Archives for September 2012

31 Days of Wisdom: Day 1

31dayswisdomlong

 

Most of life is gray, wouldn’t you agree? 

Half the time I don’t know what I’m doing because there isn’t a black and white answer.  What do I eat for breakfast?  How do I attack my to-do list?  How do I punish my daughter for lying?  How do I respond when someone hurts my feelings? 

No clear right or wrong.

It’s all so…gray.

The answers lie in wisdom: knowing what to do and how to think when you’re drowning in gray.

For months now I’ve been trying to read a chapter of Proverbs each day but somehow get lost in the midst and rarely read it faithfully all month.

The Nester’s 31 Days series is the perfect time to nail down a commitment to Proverbs given its 31 chapters. 

I’m not offering up my wisdom.  Oh no.  I don’t even pretend to have it.  But I thought we might look for it together, taking one chapter from Proverbs a day and seeing what jumps out at us.

Would you like to join me?

31dayswisdomToday for chapter 1, the word fool keeps jumping out at me.

v7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

v32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; and be at ease, without fear of harm.

The first thing we need to learn to be wise is to accept we need wisdom from the Lord.  It’s a fool that rejects the wisdom of the Lord.  It sounds so simple but many believe they are smart enough and wise enough on their own.  I can figure it out.  I’ve heard it so many times.  Why do you need God to help you?   Are you that helpless?

I don’t know about you, but I can, in fact, be quite helpless in my gray situations.

I’m looking forward to these 31 days together to see black and white we can separate from the gray.  Please join me in seeking the Lord to come alive in these well-known verses that we might accept wisdom’s advice.

Grace in Spending

IMG_9242

God has been dealing with me for years about excess and cutting back in hopes of helping others.  Summer of 7 was another part of that journey.  Recently, though, God has been dealing with me about cutting back.

My entire extended family is eight hours away.  For over 30 years, we’ve traveled back and forth at least twice a year visiting.  Up until recently, we’ve been able to stay with family but as some family members have passed on and our own family has grown, we’ve moved on to staying with my parents’ empty-nest friends (we’re pictured above visiting one Christmas at their house).

Read the rest of my guest post today over at Jamie’s blog

To the Ladies

In one of my six meetings I had today, we were talking about our group of offshore workers.  I won’t bore you with the details of the meeting but there was a small detail that came up I keep thinking about.

Offshore workers work in shifts to accommodate the time zone differences for the companies with which they work.  It’s advantageous for us to work with the workers on the second shift as they are getting off work just as we are coming in.  We have at least a few hours to make the exchange of information of what work was completed while we were sleeping the night before.  In the meeting, my manager made the remark about a female that just started working with us but she’s a first shift worker as no females are allowed to work the second shift.

I have no idea why females aren’t allowed to work the second shift.  I’m guessing it has something to do with their protection.  Because I’m just guessing somewhere along the way things aren’t the same for females as it is for males. 

So as I sat in a conference room with a 3 to 1 male to female ratio where I was every bit as respected by the 3, my heart went out to that worker around the world that at the end of the day, wasn’t being treated the same as her coworkers.

DSC02626-001 Me, (safely) in New York for work 

I picked up my Bible to straighten up this evening as DSS is making their biannual home visit in the morning and as I walked I randomly opened it to read.  I “just happened” to turn to this passage in Matthew where Jesus was talking about His return.  Things are going to get bad and then He says this:

How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!

I love that out of all the things he could communicate about that time, He took a moment to speak His soft spot for women.  The world is ending and He’s thinking of us in particular.

I love that He feels that way and I love that He took the time to remind me.

Ladies, don’t ever forget you are every bit as valuable as the men around you. We’re different, for sure. But I don’t care if you work or you don’t. If you have kids or you don’t. If you’re a girl, a woman, a lady, you’re important and loved.

My Three Easiest Crock Pot Meals

Salsa chicken, recipe below

I get asked often for crock pot meals.  I have 3 go-to meals that are fool-proof and SO easy—just 2-3 ingredients.

 

Salsa Chicken

Frozen or regular chicken breasts or tenders

One jar of salsa

Dump them in.  I usually put it on high and it’s done in 4 hours.  Just before it’s done, I shred the chicken and let it simmer on low in the salsa.

I love to serve this for Mexican night.  I make rice, refried beans, shells and serve with cheese, sour cream, lettuce, etc.

For the kids, they don’t really like all that as a mix so I just serve the chicken, rice and a can of corn to make a plate for them.

 

BBQ

Boston Butt

About 1/2 cup of water

Salt and pepper

Dump them in.  I usually put it on high about 8-10 hours, or until it pulls apart with a fork

When it’s done, I separate the meat from the bone and then shred it.  At this point, you can either mix in BBQ sauce or let people put their own on.

If you want, you can serve with hamburger buns or just eat it on its own.  I always make baked beans with this.  This is my go-to large group gathering meal.  If you’ve been to eat at my house, you’ve probably eaten this.

 

Roast

Chuck Roast

One packet of dry onion soup mix

1/2 cup of water

Dump them in.  I usually put it on high for about 8 hours, or until it pulls apart with a fork.

When it’s done, I separate the meat from the bone.  I always make rice or mashed potatoes this this and make gravy from the leftover juice in the crock pot.  BONUS!  I added the gluten-free version of the gravy that I use.

 

BONUS: Gluten-free gravy

Juice from roast

3/4 + 1/4 cup of water

1/4 cup corn starch

Put roast juice in sauce pan.  Add 3/4 cup of water.  Heat to boiling on medium to medium-high.  Mix 1/4 cup corn starch and 1/4 water until there are no bumps.  Stir in corn starch mix and keep stirring until it thickens.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Really cannot get more simple than these 3.  They’re great to pick up when the meat required is on sale and you can have a ton of REAL food for a great price.

Any really simple ones like this to add?

This post is linked up to Just a Girl

Don’t Quit | Pray Harder

The girls’ devotional tonight was based on Romans 12:11-13: 

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

So much to unpack there but this is what stuck: 

Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder