Uncategorized

Broken

Somedays I wake up and plaster a smile all over my face, feeling like I have to hide the battle going on inside my heart. Sometimes I have this intense need to put this wall up and let everyone know I’m okay, even when everything in my body is saying let’s just stay in bed all day.

Depression when you have kids can be one of the most difficult and isolating battles I have ever been through. Where gonna get real and rip off this bandaid real quick, okay?

I’m Drena, and I often suffer from depression. It’s not something I usually broadcast or share with others, but it’s real. I’m better than I was, but there’s still mornings I wake up and my emotions hit me like a ton of bricks weighing on my chest.

When I was younger, my stepmom could tell exactly how my day would go based on how I woke up that morning. I didn’t know it then, but how I woke up, was based on how my night went, and sometimes it’s true even TODAY!

When I was younger, I would have nightmares and spend the night calling out for my mom who passed away. Or I’d toss and turn all night as I relived memories in my sleep.

As I’m writing this, I’m blasting Christian music, and praying to God, that he’d help me not believe the lies my mind is telling me right now!

Last night, I tossed and turned in my sleep as I relived other memories from my childhood. I was 13/14 years old, crying as I held my ripped out hair in my hands, washed over with feelings of inadequacy, shame, unwanted-ness, and feeling unlovable and lonely. Feelings I woke up with this morning.

There was a time in my life, I wondered where God was and why me? A time I turned away from him completely. I wanted nothing to do with a God, that would put me through as much pain as I was in!

But y’all, he never left me, and he didn’t cause my pain! There were SO many times I should have died, probably more than I could count! But HE saved me! He breathed life into me! And he brought me back to him! I remember the exact moment it happened!

The closer I grow to Him, the more I let go and give it to him, the more healing I receive! He wants to heal us y’all, all we have to do is give it to him, just ask him!

I’m guilty of holding on to pain that surrounds the memories of my momma. I don’t have many memories of her anymore, and I have often felt like that pain is all I have left of her, and if I give that up, I’m giving up all I have left of her.

These are just lies the enemy is whispering to us! LIES! When I give it to God, I’m not losing anything! I gain untarnished memories, a healed heart, and a better relationship with God.

The enemy tells me I’m broken, tarnished, unworthy, unlovable, ect!

God tells me, I was created in his image! I could never be so broken He couldn’t put me back together, I am worthy! I am LOVED, and Jesus’s blood had washed me clean!!

Christian Living, Uncategorized

Money, Money, MONEY!

By: Julie Todd

T’was weeks before her tax refund and there, sitting on the couch….she was pondering and listing what needed thrown out. “I’ll get new this and new that….oh YES and THAT! Then we’ll see what’s left and get THAT for the cat!” She was so excited as her list grew and grew, but little did she know that it wasn’t the smart thing to do. One day, a miracle happened and filled her mind with relief…”It’s not all of these THINGS we need…good grief!” With a new vision and goals, wisdom began to sprout and she believed money couldn’t buy what’s most important, no doubt.

One of our goals for our family this year is financial freedom. I think this is a very common goal that looks different for every family. For us, financial freedom means:

  1. No debt
  2. A growing savings/emergency fund
  3. Able to give beyond 10% of our income
  4. Continuing to become as self-sufficient as possible. i.e. Growing what food we can, canning food, fishing/hunting, etc.

During this most wonderful time of the year, that we call, tax season, Chris and I always make a list of how we intend to use this money. The list is always long:  Tithes and giving, savings, pay down debts/bills, eye appointments, vet visits, household needs, vehicle repairs, home school needs, etc, etc, etc!

Then of course, we have our wants, because you know, we are human:  Plan an anniversary activity for Chris and I, phone upgrades, YMCA membership for the family, eating out so Mom doesn’t have to cook, spoil the kids a little, some Pioneer Woman products for Mom, tools for Dad, etc, etc, etc!

