going through it too!), understands your need for matching shoes and purses, and someone who can talk to you without judging.  I think we all can agree that is a pretty important thing to have.  Honestly, thinking through my life, I don't remember a time when I REALLY had someone like that.  Yes, I had friends, but life happens; and sometimes those friends move one, start their own lives, and you just lose touch.  Or maybe those friends didn't really feel the same way about you, and you get dropped like a hot potato.  Ok, I know that sounds like complaining, but I am going to be transparent and honest, so hang with me a minute.  

     When something like that happens, it hurts.  Pretty bad.  You think you are friends with someone, then something happens to where you need to make a decision.  You make it, praying about it and believing it is the right thing to do, and you are assured by the friends that it doesn't change anything between you.  But it does.  Maybe they don't realize it, but you sure do.  Then the loneliness hits.  You see how the group of friends still are closer than ever with each other, and you feel REALLY left out.  

     Here's where the hard, but good part comes in.  Yeah, I am SO going through this right now.  But this season of loneliness has driven me to my knees (well, the recliner, because I probably couldn't get up from my knees if I tried to get down on them).  I KNOW that I shouldn't feel lonely, because I have the Great Comforter right by my side.  But it's that woman part of me that needs someone here, physically, that I can feel close to.  Honestly, it is hard for me to not have that now, but I seriously feel like God is really working on my heart, to bring me closer to Him.  Here are some verses that I found.  If you are going through something like this, I pray that you too can find comfort in these verses, just like I did!  I didn't write this post to "bash" anyone...and if they read this and take it that way, I hope that they know it wasn't my intention, and their feelings are all on their part, not mine.  I wrote this to get my thoughts on paper (well, computer) in the hopes that I will reflect on it more, and maybe help someone else who is going through this!  

Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

I'm going to post the entire chapter of Psalm 139.  I couldn't believe how much comfort I got from this!  How amazing to know that God is right there! I've marked my favorite parts.

Psalm 139 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.  For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.  Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.  For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.  Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?  I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.   Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Matthew 11:28-30

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Psalm 147:3-5

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.  He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.  Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

These are just a few verses...there are so many more!  I will probably do a few more posts as i find more to share.  Remember (like I am trying to do every day) that God is always may seem like you are all alone in the world (believe me, I feel that alot!), but all you have to do is memorize one of these verses and then say it to yourself when you have these feelings.  God will be with you!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Laundry Soap Day!


I love this recipe so much, and I still have success with it!  However, I have changed one teeny thing and I find I love it even more because of it!  Instead of buying Purex crystals, I make them myself!  All you do is take 2 cups of Epsom salt, and mix about 40 drops of essential oils into the salt.  I used lavender this time and it smells AMAZING.  It is so much cheaper too!  If you want the fabric softener aspect but not the scent, then just add the Epsom salt to the mix without the oils!  If you are looking for GREAT oils, look here.  If you have questions, just ask!

   I LOVE making my own laundry soap!  One day I was thinking that there had to be a cheaper way to get my clothes clean.  So I started researching on the internet, and came across this awesome recipe for laundry soap.  Rather than take the time to take my own pictures, I will share the wonderful description and pictures of someone else!  This is the second time I have made this, and I just love how clean my clothes get, and how good they smell!  So without further ado, I will "pass it on" to the wonderful lady at "Being Creative to Keep My Sanity". (I wish I knew her name!)  She says it costs her about $20 to make it, and I say $25 because I buy Purex crystals to add softener to it and make it smell pretty :) 

Homemade Laundry Soap! 

