Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What is My Pleasure and My Passion?


Day by day, at the beginning of the day, and throughout the day ...

What is my pleasure,
and what is my passion?

What do I wake up thinking about, 
and what do I focus on throughout the day?

Is it worry, is it the cares of this world? 
Is it focused on all that I hope to accomplish?
Where do my thoughts go, if left to default?  

"Taking thoughts captive - I mean really winning your thoughts back to God - requires replacing them with the true knowledge of God. Without a replacement, they'll forever taunt you. When His Words about Himself become a part of my everyday vernacular, something inside me shifts." (Sara Hagerty)


delighting in the Word,
meditating on it day and night


There are so many things to focus on in life - no end of tasks, projects, priorities, to pull our hearts and our minds. And our time. But this one thing - delighting in His Word, and meditating on it ... this comes with a promise.

They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

So I will listen closely to these words ... and I will ponder:

  • delighting in His Word means more than checking it off our lists when we read His Word
  • meditating day and night means that we carry His Words with us throughout the day, all through the day, and when we lie awake at night
  • delighting means that His Word, that He, is our pleasure and our passion

Whatever season of life we are in - as young mothers desiring to raise our children well, as a moms of teens faced with all the emotions and challenges of that season of life, as empty-nesters (as I am) faced with the many responsibilities of loving and caring for our own parents as well as grandchildren and grown children ... whatever season of life we are in, each with it's own unique blessings and challenges ...

Our highest calling, our deepest pleasure and passion ... delighting in Him, His Words, and meditating on them throughout our days and our moments, letting them sink deeply into our hearts, souls, and minds.

A calling that comes with a promise ...

They will stand firm like a flourishing tree,
planted by God's design,
deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss;
bearing fruit in every season of their lives.
They are never dry, never fainting,
ever blessed, ever prosperous.
(Psalm 1:3 The Passion Translation)

Thank You, Lord, for using these words to encourage and motivate me, again, and to remind me of what is of most importance. Whatever season of life I am in, and even in this season of empty nest (and still a very full life), my key to living a fruitful, blessed life for You, is to immerse my heart and my thoughts in You. Success does not come from completing tasks or projects, marking things off my list of accomplishments, pursuing my interests and hobbies ... true, lasting fruit comes from You, from spending time with You, from letting Your Words soak deep into the soil of my heart and mind.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Loaded Grilled Chicken Sandwich


Maybe a new favorite grilled sandwich meal? I tried out this new recipe earlier this month, and we loved it!

I used all the ingredients listed, and even had some ciabattata buns already on hand in the freezer. Instead of purchasing deli coleslaw, I mixed up an easy and tasty coleslaw - click here for the recipe. (I made it even easier and used packaged coleslaw in the coleslaw recipe, instead of shredding the cabbage.)

This sandwich is loaded with deliciousness! It was a bit messy to eat with the cole slaw and also avocados in the sandwich, but it was absolutely so good. A taste of summer!

Loaded Grilled Chicken Sandwich


Course: Main Grill
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Total Time: 30 min
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian salad dressing mix
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 4 ciabatta or kaiser rolls, split
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 34 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 cooked bacon strips halved
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 12 medium ripe avocado peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 pound deli coleslaw (about 1 cup)

Directions

  1. Pound chicken with a meat mallet to flatten slightly; sprinkle both sides with dressing mix.
  2. On a greased grill, cook chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat 4-6 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 165°. Place cheese on chicken; grill, covered, 1-2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Meanwhile, grill rolls, cut side down, 1-2 minutes or until toasted.
  3. Mix mayonnaise and mustard; spread on roll tops. Layer roll bottoms with chicken, bacon, tomato, avocado and coleslaw. Replace tops. Yield: 4 servings.

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It has been quite awhile since I have posted a recipe! Such fun to post recipes, especially of such delicious and beautiful summer food!

(Note: Click the Taste of Home link after "Source" to print the recipe.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Abide in Me


When a plant becomes dry and brittle, it usually becomes apparent that it either has not been given the necessary nourishment of water or of good soil, or it has not received enough sun. 

Could it be the same for us?

When we begin to operate on empty, and find that instead of overflowing with joy and peace, that grumbling and worry are flowing out of us, maybe we need to check if our hearts have been properly nourished.

And where does our nourishment come from?

When we pause our hurried lives and our hearts to listen, we will find that just maybe we need to press the "refresh" button. Maybe we need to pull aside, to rest, to be refreshed physically ... and maybe we also need to slow our pace and rest our souls. To press the pause button, to quiet our hearts, to listen to Him. To be watered by His Word, and to lift our hearts to receive His love. 


 Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
(John 15:4)

Webster's dictionary defines "abide" in this way: "to remain, continue, stay, to have one's abode, dwell, reside, to wait for, to submit to, to remain faithful or steadfast to."

I am the Vine; you are the branches.
Whoever abides in Me, and I in him,
he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing.
(John 15:5)


- - - - - - - - - -


Writing these words for my own heart, as I have come off of a very busy season of serving and helping others, and I am reminded of my source of nourishment. And maybe you are in a similar place. May we choose to abide, to remain, to dwell in His Words and His Love.