 

This year, I would like to be content with taking care of the needs and doing as few of the wants as I can. I consider the YMCA membership more of a need than a want. This will allow for different activities for the family and making memories. Tools for Dad is pretty important so he can be self-sufficient in fixing what we have without having to borrow from others. This also gives us the opportunity to be able to bless others who are in need of help. I don’t think that I am willing to give up an anniversary date either. As Drena was talking about last week, it is important for us to spend that time together; however; we can do it as frugally as possible.

So, what does the Bible say about money and being good stewards of our finances? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. I used to want a lot of things. I wanted the big house and all that would fill a big house. These days, I’m grateful to have just enough room. “Big”, means more to clean and take care of. I don’t place value on having the latest up to date such and such. I place value on things that have a purpose and can help our home and the people in it, function and grow.

I love being able to give to the church and to others. However; I cannot say I have completely surrendered our finances to God in this area. During lean times, I still struggle with giving that 10%. I have not put my complete trust in God that he will do as He has promised. But, he does promise that if we do trust Him in this, He will bless us and bless us abundantly. ” ‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’ ” Malachi 3:10. I believe that this is a common area of struggle. It is hard for me to give with a happy heart that pleases God, when I know we need that money. It is hard for me to just know that God will get us through and we will come out even better because He will bless us so much. I know it in my heart, but I don’t know it in that anxious human brain. This year, I would really like to grow in this area and live on my faith and not the amount of dollars in my wallet.

The Bible says much, much more about money. My prayer is that, as we go on through the years, we will have wisdom with our finances and faith in the lean times. I pray that we will be able to give beyond what we ever imagined we would be able to give. I pray that our trust in God, overpowers any doubts the enemy throws at us. I pray that my children learn that things and money are temporary and that our treasures are the people around us and the times we share together.

Check out the free budgeting printable attached! God bless!

Budget Sheet

Marriage

Date Night Ideas

Henry and I are firm believers in date night! We were once taught that our family is only as strong as OUR relationship, and advised to continue to put each other first even as parents.

We are young, have 3 children, 2 businesses, joey, and are pretty active in church and other community activities. If we aren’t careful with can go all week without actually spending any quality time together. When this happens it starts to become pretty apparent we are missing each other and just need some us time.

Some of these signs are increased irritability, at everything! (Yikes!) For myself my emotions get wacky, and I start to feel really lonely!

It’s not always practical for us to have a traditional date night so we started dating at home over the last 5 years and it’s been amazing! Tho we do enjoy the occasional night out!

Here’s our top 10 ways to date each other!

1. Dinner and a movie!

2. Strolling the mall together!

3. Pizza and Netflix!

4. Breakfast together before the kids wake up!

5. Canoeing!

6. Spending the afternoon with him at work!

7. Games after the kiddos are in bed!

8. Driving around with no particular destination in mind.

9. Crafting together.

10. Late night cuddles on the couch!

And a bonus! Building a fort in the living room and getting your inner kid on! To this day this is my husbands favorite date night we’ve had!

This is a very basic date night idea list! You could add some ideas of your own!

Christian Living, Motherhood, Uncategorized

Thoughts of a New Home School Mom

Once upon at time…in a mindset far, far away, I was once a home school scoffer. I had a strong opinion against homeschooling even though I had never really looked into it. It’s funny how we can have such strong opinions when we have no clue what we are talking about. To my past self, homeschooling seemed like it would be weird. Like I would be sheltering my children from other people and they wouldn’t have a “normal” childhood. I can’t really pinpoint when my opinion changed or how it changed. I just remember we were in a rough season when it looked as though my husband may not be able to return to work do to a connective tissue disorder, and we had thought, “Well, why not home school the kids if you won’t be able to work outside the home?” Eventually, with a huge blessing from the Lord, my husband was able to return to work and stronger than ever! Life went back to both of us working and the home school idea got put on the back burner, and stayed there for 6 years. Financially, it really didn’t make sense for only one of us to work and I didn’t even think about the possibility of working and homeschooling.