Sick of buying laundry soap?? Me too. This stuff is awesome because it is way stronger then the store bought laundry soap. You only have to use 1 Tablespoon per load. This recipe makes a huge cookie jar full of soap and is going to last a life time, well maybe not quit that long. I originally made mine in July and I still yo have a ton and I do at least 8 loads of laundry ever week. So I am thinking it will last me almost a year. 1 year of laundry soap for less than $20, have I got you sold yet? I love not having to buy laundry soap all the time anymore. This laundry soap also works just fine in  HE washers. Update: **I just ran out of laundry soap and it is March. So July to March that's 9 months of laundry soap for $20 bucks. I am pretty happy about that.**

Here is what you need:
1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle

1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle

3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle (if you use Zote bars use 2 bars instead, Zote can be found at Home Depot)

2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent isle.
(this is optional, I added it into mine because I have pretty messy kids and the cleaner the better)

You should be able to find all of these items at your grocery store.

**Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load. I know that does not seem like enough but this recipe does not have fillers like the store bought detergent so you only need 1-2 Tablespoons.**

This detergent is fairly mild smelling, it is not over powering. If you love a strong scent you may have to add a fabric softener or laundry crystals to each load. You can find laundry crystals in the detergent isle.
Start out by grating your Fels-Naptha soap just like cheese. You can use a food processor or just use your hand held grater, what ever you have. Those of you with an HE washer may want to run the mix through the grater again to get an even finer mix.
**Don't worry the Fels-Naptha will dissolve in your washer even if you only use cold water like me.**

Toss all ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket lined with a garbage bag. This part makes your whole house smell great. Once everything is mixed store soap however you like. The recipe makes
about 2 gallons worth of detergent. Walmart has large glass jars in the kitchen department.
I used a jar that my sister gave me a few years ago from a little home good store. Then used my Cricut to cut out the word Laundry to put on the front of the jar. I keep it above my washing machine, I also got a little scoop that is about 1 tablespoon to keep inside. Wasn't that easy? Sure was! Enjoy your soap.

 **If you are going to copy my recipe and blog about it please add a link back to my blog. Give credit where credit is due. It would be very appreciated. Thanks:)**

**Update** I have had a lot of repeat questions so I though I would answer a few here.

-This detergent is safe for HE washers and should be added to the barrel instead of the dispenser.
 -This detergent is safe to use on sensitive skin.
-It does not have a strong scent, you can add laundry crystals to the batch to add fragrance.
-Some of my followers have used other bar soap instead of Zote or Fels-Naptha. I have personally not tried it but from the feed back I get it sounds like any bar will work.
-Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load.
-Walmart has nice big glass jars in the kitchen department!
-This is not safe for cloth diapers because it contains baking soda which affects how the diaper is able to soak up liquid.
-I am not sure if this detergent is safe for a septic tank or not, you may have to research it and do what you feel comfortable with.
- I used my Cricut to cut out the vinyl letters for the jar. I used the Story Book font.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


