Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chill Out, Chick!

This chick can be pretty intense. I am task oriented and very intense when when working on something. I always thought that the passion, dedication, hard work and pursuit of excellence was a strength. But now I am thinking that it might just be a weakness. For me, accomplishing tasks, seeing the product of my time and efforts, feeling like my work makes a difference to someone- I am contributing to the bigger picture is my identity- my self-worth.
I also just don't go half-way- Oh, no, I have to go all out! Then it has to be done just so, almost to perfection. I will spend hours preparing a flyer or writing a letter to someone- just fretting and fussing over the smallest of details. The end result after an extended amount of time in the activity usually leads to burnout.
Yes, the activities I get so wrapped up in are good, worthy activities- Ministries, even. Now how good of a thing can that be?! But ministries are way too often laden with people problems,too. Getting people to work, see things in the same way, work with the same intensity, be dependable, etc. is really hard and very, very draining. But hey, it is ministry, all for the Kingdom, right? It has to be worth it all.
But that leads me to the question I am struggling with now and have been for some time: At what cost am I doing ministry?
The cost is immeasurable for it involves the most important ministry I have been given, my family. God has blessed me with an amazing husband and two wonderful blessings that call me Mommy. I have been given these children to raise and nurture. For whatever reason,God has deemed me worthy to be their mommy. They need me to be intentional, attentive, enthusiastic, patient, loving, joyful, healthy (spiritually and physically) while parenting them. Instead they get distracted, frustrated, grumpy, grumpy, grumpy, impatient, absent physically and emotionally, tense and intense. They have paid a great price for my good deeds.
Hubby is patient most of the time and supportive most of the time. He, too, has paid for my intensity in ministry affairs. My home has paid a price as has my health and my spiritual well-being.
All of this affects the effectiveness of my ministries. So, what is a chick to do? I am not in a postion to just walk away - I do have some God-given talents and desires to work in these ministries. He has provided me with these opportunities and has blessed them. But it is my choice in how I will spend my time and how I will use my leadership to accomplish ministry. My choices in the past have been selfish and intense. Now my choices are to let go, delegate, and narrow the focus-simply to Chill Out!
By limiting the ministry part of my life, I pray that I can be the kind of mom, wife and Christian I need to be. It is too great of a cost, not to really be intense about my family and my spiritual well-being.
So this chick is thankful for the chance to just chill out with the kiddos!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

I have taken inventory of my freezer and have planned out the next four weeks just using my freezer! I know of some days that are going to be Daddy-less or that we have plans already made, so I have taken those days into account. I also know very well that there will be some days when I just feel lazy or have one of those headaches that puts me out of commission, so I have a few convenience foods always on hand. With the exception of some travel plans, we will not be eating out but enjoying some eating in - thanks to a well stocked freezer and some yummy recipes.

The other thing I determined I need to do again is make each day a themed day - Sunday is sandwich lunches and fish for dinner; Monday is crockpot meals; Tuesday is pasta; Wednesday is dinner at church or upside down dinner; Thursday is leftover buffet; Friday is pizza, calzone - something pepperoni; Saturday is grill out

This week will challenge my plans as DH has an elders' meeting Monday, Tuesday is DD's PTO meeting and Wednesday is the first night back to church activities.

Monday - Creamy Mustard Chicken - recipe from a freezer meal website
Tuesday- Leftovers due to PTO meeting- toss some buttered noodles in to round out the meal
Wednesday- Eat at church
Thursday- Sausage Potato Casserole
Friday- Pepperoni Lasagna Rollups
Saturday-Grill steaks from Angel Food - Make homemade steak fries
Sunday- Salmon and Cheese Grits