My want to home school began returning to me over and over again as I saw how my oldest daughter was responding to public school. She is a very anxious child, who has always related to adults better than other kids. There were days when she would suddenly burst into tears at the thought of having to go to school and would beg me not to make her. It tore me up to tell her she had to go. There weren’t many days that we would pick her up that she was happy and talking about what she did at recess with her friends. Most of the time, she came home with stories of so and so saying they weren’t her friend anymore because she wouldn’t do something they wanted her to do. Or so and so had a crazy story about her mother’s boyfriend. It was very difficult for me to try to guide her in how to respond to these situations, because I was only hearing one side of the story. I began thinking how great it would be if we did home education and during time with friends, I could be there to support and guide her through those situations.

I began to see the freedom in homeschooling. I began to see that my kids could have the opportunity to learn at their own pace and not feel bad if they were struggling with a lesson. We are in our second year of homeschooling, and sometimes this is still a major struggle. However; when they are struggling, I get to tell them that there is no rush…there is no need to be ashamed. Mom’s the teacher and we can take as long as we want to feel comfortable with new concepts.

After beginning to home school, I quickly realized that I am not what I had thought of as a “typical” home school mom, and homeschooling isn’t everything that I have envisioned it to be. I am not as organized as I would like to be. I am not as scheduled as I would like to be, but I also think, to some extent, that is OK. My kids are still learning, even though it may be on the couch in their pajamas. One day, we may do a bunch of school and one day we may cut it short. We don’t start school until the afternoon, because mornings just aren’t our thing. They really aren’t MY thing. We have fiddled with doing school during the different times of the day and this is what works best for us. I am grateful that we have that freedom.

After the holidays, it has been more difficult to get back into our semi-schedule, but I am determined to remember to be grateful that I have this opportunity to be with my kids so much and to be their teacher everyday. I’m sure that there are many parents out there who want to home school or be able to stay at home with them, but they don’t see any way that it could possibly work. God blessed us with the opportunity and I want to keep viewing it as that…a blessing.

As I continue to transition us into a homeschooling family, my prayer is that my children will not only have success in their education and love to learn new things; but that, I remember to enjoy learning along with them. I pray that God grants me some creativity to help them have experiences that will be special to them along the way. I pray that I remember to not become overwhelmed, because there is no rush! I think the biggest struggle is just switching that mindset that I have been so used to for years. Rush to get the kids ready, rush to get to work, rush to pick the kids up, rush to make supper, rush to do bath time. I don’t want to rush anymore. Rushing is what is going to make this special time go even faster.

I would love to hear any advice, tips and experiences from any other home school families!

Also, check out the free printable of a possible home school schedule. I love that homeschooling can really be fit to any family’s needs and goals. It’s an opportunity to think outside the box and design your home school around your family.

Homeschool schedule1

 

 

Christian Living

Replaceable?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot a about what I am worth. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time now. I’ve thought things like, am I replaceable? Am I worthy? Am I enough?

Society teaches us all too often that we are all replaceable! That someone who is so much better than we are is just around the corner ready to fill our spots. How many time have you heard the phrase “don’t get too comfortable”?

Even the queen Bey herself taught us, “I can have another you in a minute, matter fact he’ll be here in a minute!”

But do you know what God says! God says he has every hair on our heads counted! That we are precious in his sight! He says we are so worthy and irreplaceable he sent his one and only son to DIE for us!! I don’t mean in a figurative way, I mean physically die for us!!

We aren’t just fleeting no body’s y’all. We are HIS! We are worthy! We are enough! We are!

I needed this reminder this morning as I sat crying in my room. I’m guilty of feeling like I don’t matter or that my kids deserve a better mother than me or my husband a better wife because some days I don’t feel enough!

