Monday, February 22, 2010

Kids Against Hunger

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
17The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."
John 21:15-17
I am going to see if I can get through this blog without sobbing. It's always a bit hard to sob and type.
As disciples of Jesus we are commanded to feed his sheep. There are so many ways that we can feed the sheep of the Lord physically, emotionally and spiritually. I am so excited about the opportunity to feed his sheep physically. Here are the details if you would like to help as well. Please help me get the word out!
Recently our church became a packing location for Kids Against Hunger. We will be packing 30,000 meals on March 13th. These meals feed not just one child but an entire family. That is a lot of food! It is amazing to me that one days work will fill so many belly's that are truly hungry. The work God is doing through this is absolutely mind blowing. Not only did he allow our church to become a packing site he also provided us the opportunity to be baker of the day at Great Harvest Bread in Burnsville. All of the proceeds will go to Kids Against Hunger. Please let people know that March 14th is the day to come and buy bread to help out Kids Against Hunger.

Buy Bread for Kids Against Hunger Sunday, March 14, Great Harvest, Burnsville. Evergreen-Lakeville, "Kids Against Hunger" won the "Baker for a Day" vote at Great Harvest in Burnsville. Stop by and buy lots of bread and tell everyone you know to do the same. All of the proceeds will go to Kids Against Hunger!
Try as I might tears of joy are streaming down my face thinking of how much this food will help some very hungry families.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beefed Up Chinese Burritos Recipe

Pete and I really like this recipe. We are waiting for the children to get on board with it. They will tolerate it but, don't really like it. It is especially good with a spicy kick of Stir Fry Sauce.

1 lb ground beef
8 oz mushrooms sliced
1 small head of cabbage (or a bag of coleslaw mix)
2 carrots shredded (not needed if you use the coleslaw mix)
1T peanut or other oil (I always leave this out because I forget and it tastes fine without it)
1/4c hoisin sauce + more to spread on tortillas (in section by oriental foods & sauces at store)
2t asian dark sesame oil
12 tortillas (we like the ww kind)

Brown beef and drain. Add mushrooms and cook to lose moisture about 3 minutes. Mix hoisin, sesame oil, 1/4c water and stir fry sauce if desired. Add sauce, cabbage & carrots to beef. Cook until the cabbage is tender. Heat tortillas (I wrap them in foil and put in a 350 degree oven for a bit). Spread hoisin on tortillas and then desired amount of cabbage mix. Wrap and serve.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Prayer of the Week

Lord, please help me not to whine and complain but discipline and train. Amen!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh You MUST be Busy!

As a mother of 5 I get this line often, "Oh, you must be very busy!" It makes me cringe to hear that people think I am busy. It reminds me of the bible verses that talk about being a busy body. I've tried to purposefully not be "busy" so that I can be available to do what the Lord wants, and be available for my girls and for Pete. But, for some reason every time I hear this I just smile and say, "Oh, yes" or if I am really on my mental toes I say, "it's the best kind of busy!" Now I would like to come up with a new response maybe something like, "oh, not really they are great little servants and take care of me!" Okay I really wouldn't say that. Maybe I could try, "really were not busy we just enjoy being together."
Putting in the effort to manage our time and have a peaceful schedule has always been important to me. I find that when the children and I are over extended we seem to get caught up in chaos and crabbiness. Each family looks different in what they can handle for time commitments, but I wonder how many are forsaking peace because it is so easy to get caught up in the business of life?
A few of the things that have contributed to the peace in our house are keeping a schedule, eating healthy, staying consistent with expectations and discipline, good communication and boundaries. We know that if we keep the children out past bed time they are more prone to melt downs. If we don't eat well the children will nag for snacks. If the schedule permits too much free time the children probably will get out of control. These are all easily remedied by being fore thoughtful in what we commit to and what we do. Some simple direction from mom and dad can make all the difference.
I am still searching for the perfect reply to people when they assume that having a big family is a trial on our time. It is a pure joy to be tried and I want the joy to shine through and not the trial part! I hope that if you see us out and about you see some polite, respectful , joy filled children who are laughing and smiling! Each day we make the choice to encourage chaos or peace. I don't always make the right choice. But I hope that the peaceful days are more than the chaotic ones.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

This weeks Menu

I am on yet another kick to get back on track eating healthy. For all of you food lovas' heres the menu!

B-pumpkin oatmeal & orange juice
L-peanut butter and honey on home-made ww bread, carrots and apple slices
D-to be decided (maybe Trader Joe's sushi?)
B-ww pancakes, venison sausage & warm berries
B-Eggs & toast w/Juice
L-Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
D-Nacho's & cut up vegies
B-Blueberry oatmeal & juice
L-leftover nacho's
D-Cream of Vegie Soup & Tuna Melts
L-leftover soup & toast
D-Chicken fajitas & green beans
B-yogurt with berries and granola
L-ww bean & cheese quesodillas w/ cut up vegies
D-chilli and cornbread
B-Pumpkin Muffins, scrambles eggs & Berry Smoothies
L-leftover chilli and cornbread
D-Beefed-up Chinese Burritos & peas

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hearts at Home

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable-if anything is excellant or
praiseworthy-think about such things.
Phillipians 4:8

Having my heart at home seems to be a valley and mountain top sort of thing for me. There are days when I feel I am a failure and I seem wrought with sin and mistakes and want to run away from my home. Praise God, I have come to a place where those days are few and most are filled with a joyful content to be with this beautiful family the Lord saw fit for me to be mother and wife of. As of lately the world seems to be crashing down around us, but, home has been such a warm, comfortable and loving place to be. Even though the battle rages the joy that comes with a family makes all the challenges manageable.

