Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reaping and Sowing

Harvest season is upon us and what better time to reflect upon reaping and sowing, although that isn't exactly what came to my mind this morning as I opened my Bible. God had a different lesson for me this morning than the lesson I thought I needed. I was turning in my Bible to Galatians to read through the fruit of the spirit, some fruit that seems to be lacking in my life and my family, when an underlined verse in 2 Corinthians 9 caught my eye.

"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:" 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

I have heard many a sermon on this verse used to encourage giving and tithing, but this morning the Spirit impressed on my heart how this verse applies to me as a mother and the harvest I am reaping in my home.

As an overwhelmed, frequently exhausted mother my reaping and sowing techniques have been more of a survival mode, haphazardly tossing the seeds and yanking weeds for survival, but not planning, preparing the soil and seed and faithfully nurturing and tending those seeds until they become a bountiful harvest. It should be no wonder that I am reaping weeds of clutter in my home, suffocating piles of laundry, nagging, bitterness, unkindness, clamor, anger, wrath. The few seeds of joy, kindness, love, gentleness, meekness that have been planted have been choked by the weeds and thistles of this world.

It is time for me to stop being a puny mother and begin to sow bountifully the fruit of God. This goes right along with verse 7, "Every man according as he has purposed in his heart, so let him give..." God has told me to choose whether I want to sow sparingly or bountifully and then to give of my time and strength according to my choice. This sounds very daunting to an already tired and overwhelmed mom who is frequently incapacitated by fear and the seemingly unending and unrewarding tasks at hand, but verse 8 tells me how I will do it. "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:" God is sufficient and will make me to abound in every good work that He has called me to. That is energizing inspiration for a weary mom!

God, my loving and gracious Father, forgive me for sparingly sowing into my family and for attempting to bring forth a harvest of my own strength. I purpose to sow bountifully into my family with all the resources you have given me. I will depend upon you for the sufficiency to abound in these good works that you have called me to. Set my eyes on you and let me persevere, forgetting what is behind and pushing on to what is ahead. Thank you for you grace and forgiveness.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Where God Wants Me

Yesterday's sermon was a great reminder of the importance of being content in the location God has planted me in and the role He has called me to. Satan desires to distract us from God's purpose and plan for our lives and one of the ways he does that is by sowing discontentment in our lives. When I'm focused on what I don't have or can't do, I miss all the daily opportunities God gives me for ministering and sharing His love. When I'm distracted by the daily busyness of life I become self absorbed and miss the hurting all around me. There are so many things that wrestle for my attention each day and the urgent crowds out those things of eternal value. Really in eternity will it matter if my laundry is not folded, the dishes are sitting in the sink, the floor is sticky, and the bathroom shows traces of boys using it? Seeking God with all my heart and leading others to Him will last for eternity. Hugging a hurting neighbor and listening to her for hours, will make a difference to her now and possibly eternity. My hearts desire is to seek God for His guidance every hour and moment of the day, so that I respond with His love to those He brings in my path each day. People need the Lord, will I bring them to Him, even in the daily choices I make?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Name Change

At the moment I have three blogs going and rarely post on any of them, so in an attempt to simplify I am combining them all into this one blog and therefore I changed the name to reflect my life in general as opposed to just a certain area of life. I tend to over organize and then never follow through because I make it too difficult for myself and I did just this with multiple blogs. I would then never post because I wasn't sure which blog to put it under. Now no choices, just typing!

More to come least I can transfer over some of my previous posts!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Humble Oats

Oatmeal is a breakfast favorite of mine, not the taste so much as the economy. A steaming hot bowl of oats, is quick, nutritious and cost effective for a family of eight. There are numerous ways you can add variety and nutrition to the bowl, with fruit, dried fruit, nuts and spices. Baked oatmeal is always an option, although it's not quite as cost effective or quick. Yesterday I saw a variation of baked oatmeal that added ginger, making it gingerbread! Yummy.

Although most of my children tire of oatmeal, my three year old LOVES it. She begs each morning for it. This morning was no exception as she came into the kitchen asking, "where's my yummy oatmeal?"!

Yes, I'm thankful for oats and the meal they provide each day in our home.

Here's the recipe for the Gingerbread Oatmeal, taken from my friend Teresa's blog.

Gingerbread Oatmeal
6 c. oatmeal
4 eggs
2 c. milk
1 c. melted coconut oil (I know you're cringing at that mom!) It's GOOD for you-really! (Butter can be substituted if you don't have this.)
1/2 c. molasses(for regular baked oatmeal use honey or maple syrup)
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger(omit the ginger if making regular baked oatmeal)
1/2 tsp allspice (wouldn't really need this)(omit for regular baked oatmeal)

Combine dry ingredients then mix in the wet. Stir unil moistened. It will be pretty thick. Spread in a buttered/greased 9x13 pan (not sure if you need to do this with all the oil but I didn't want to scrape it out burnt)
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until brown around the edges.
COOL before cutting. (it smells wonderful!)


Saturday, February 21, 2009

A dinner to remember...

Last night Glenn treated me to a night on the town! We dined at a charming restaurant, tucked in among other restaurants on the outskirts of Buckhead. The Blue Ridge Grill has been there for years, but Glenn just discovered it last year, when we were here during one of his trade shows. Last night he introduced me to this hidden gem. Oh, the flavors that awaited the palate! A reservation only experience, we were greeted by name as we entered and were ushered to our cozy booth. We began our evening with an incredible cream of wild mushroom soup, complete with truffle infused cream. Next we treated our taste buds to a perfectly cooked fillet Mignon...crunchy and grilled fired on the outside, melt in your mouth, tender and juicy on the inside. We also enjoyed fresh made crab cakes on a bed of scrumptious corn chowder. Our sides consisted of a sweet and creamy corn souffle that brought corn to a new level and a real southern treat of collard greens. I've never tasted collard greens that were so tender and infused with so much flavor! I could dine on these every meal. We completed our dining experience with a bread pudding that surpassed our previous favorite, Biaggi's white chocolate bread pudding. Last night's bread pudding had a crunchy outside and moist interior that was slightly sweetened and not overly moist and gooey. This was topped with caramelized bananas. We also enjoyed an apple tartlet with cinnamon ice cream. This dessert allowed the crisp, tanginess of the apples to shine within the fresh pastry. If you are ever in the Atlanta area make sure you visit the Blue Ridge Grill, awaken your taste buds and experience a dinner to remember. $$$

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Crock Pot

The crock pot is one of the best multi-tasking tools there is, allowing me to cook dinner while teaching, cleaning, taking care of the children, doing errands etc. I don't make use of this tool as much as I ought and hopefully this handy link that a neighbor forwarded on will change that:

Crock Pot Recipes

My soon to be sister in law is delighted with the idea that a crock pot will allow her to cook tasty meals for my brother, her soon to be husband. Her enthusiasm has reignited mine. Thanks Angela!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Humble Bean Pot

In an attempt to reduce our food expense, I've been making a large pot of beans once a week. I variate between pinto beans and black beans. While beans are economical, they are also extremely nutritious yielding a generous serving of protein and fiber. A large pot provides the base for several meals: beans and rice, fried bean and cheese tacos, refried beans for nachos and dip, pasta fagioli soup and chili are the meals we made out of last weeks humble bean pot.

On the sly...

I'm always looking for ways to get more fresh veggies into my kids, so after reading Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfeld, my creativity was renewed in this effort.

This morning my children enjoyed ice cream for breakfast without even a hint that it contained spinach and carrots.

There morning treat was very simple and delicious, with the help of one of my favorite kitchen Vita-mix. This incredible machine allows me to make fresh smoothies, ice cream, purees, soup, sauces, and nut butters with the flip of a switch. I find it very handy in the baby food stage of life that I am in once again.

Breakfast Berry Blast

Handful of baby carrots
Handful of baby spinach
1 cup of apple juice
3 cups of frozen mixed berries

Adjust the apple juice or frozen berries to bring to desired consistency.

The empty cups and pleas for more were proof enough of the success of this yummy treat.


So here I go again on another blog adventure. I thought since cooking consumes a large amount of my time, I might as well write about and share the mishaps and adventures in feeding my crew!