I’ve felt not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart or rich enough! I’ve dealt with my fair share of pity parties, wondering if God made some kind of mistake. But every time he comes back to me with the same message “You are mine! You are more worthy than you know! There is only one you!”

Y’all I’m not replaceable and neither are you!

❤️Drena

DIY

Toxic Clean

Julie Todd

January 16, 2018

Soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste, deodorant….how many times have you put those things on your grocery list? How many times while you were writing those words or using those items that you got from the store, did you stop to think if they were actually doing your family harm? I honestly hadn’t started thinking about it until a year or so ago. I started experimenting with different homemade, natural options to replace the store-bought. Even at that beginning point, it was more about seeing if I could make things from home just to be more frugal. Now I think about the toxins…ALOT. Not in a fearful way, but a proactive way. What can we do to use less toxins in our everyday lives? There can be chemicals in our everyday products, such as those listed above, that can be possible carcinogens, cause neurological issues and also reproductive issues.

I began to diy my laundry soap, dish soap, deodorant, toothpaste and household cleaners. Although I like to make these things…some of them just weren’t good or they were time-consuming and required too many ingredients. The deoderant made me break out, the toothpaste was awkward to use, ect. I eventually decided that some of these products are better bought from a good company that promises that their products are what they say they are. For me, that company is, Young Living Essential Oils. So I purchase certain products, like the toothpaste and deoderant, from them because they just do it better and I absolutely love their products. However; until I can purchase all of the lovely things, there are still a few that I have to diy for the time being. Most homemade recipes I find are from Pinterest or I do my own slight variations from ideas that I get from Pinterest posts.

One of those that is actually very simple to do yourself is foaming hand soap. All you need is:

  1. Empty foaming hand soap bottle
  2. Liquid Castile soap
  3. Water
  4. Funnel
  5. Your essential oils of choice

Directions:

  1. Fill up the soap bottle one-third of the way full with the liquid Castile soap.
  2. Add whatever essential oils that you would like. Maybe 5-7 drops.
  3. Slowly, fill the rest of the soap bottle with water, secure the lid and give it a shake.

Note: If you don’t want to add any essential oils, it works as well. I calculated that it comes out to around .64 cents/bottle to make this! Healthy and frugal is definitely a win!

Liquid Castile soap is very versatile. I also made a homemade shampoo, using the Castile soap, water and grape seed oil. Now, one thing to note about homemade products like shampoo…you are not always going to get the sudsy effect that we are so used to. Some of the homemade products will be watery and you just kind of have to adjust to how to use them.

The homemade shampoo recipe I used is as follows:

  1. 1/4 cup water
  2. 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap
  3. 1/2 teaspoon of your choice of vegetable oil, such as grape seed like I used
  4. Your choice of essential oils, such as lavender for a relaxing shower

Fun fact: I also used this mixture as a body wash. It is important to note that everyone’s skin is different, so be careful using certain oils or soaps if you have sensitive skin. Liquid Castile soap comes in different scents, but I have purchased the unscented so I can add in whatever I like or have on hand.

The products I purchase for diy projects are from Amazon. Here is the link to the foaming hand soap dispensers.

https://www.amazon.com/Foaming-Dispensers-Pump-Bottles-Bronners-Castile/dp/B01GJYE6AA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1515723555&sr=8-4&keywords=foaming+soap+bottle

Here is the link for the shampoo bottles. This isn’t the exact bottle I used but is very similar.

https://www.amazon.com/Plastic-Squeeze-Bottles-Pinnacle-Mercantile/dp/B00YB59B5K/ref=sr_1_14?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1515724017&sr=1-14&keywords=empty+shampoo+bottles

Here is a link where you can check some of the items in your home and see how they rate on toxicity.

https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners#.WlggVzdMG00

Last, but not least here is a link to an article about one woman’s personal experience with reducing toxins in her life.

https://experiencelife.com/article/8-hidden-toxins-whats-lurking-in-your-cleaning-products/

My hope, is to spread my experiences with using cleaner products in our everyday lives. Just knowing what you are putting on yourself and your children is a huge comfort when you know it isn’t harmful. If you are wanting to try to diy some of your own body care and household products but don’t like these recipes, there are a TON of ideas out there on Pinterest and different blogs. Google can be your friend and help you in your research to find what fits your family. Hope you enjoy learning how easy and inexpensive some of these ideas are!