As I have shed tears of joy these past couple of weeks, I have also been shedding a few of sorrow as well. There are families that are in so much pain and it is heart breaking to see. There are some circumstantial issues and some issues that come from the choices people make. The fixer in me wants to swoop in and fix all these problems, come up with solutions and see change now. I realize though, that it won't be me or my power that changes these families, it has to be the Lord.

So what does this have to do with a heart being at home, I believe it has a lot to do with it! From our first thoughts in the morning until our last at night we have the option of choosing whether to manage our day, emotions, thoughts and actions or to let them manage us. The past few years have really taught me that if I want to be content and happy right here, right now I need to choose to do it first and then the joy comes. My attitude makes the difference in whether I am frustrated and worn down or thankful and joy filled.

I use to believe that I needed to have a time set aside to refresh and be in the word each day. So I would get up read my bible and expect to have this sweet time with the Lord and not be interrupted. Well that is a little unrealistic for a mom with several little ones that need a lot of attention. Some mornings went according to plan but several times I was interrupted and would think things like, "can't I just do this one thing to start my day well? Grrr...." So I would set up my entire day with a poor attitude as I reacted to the interruption. I once read a devotional that talked about how we need to expect to be interrupted when we are needed by our little ones and learn to be thankful for those times. So I tried to change my attitude and thinking and welcome the interruptions. I have had so many moments of beauty come from these times. Now if one of the children is up when I am still doing my quiet time I include them. We read the bible, pray together or I direct them to be near me and read or look at the pictures in their bible. Instead of ending my time in frustration I end it feeling like I have helped to nurture a love for the Lord in my little one. My heart wants to be here. It is all a matter of attitude and where we place our hearts.

There seems to be a trend in our culture where we are encouraged to have "me" time. Somehow we have been convinced that if we nurture ourselves first, and take care of us we will be better for those others around us. This is a seemingly nice idea but it forgets one thing, we are all sinners we will never get it all together this side of eternity! I confess I have had this idea in the past where I somehow convince myself that if I can just get away for a little bit or have a little time with other adults or on my own I will return and be super mom. I started to rely on these times away. One problem here, I was looking forward to the "me" time and stopped enjoying the now. A bit of discontent crept in. I still get stuck in this thinking now, but most of the time I see that when I give the Lord my time he gives me refreshment. Many times not how I viewed refreshing time, but in ways that fit in with my life now. Maybe I give myself a pedicure on a Sunday afternoon when the girls are resting. It might be a blogging, maybe a bath. But, it probably won't be a week-end out with my friends. That is not where I am at right now in life and I'm okay with it. God provides what we need.

I am amazed with all the ways that God meets us where we are at. If we are willing to give him control, follow and obey his ways especially in submission to our husbands and command to love our children he will reward us with riches beyond measure. I am so honored to know by God's grace some of those riches. They come in whispers of, "mommy, I love you." All the work that it takes to manage my time, thoughts, actions and days is so worth it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Bro Elijah

The past few days have been some of those aha sort of days. God gave me just a glimpse of understanding. I was reading in 1 Kings and came to chapter 19 where it gives the account of the prophet Elijah fleeing King Ahab and Jezebel. They had put an order out to have all the prophets killed so Elijah travels far and stops in the desert. Elijah says in verse 10, "I have been very zealous for the Lord god Almighty. the Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left and now they are trying to kill me too." I can't imagine the horror and utter loneliness Elijah faced. To feel as though you are the only one in the world is very foreign to me. But, I kept reading and was so encouraged by what I read. The first thing God did for Elijah was to provide for him physically. He gave him rest and food. He didn't try and motivate him or comfort him, he just provided for his physical needs. After this God tells Elijah he is going to speak to him so first he sends a strong wind, then a earthquake and a fire. God is not in any of these. Then when those things were completed God spoke to Elijah in a whisper. I was amazed by this action. God didn't come in a magnificent display of power to Elijah and yell powerfully at him his words but simply, gently came in a whisper. Then God very specifically and clearly gives Elijah a course of action. Wow! This is not mans way nor my natures way. Elijah was in need and God provided. Not only did he just provide but he left an example of how to minister to someone in need.
  1. Provide for physical needs first. May it is meals for a hungry family. A hug for a hurting mom. Sleep for a exhausted husband.
  2. Gently encourage truth.
  3. Provide clear direction. Give hope and light to a situation by offering practical steps. (I believe this one will need very careful consideration and direction from the Lord)

God has placed several people in my life at this moment that have very different levels of needs. At first I was frustrated wondering how I was going to help. Then God gave me this path. I realize I am so very limited in what I can do. I am encouraged that I can do these things listed. I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me this pearl. I pray I use it wisely.