Lunches for my kindergartener will be peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and Nutella or peanut butter and marshmallow creme with vege and fruit on hand, cookies, juice- Luckily she loves fruit and veges and these three peanut butter combos are a huge variety for her!
Lunches for brother, mommy and daddy when he is home will be lunch meat or jelly sandwiches, fruit, yogurt and tea. Okay, ice cream, too, we are addicted to the stuff - just look at my hips.
Breakfasts include breakfast bars, granola bars, and bake oatmeal, coffee, juice, milk -
This is a good recipe to double or triple and then freeze for use when mornings are super hectic. This can be used for breakfast or with a side salad at lunch or as a dessert.
Baked Oatmeal
3 cups quick oatmeal
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix all the ingredients together. Pour into a 13x9 dish prepared with Pam. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Serve warm with sausage, applesauce, warm in a bowl with milk poured on top. Serve with salad on side or with ice cream.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I have to admit that I am a bit addicted to blogs- not just any old blogs, but the blogs of some wonderful and inspiring- {in}couraging Christian women. I am so excited that my bloggy girlfriends are writing for a new site that just launched this weekend!!

So I was thinking about what or who {in}couraged me, I did think of a few things:
*my darling husband and his prayers and support
*holding hands with husband of 17 years
*the laughter of my children
*my children showing kindness, empathy for others, obedience
*completing a long awaited project
*looking at family photo scrapbooks
*working on said photo scrapbooks (AKA a long awaited project)
*baking and cooking yummy meals for my family
*reading a book on the beach or on a porch
*watching and listening to nature in my backyard with a pond- love the wood ducks!
*music by Kari Jobe, Gwen Smith, Amy Grant, Point of Grace, Chris Tomlin to name just a few
*worshipping with the preschoolers and witnessing their hearts in worship- that is so incredibly {in}couraging!!
*finding a few moments and actually sitting a listening for God to speak to my heart and calm it down
* reading the inspirational, challenging and the often crazy adventures of ladies such as Lysa TerKeurst, Trish Berg,and Holley from Dayspring
Each of these wonderful girlfriends remind me that my life with all the fears, insecurities, trials, triumphs,and sins are not out of the norm. That by the Grace of God there is hope in this life and there is a promise of an amazing life to come-

That is {in}couraging!!

So what {in}courages you? Give thanks for those things and people - It is by the Grace and Goodness of God that we can celebrate these blessings in life!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Going Alone

This week has been a little hard for me. One I sent my oldest to big school as a kindergartener. Now this child was born for school and is so smart (not that I am bias or anything). I know she is ready and needs to go but still seeing her little girl self walk into that big ole building with the other BIG kids was a little scary for me. (We won't even think about when she goes to college- sobs!) Despite how frustrating her endless questions, torments of little brother and general little girl silliness are, I miss my baby girl! There I have said it- so with tears in my eyes, I will so admit I am sad about sending her to kindergarten.
The other thing that has been hard is realizing that this week 14 years ago on August 4 was the day my Daddy died unexpectedly in Canada of a heart attack. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago! I am a Daddy's Girl and I adore my Daddy. It is very difficult and painful not to have him here with us now. I just miss him so much!
Despite all the changes life gives me and I know more are to come, I am confident that God wil give me the strength to get through it and settle into it all. But here is the problem, I am notorious for going it alone. Knowing that God is there and will see me through it but then actually relying entirely on Him and not solelyon myself are two separate things. I think of my sweet little girl this week when she insisted on walking into school alone for the first time. "No, Mommy, I want to walk in like a big kid." She was full of confidence that she could do it, but as the Mommy, I wasn't ready to let go of her hand. God is always there ready to grip my hand or even pick me up and carry me, but I am the little girl always saying, "No, I have to figure this out myself and get myself through this." Do I always have to be the big girl? Why do I let go of God's hand and go off on my own? Unlike my kindergartener, I don't often get to the destination safely. Lots of frustrations, failures, or more problems are a result of my going it alone. Simply, I get myself into more trouble.
So with this week and all of the reminders that life is moving on with new beginnings and bittersweet reminders that life changes in ways we don't always like or want, I know that God will hold my hand all the way through this life. It is also very comforting to know that He has my baby in His hands as well. So as a mommy I need to let go and let Him be her Daddy, too.