Motherhood

Raising Girls

My husband and I had two little boys in 16 months. After a three year break, we had two girls, just two years apart. I grew up with brothers. My husband has 6 younger brothers.  Somehow I fully expected we would have a family of boys.

Imagine our surprise and delight when our third child was a little girl. The color pink marched boldly into our house and we loved it! Soon we had dolls and dishes, and other girly toys, too. It didn’t take long to discover that this little personality was a different flavor than her two older brothers had. And the fun began.

Wanda and her girls

Now I love having both genders in my house. I think my boys have been so good for my girls and vice versa. But there is a different aspect to raising girls than raising boys and I would be lying if I said it’s all the same.

There are however, some labels that we tend to give girls from a very young age that can totally shape the way we parent and treat our daughters. And it’s not always healthy.

Of course, the first one that comes to everyone’s mind is Girls are dramatic. And while that is not an untrue statement, I would venture to say that I’ve seen some very dramatic boys in my life as well. People tend to play up the drama in little girls and often unknowingly, feed it until it can become a monster.

Growing up, I was a very dramatic person, and I’m obviously not grown up yet, because I can still be a very dramatic person. :/

I am convinced that God gives parents the children they need in order to do the work He wants to do in the parent’s hearts. My daughter was very young when I discovered that in the middle of a dramatic situation, I could totally escalate the problem based on my knee-jerk reaction to it. If she was ‘losing it’, and I started to ‘lose it’ too, we had a full blown crisis in a matter of seconds.

With some encouragement from my husband, I started trying to drop my voice, and down play the drama when it hit for my little girl and it made a huge difference in her reaction. She will always be a more expressive and vocal person and I’m not trying to change that. I’m trying to give her the tools to handle a stressful situation without controlling everyone around her in the process.

The second label I think of is Girls are emotional. While that is also a true statement, girls can be taught to control their emotions so as not to dominate situations because of their emotions. We all have emotions, and they are expressed in different ways. It can be as tears, anger, empathizing with people, even deep joy and happiness. Our emotions are a beautiful part of who we are individually. But again, left uncontrolled, cute little girls can become little monsters that are capable of controlling an entire family. And if left unchecked, the little girls can grow up and take the emotions to a whole new level as an adult.

I remember sending my daughters to their room to ‘talk to Jesus’ when they were having a full blown emotional break down. It was amazing how some alone time, and then me going up to talk to them later, could bring clarity to the situation and produce terrific results. Even as a mom, if the situation gets tense, if I can sneak away for a bit, I can calm down, get things into perspective, and be able to handle the situation much better when I return.

Girls are mean. I have seen some very mean girls. I’ve been a very mean girl. I’m not proud of that at all. But girls don’t have to wear that label.

Kindness needs to be taught, encouraged, modeled and required. Little girls need to apologize when they are unkind. Not a quick “I’m sorry” to fix the situation, but a genuine apology when the time is right. Teach little girls that words have an incredible power, good or bad. Actions speak louder than words. Everyone has feelings and everyone needs friends.

I’m not about a list of rules to follow to parent well. However, we as parents have a huge responsibility to prepare our children for the real world. We’re not going to get it right all the time. We’re going to need to apologize to our kids over and over again. We’re going to need to pray like crazy for wisdom to know how to best handle each unique personality that God has placed in our care.

Parenting is likely the most difficult thing you and I will ever do. Building relationships with our kids requires sacrifice, time, and patience. Our children have the potential to greatly impact and influence the world. What an exciting opportunity we have! Let’s make the most of it.