     There has been something that has been on my mind for a while now, and I feel like it is time just to organize them, write them down, and see if I can get other's opinions as well.  I might ruffle some feathers (big surprise there...OK, I KNOW I will, hahaha) but as you read this (if you read it), remember that this is MY thoughts and will have yours, and you are entitled to them!  So (big breath) here goes!
     I was raised in a very conservative church.  We sang the old hymns (which I personally love), did everything in the same order every week, dressed up, and basically did everything "by the book" (whatever that book was).  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that way of worshiping  as long as your heart is genuine, you are truly worshiping the Lord, and aren't stuck in a rut.  It's just not for everyone!  I was in a church like this pretty much until I was married.  Then the Lord moved me and my husband to a church that was VERY different.  Not bad, just different. 
     Our new church is vibrant, exciting, and casual.  We love it.  I personally feel closer to God as I truly worship Him.  Sometimes I feel like this is truly the first time in my life where I have really worshiped God.  Yes, our church has a band.  Yes, we sing contemporary music.  To me, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as your heart is genuine, you are truly worshiping the Lord, and aren't stuck in a rut (hmm...sounds familiar).  Different people worship in different ways!  David danced before the Lord, and I'm pretty sure there were those around him that criticized him and shook their heads...was David wrong?  Were the others wrong?  I think no!  David was worshiping God in his own way.  The others worship in their own way. 
     Now I come to the big question for it appropriate to use music that is considered "secular" in a church setting.  I know, I know, touchy subject.  TOUGH subject!  But here are my thoughts...and they are conflicting!  First of all I have read a lot on this, read other people's opinions.  And honestly, I see both sides!  One thought is, when a preacher is reaching, he will use quotes, stories, etc. from secular people/sources.  Is that OK, or not?  I say yes, it's fine...there are many many inspirational people that have lived/are living in our world.  They may or may not be Christians.  But their words might be just the right thing for the Holy Spirit to work in someone's life.  So why shouldn't music be that way as well?  Another side to it I found is (and I tend to agree with this) is that music in the church should be first and foremost to praise and glorify God, and to prepare hearts for the receiving of His word and the Holy Spirit.  That being said, I wonder how a song about things you want to do before you die, or being afraid of something but doing it anyways, has a place in worshiping the Lord.  Yes, they are inspirational songs, and yes, they talk about maybe what the sermon is going to be about, but are they truly pointing the crowd to thoughts of Jesus?  When I personally hear a song that I know is country, or soft rock, or whatever genre it comes from, that gets my mind away from church and God, and I  start thinking who sings that, what other songs do they com etc., and then my mind wanders.  And if my mind wanders away from Christ, then how will someone who is either a new Christian,or maybe not even saved?
     More opinions as well, what about if a secular person sings a song that's a Christian song (which is kind of a generic term in my book)?  Case in point, one of my favorite songs, How Great Thou Art was performed recently by Carrie Underwood.  Or even say Elvis singing Amazing Grace.  To me, it is ultimately about the words.  Words speak to the soul.  And if someone as popular as Elvis or Carrie Underwood is going to sing a song that praises the Lord, someone who may not ever step foot in a church would hear that song, and the words might go straight to their hearts.  God will use whatever avenue He chooses to net His word in a heart.
     Now on to Christian music.  As stated before, I am a lover of the old hymns.  They speak to my heart in a way that I cannot even begin to describe.  But I am also a lover of the new praise hymns that are being written today (Chris Tomlin being a favorite).  But there are Christian songs that are being performed today that are so shallow and self-driven, that I wonder how they can be glorifying to God.  Or the "Christian" music that is so like punk rock, loud and screaming, that I wonder how the words can even be understood!  But I remind myself that while it may not speak to me, maybe (miraculously) it will to someone else.  Opinions.
     Finally, I am a believer that church should be a place where you walk in, feel God's presence, and focus solely on worshiping Him and immersing yourself in His Word.  And I will be the first to admit that many times I am so distracted that this does not happen.  So many things get in the any of my fellowship with God.  To me, chug should be church, not a concert experience.  I am SO not against concerts, believe me!  I LOVE them!  But there is a time and a place for that, and FOR ME, it is not at worship on Sundays.
     So there you have it!  My opinion in a (very large) nutshell.  I know there are people that disagree with me...great!  Form your own opinions!  I'm all for that.  But don't criticize me for mine.   ;-)   But I pray that what I have written will cause you to think about these things, and really get an understanding on what is OK/not OK for you.  If nothing changes, fine, if you feel things need to change, fine too!  The most important point I am trying to solidify in my mind, for ME, is what worship truly means to me. 

P.S. After thinking overnight about what I wrote, I thought I would share some of the verses that have been floating around my heard concerning this.

Ecclesiastes 3:1  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Psalm 100:4  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.

There are more, but I can't remember them all now, and I will add them as they come to mind!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Recipe Time

So one of my goals for this year is to be more creative in the kitchen.  So for tonight's dinner, I created this yummy dish that was even child approved!  And so here it is....Easy Cheesy Chicken & Orzo

(measurements are estimated, I really didn't pay exact attention to amounts...oops)

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup Orzo
1 can Campbell's chicken gravy
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken (or more if you want it)
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning

Bring chicken broth to boil, and then add orzo.  Cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat through.  Should make about 6 servings, and you only use one dish!  Couldn't be any easier.  Let me know your thoughts!