Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Me Time

So last week I got sick.--Really sick.
When it hit me I was down for the count... 12 hours solid in bed. I literally can't remember the last time I spent that much time in bed.

I was in pain. Horrible stomach and back pain that kept me mostly awake those 12 hours.

I had the chills and couldn't get warm for hours.

I couldn't walk upright for the pain in my stomach and back

I was exhausted and would sleep for brief periods in between the stomach cramps and back pain.

I was sick.

And do you know what I did for the whole 12 hours?
I thanked God over and over and over for it. 

I prayed "Oh Lord, Thank you for this time you've given me to be alone and with you... This time that I can spend worshiping and talking to you."  I felt blessed! Like I had finally gotten a long drink of cold water after working outside in the heat and dust.

Seriously. I didn't pray, "let this stop"... or "heal me". Not because I wanted it to go on, but because I was truly thankful for time when I didn't have to be anywhere, cook anything, help anyone, solve a problem, clean a mess, or be needed. It was all me time. And I savored it! Every Last Second.

Ok, you might be thinking I'm crazy, but I really just need that time. I don't have any time when I'm not needed. Someone always needs mom/ wife/ CEO.... I am never off the clock. I know I need to make ME-Time a regular habit for my own sanity, but who do I take it from? My children who need me? My husband who I love and who I don't spend enough time with as it is? My business that feeds us?

I just don't have it. 

And neither do so many of us women who are juggling so many things. But that isn't what God would have for  us. We need to set that time aside. To have quiet uninterrupted time. But it's so much harder to get than it is to say.

But now I'm inspired. God allowed this sickness to come over me to show me that it really is something I need. Even if I push it down and pretend I'm ok, I really do need time that is just me. Moments when I'm not disturbed. Time where no one needs me, and no one will come knocking at the door just to ask me where the tape is.... {grin - same place as it's always been!!}

So here it the thing. I know I need it. God has made it apparent that I really do need it. And now I am making it official... I need Guilt-Free Alone time. So I am going to be consistently praying that God would provide it for me. That he would show me where I can have it, how I can have it, and what I should do with it once I get it.... and I will let you know what I find.

So my question to you is How do you find quiet (guilt-free) uninterrupted  me time? And what would you suggest I do to get mine? I love all suggestions!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Your Story

"In your presence I find my peace." I found myself saying that while praying this morning.

In HIS presence peace is found, my heart is made right, and my hope is always restored. And, I can somehow miraculously deal with the world and it's demands better. I even see the troubles I have in a different light and I am renewed.

So why do I wait so long to go there? Why do I wait until I am about to burst with anxiety before I seek his presence? Before I look to him and devote myself to his word?

Why? Why? Why?

I have no answers except what Paul says
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."  Romans 7:15

Can you relate?

I Mean really, if I am stressed about whatever is happening in my life, why do I not immediately go to the ONE who knows the end of my life? He knows the story. To him my life is not a mystery. He has already seen what the end of my days will bring. Why then do I resist and fight to get comfort, peace and knowledge that can only come from the ONE who is the writer of my story? Seems pretty silly when I put it in those terms. Don't you think? 

I hope you have spent time getting to know the Author of your story today. Because, I promise you it is a fantastic story with an amazing ending! It's gotta be good if angels even long to look into it!

Blessings friends!

P.S. Hope you enjoy this great new song from Casting Crowns!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Comfort Food

I love comfort food. Especially in the fall. Don't you? I mean there is just something really wonderful about a bowl-full of something warm and delicious when it's cold and raining outside. Which we have for a good part of the year up here in the Pacific Northwest.

I am so glad that our God gives us good gifts. And we are wise to appreciate the small comforts he gives. They can be life sustaining in times of hardship, trouble, sadness, or depression.

So today I'm bringing you one of my simple comfort dishes. I hope you enjoy it. It's fast, healthy, cheap, and makes a complete protein. And it's perfect for a cold fall day....

Cuban Black Bean and Marinated Rice Soup

Cook about one portion (usually 1 cup dry) white, or brown rice and cool over night or until cold.

Mix: 1/4 c. Olive Oil
 1/8 C. White or cider vinegar
 Salt and Pepper to taste
3 green onions, chopped
Blend well and add to rice, toss gently, and return to refrigerator for at least 30 min.

3 cans black beans
1 large onion Chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbls. Cider Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 beef bouillon cubes (other flavors are ok)
2-3 cups water

Saute' onion and garlic in 2tbs olive oil until soft. Add beans including the liquid, and heat through. Add bouillon and water. Heat to boiling and add vinegar, cumin, and if needed, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer briefly (15-30 min).
To serve, fill bowls and add a scoop of the chilled marinated rice to the middle. Warning, this is a very filling soup!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


It has been no secret that my family has been going through a difficult time over the last few weeks. We have felt the enemy attack, but more so we have felt the hand of God weeding out things that needed to be dealt with.

I love my garden. I have nearly 40 rose bushes, hydrangeas, dahlias, Scads of Lavender, and so much more.... but I have to say, I despise weeding. I will do anything to get OUT of weeding my garden.

I will dead head, clip, fertilize, plan, dig up, move, rearrange....let's just say ANYTHING else but weed it.

We have the most obnoxious weeds too. Our flowerbeds get over run by this horrible grass that doesn't just pull up. And when it's let go too long it chokes the life out of everything. So I know from experience that unless I actually roll up my sleeves, get on my knees and start pulling out that grass I will kill everything I have worked so hard for. It won't matter that I planted, dead headed, and fertilized, It will be choked out at the root. Where it really lives.

I am so glad that God is a good gardener. He knows when it's the right time to pull that which will nearly choke the life out of us. He knows that we will never grow to our full potential if we allow the weeds of this life to grow around our roots... or our heart. The problem is, we get so used to those weeds that we kinda like them.  When they get pulled it hurts. But what comes after is something not conceived of before. We can look back through it and say "I am finally free" I am free of the limitations the weeds bound me to. The weeds cause us to be limited in our growth. They keep us from living to the fullness He intends.

So today I am thankful that my Gardener is good at weeding. He is so skillful with his extraction of the weeds in my life that though they hurt, I can almost immediately feel the freedom it provides. I am thankful that he not only roots them out, but allows for healing. I am so glad he doesn't just allow my life to be choked out by the weeds, but is loving enough to allow the hurt for the purpose of freedom.

Lord, Thank you for weeding out the dross in my life. Thank you for the free and spacious place you bring me to. Thank you for reminding me that NOTHING is more important than a life well lived for you.

My Favorite devotional is Streams in the Desert. Here was a portion of today's reading...

" 'So the Lord Blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning Job 42:12.' Through his griefs Job came to his heritage. He was tried that his godliness might be confirmed. Are not my troubles intended to deepen my character and to robe me in graces I had little of before? I come to my glory through eclipses, tears, death. My ripest fruit grows against the roughest wall. Job's afflictions left him with higher conceptions of God and lowlier thoughts of himself. 'NOW he cried, Mine eye seeth thee.'"

Blessings dear friends,