 

Meet Our Guest Writer:

Hi! My name is Wanda Stutzman and I have lived in the Kalona, Iowa area my whole life. I’m a country girl who loves summer, my garden, dates with my husband, and making memories with our kids. My husband and I are youth pastors at Cornerstone Community Church in Kalona. I am passionate about young people discovering their identity in Jesus. I love meaningful conversations over a caramel latte. I occasionally blog at www.theordinaryhomemaker.blogspot.com

Wanda's Family

if he is for me why do I fear
Christian Living

If HE is for me, why do I fear?

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25. This has long been one of my favorite Bible verses. I picture in my mind, a woman with a glow about her and pure joy just flowing from her. She has the ability to drop to her knees to cry out to God and get up, even stronger than she was before. I love reading this verse, yet, do I live this verse? Do I believe it about myself? Can I be that woman?

I have lived my life letting myself be paralyzed with anxiety. Ever since I was young, I have allowed myself to worry about anything and everything. I have allowed myself to let my mind jump to the “worst case scenario” for every situation. I have allowed myself to believe that I didn’t have control over the fears or that I couldn’t call upon someone much stronger than I for help.

FEAR scrabble tiles

I, at 35 years old, have finally come to the realization that I need to let myself “laugh at the days to come.” How wonderful does that sound? Instead of stressing or fearing the “what if’s” of life, I could just breathe. I could just rest. I could be more present with my children and give them an example of what joy really looks like. Instead of fearing the future, I would have hope for the future. The Bible tells us, “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

If my fear and anxiety paralyzes me and keeps me on the couch, checking my blood pressure for 2 hours, how can I do anything to change or improve the areas that worry me? How can I possibly be a strong, functioning member of my family that encourages my children to “have no fear of the future?” How can I be ready and willing to say, “I am here, God. Choose me.” Why am I reading this verse from the Bible and not applying it? The Bible wasn’t given to us to just “like” the advice or to think the principals were only for the people during Biblical times. It was given to us to apply to our lives every, single day.

Like many, I struggle with making my quiet time with God a priority. I do good for periods of time and then I slack. I was also finding it difficult to keep my prayers on track. You know that whole thing…”Dear Lord, thank you for this day….oooo…squirrel!” I would have such a hard time concentrating on praying in my head or out loud, that it was becoming a negative activity for me. God doesn’t want us to feel negativity toward talking with Him!

He wants us to LOVE speaking to Him and bringing our worries and joys to Him. Our prayer life and relationship with God is the MOST important part of our life and I have to remind myself to remember that when everything else seems to get put before it. Still working on it. I have recently begun prayer journaling. I find that speaking with God through my writing allows me to keep on track with what I am praying about. If one of my children interrupts me, I don’t have to try to search back through the jumbled thoughts in my mind to continue. Where I left off is right there on the crisp paper in front of me.

I have often let my mind be flooded with bad thoughts. Thoughts of situations that haven’t happened, but it puts the fear in me that it could. Fear is a persistent and clever little demon that can make you believe in the worst. Yet, the truth is we have a God so enormously larger than fear and He gives us the weapons and fights along side of us to defeat it.

If I catch myself getting “stuck,” I stop and say, “Lord, forgive me for that thought, I am giving it to you. I don’t want to have those thoughts and I want to trust you.” The Bible tells us, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8. Our minds weren’t made for half of the things that we allow into them. Our minds were made to learn and understand God’s truth and promises.

I heard a teaching at my church that I like to remember. Prayers don’t have to be a huge, long, elaborate speech. Prayers can be single sentences when you really don’t know what else to say. “God, I am worried about my mother’s health.” Also, after expressing the worry, thank God. “Thank you, Lord for the wonderful person my mother is. Thank you for the medical care that she is receiving.” Sometimes it is difficult for us to really put so many words out there when the weight of worry is heavy upon our hearts. God knows, and it is better to express what you can, than nothing at all.

