Monday, October 8, 2012

Receive with Meekness

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

James 1:16-21

I read these verses one day last week and keep coming back to them. I see a lot of potential application for me, especially in the area of parenting. I want to keep in mind that my beautiful girls are a good gift from God, even when days are difficult. I want to remember to be quick to listen to Eva (and Elsie as she gets older), and slow to anger when I'm tempted to just react and snap at her impatiently when she's defiant. Damon is also an amazing gift from God and I need to treat him more as such. I don't feel that I've been very loving toward him lately and I want to work on that.

"No variation or shadow due to change". I may fail (and do, often), and my situation/mood/children/spouse/friends may change on me, but God is the same perfect, good, just, loving, gracious and righteous Father that he has always been and will always be. I think there would be a great deal more peace and joy in my life if I reflect on that much more often than I do.

Also, I just love love love the image of God as "the Father of lights". How beautiful.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cornbread Taco Bake

This is one of those "church potluck" recipes that makes my former chef husband chuckle. You know the ones...some sort of everything-mixed-together-casserole-something with Ritz cracker crumbs on top. Or french fried onions, which is what we have here. I tried this one for the first time tonight and I kinda love it. Could be partly because I've been sick all week (started getting a fever/dizzy on Monday and it's still not really much better - now my throat is sore - strep test negative), and this was really the first day that I managed to work up the energy to cook anything. And I'm glad I did. It really hit the spot. Kind of a comfort food thing. Damon said he liked it too. ;)


Recipe came you can't guess...a church cookbook. Specifically, from a lady named Doris Beals at the church my family attended when I was in high school. I vaguely remember her but unfortunately, I don't remember much about her. The recipe is yummy and pretty easy. If I can make it when I'm sick and exhausted, I'm pretty sure a normal person could knock it out of the park.

Notes: if I make it again, I will probably double the amount of cornbread batter and cover the whole dish. I don't really understand just spooning it around the outside edge. Wouldn't you want cornbread on all of it? Of course you would. Also, it says to use an 11x13 baking dish. I don't have that size (do they actually come in that size?); 9x13 worked great. Also, I may have sprinkled more cheese on top than the recipe calls for. Cheese makes everything better.

Cornbread Taco Bake

2 lbs. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1/2 c. water
1 (12 oz) can yellow corn, drained
1/2 c. chopped red or green pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 can french fried onions
1 c. grated cheese
1 pkg. corn muffin mix (or make your own)

Brown meat; drain. stir in taco seasoning, water, corn, pepper and tomato sauce. Pour in 11x13 baking dish. In separate bowl, prepare cornbread batter according to package directions; add 1/2 can onions to mix. Spoon mix around outer edge of casserole. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven. Top cornbread with cheese and remaining onions. Bake 2-3 minutes longer, until cheese melts.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

God is so, so good.

Since I've only written 28 posts since I started this almost exactly two years ago (most of those are recipes I think), and this is the first one since September, I've come to the conclusion that I'm not a blogger. I don't usually have anything profound to say anyway, so I just read the blogs of people who do.

I am excited about what's been going on in my house recently though and thought I'd write out my thoughts. If no one else reads it, that's okay. A little over a week ago, Elsie was still waking up every couple of hours at night and I was completely exhausted. I felt barely able to function during the day after too many months of too little sleep. I was still treating her like a newborn, letting her fall asleep while eating and then trying to put her down already asleep. Of course she kept waking up because she wanted me. Then during the day I would let her fall asleep on me all the time, but she woke up whenever I had to put her down or because Eva was making noise. She almost never got a good nap. It hit me all of a sudden last week that she is six months old and should be able to sleep on her own. I think I knew this in my head; it was just easier (or so I thought) to keep doing what we were doing. We started letting her cry it out, and she adjusted almost immediately! She now sleeps 10-12 straight at night and takes three solid naps during the day, in her crib. She's such a happy baby now, and Mommy gets to sleep all night too. Thank you God.

This new schedule has given me another amazing blessing also, one I didn't expect or realize I needed: a restored relationship with Eva. For the first two years of her life, I was the person who cared for her most of the time, and we had a super close bond. She was my baby. Immediately after Elsie was born, I had to depend on other people (namely Damon and our parents) to take care of Eva while I was dealing with Elsie and recovering from the c-section. While I was so thankful for the help, those first couple of weeks were extremely difficult for me emotionally (I'm sure the hormones didn't help). I felt like I couldn't be there for her, that I didn't have anything to do with her. I love her so much and oh how I missed her.

In the months since then, she has gotten into the "terrible twos" like crazy and has generally misbehaved more when I've had to pay attention to Elsie. I felt like my entire day was spent telling her no and disciplining her while trying to get Elsie to sleep. I was exasperated to the point of tears much of the time because she was so defiant. She usually acted like a perfect angel for Damon, of course. To my amazement, since Elsie started taking naps in her crib, I've noticed a huge change in Eva. I can have one-on-one time with her again, and we actually have fun together, rather than just a power struggle. Though she still has her sinful moments, of course...I feel like I have my sweet baby girl back.

Here's my sweetie, mid-hysterical laughter:

Getting Elsie to sleep on her own has also given me more opportunities to spend time alone with God and with Damon, time I had also been greatly missing, more than I even realized. I am so thankful for God's grace and blessing in the past week. I often try to depend only on my own strength to get through each day and look to find my worth in my own abilities as a mom rather than in Christ, and this has been a wonderful reminder that God does provide and that peace and rest come from trusting in Him and not in myself.