Woman in snow

“Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22. God is with us, God fights for us and God loves us. I am committed to  reach toward that Proverbs 31 woman. A woman who knows and believes that her Father in Heaven is fighting along side of her, who can express pure joy, more often than excruciating fear. A woman, who is able to mother her children in the way that they should go, and laugh all the while doing it, because she trusts that what God has in store is best. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
 

Free Printable

Our Goal in 2018 is too offer our readers some free goodies! This week we want yall to enjoy this free bible journaling printable! Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Bible Journal

Enjoy!

Uncategorized

BBQ Green beans!

I remember the first time I heard of bbq green beans. I was having lunch with my husband’s family before we got married!

His mom set this pan of green beans on the table, and my husband excitedly insisted I try them! “They are the best!” I remember him saying!

I very clearly remember thinking ” who in their right mind would put bbq sauce on GREEN BEANS!

Reluctantly I ate some, and it was love at first bite!

Now it’s our go to dish for bbqs, family get together, and pot lucks!

The Recipe

I start with the onions and bacon first. Dice a small-medium onion, and half a pack of bacon. Thicker cut bacon is preferable, but we use whatever is on hand. When everything is cut up we fry them until crisp!

Bacon and onions

Next is make that delicious homemade bbq sauce! Our family usually does 1.5 cups of ketchup and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Heat throughly, so the brown sugar dissolves.

Ketchup and brown sugar

Finally it’s time to get to the green bean part! Personal preferences is to use French cut green beans but we were all out. So we opted to use just regular cut beans. Open your cans, drain the beans, and mix everything together! Bake at 350 degree for 20 mins and you’re done! Tho if in a hurry then you can totally just warm it all up together on the stove!

Enjoy!!

Christian Living

Strength and Weakness!

There are times in life that we are a bit embarrassed or ashamed of our pasts. We hide parts of our story to keep all the yuck contained! I’m no stranger to that. I’ve refrained from telling others about my life, sharing my story because I have been worried about the comments or reactions of my audience. But, as God makes a difference in my life and shapes my strength and weaknesses the less of my life I tend to hide!

 

 

The other night I had the privilege of sharing a bit of my story with a lady I had met. I’m always down for sharing, though sometimes I’m not sure how to respond to their reactions.

God has worked many wonders and miracles in my life. He’s taken a insecure, frightened, fearful of rejection little girl and transformed me into the woman I am today.

I’ve said my final goodbyes to both of my parents by the time I was 21, I’ve overcome a childhood littered with abuse, and have been pulled from the depths of depression. I have LIVED when everything in me just wanted to die! I’ve known true love, and experience what it means to truly be loved unconditionally.

That being said, I’ve experienced the opposite of those things too. I was that abused child, that young girl struggling to breath when I felt life was pushing me further and further under water. I’ve know love that was based on circumstances and what I could give or do.

When sharing my full, or slightly less condensed version of my testimony, I’m often met with the same reactions of how “strong” I am. And while at times I often respond the same way saying, “sometimes strong is all I can be, breaking down isn’t really an option”.

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But in all honesty, I do break down, I’m quite broken, there are days that I don’t want to get out of bed, but by the grace of God, He gives me enough strength! Sometimes it’s just enough to get done what needs to be done, other days it’s a well overflowing!

God created me in his image with my own set of strengths and weaknesses. As I grow older and closer to him, I realize there is strength in my weaknesses, and he’s always there to strengthen me!

When breaking down, or feeling like  throwing in the towel and being done, I lean on Him! I’m not “strong” y’all, but I have a God that’s willing and wanting to be strong for me!

And the best part?

He is willing and wanting to be strong for you too! We don’t have to do this alone! We don’t have to carry the weigh of our worlds on our shoulders!

Blessed day!

Xoxo!

❤️Drena!