My Power Source

I haven’t written in a while.  Summer is always a busy and chaotic around here!

I also switched jobs.  Now I work part time as a barista at a Target Starbucks.  Honestly, the job I’ve wanted for a long time.  I love Target and I love Starbucks!  I also love getting a discount, yay!  13626415_10154249884502429_8547029261097152568_nMy friend snapped this on my first day.

My husband’s brother and his family visited for the first time from Virginia a little over a week ago.  It was incredibly special.  We had a blast, hanging out and doing tourist-ey things with them.

Tomorrow is a big milestone for me.  I’ll be turning 30.  I’m kind of sad to leave my 20’s behind, but older = wiser, right?

I watched the movie ‘Miracles from Heaven’ a few nights ago.  At about 20 minutes in I started crying and couldn’t stop.  It just touched so many nerves for me.  The child in pain, the mom losing hope- it’s definitely been where I’ve been at for a long time.

My 7 year old son, Gabriel, has had severe eczema for years now.  It has been so tough for him.  Lately we haven’t been letting him play outside because he reacts so strongly to the allergens.  His eyes are always bright red lately.  There’s times where he can’t sleep because the itching or pain is so intense.  And all of this with daily anti-histamines and steroids and expensive lotions.  It feels like a never ending nightmare.

Watching him suffer, day after day, had really hardened my heart towards God.  Gabe had asked me, “why did God let me get eczema?” and I’m at a loss for words.

No, it isn’t as serious as what the Mother was facing in the Miracles movie.  But his condition has been devastating for him.  To the point that when we went to meet his cousins (in 90 degree heat) he cried because he wanted to wear a sweatshirt to cover up all the redness, bumps, and open sores.  He is also limited in his daily ability to just be a kid because the itching and allergies make him so miserable.

We’re still going through it.  There’s no end in site.

I think most (if not all) Christians face a make or break trial.  Something devastatingly hard, something that never seems to end, something that hits home.  Those times test what we know to be true.

God was speaking to me through that movie.  I realized I’ve been ‘under’ the trial and the devil was running roughshod through my life.  In my pain and sadness I was distancing myself from God, my power source, and leaving myself very weak and vulnerable to attacks from the enemy.

“Now if we are children, we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17

I have resolved to hold tighter onto Christ through this.  I believe in miracles.  Especially the quiet ones, where God uses tough circumstances to do an incredible work in us.

My sweet boy, with his Daddy….

13717250_10157222101735074_1453129726399221582_o.jpg

 

 

 

The Struggle

I went to church on Sunday for the first time in forever (I’ve been working on weekends, don’t judge!) and it was so nice.

Honestly, I have not been doing great spiritually.  It’s been a culmination of things in my life.  Massive disappointment at not seeing my baby boy healed of the eczema that plagues him daily.  My seeming inability to be a ‘good’ Christian.  Feeling like my prayers hit the ceiling and go no further.

I’ve really just been in spiritual limbo.

But on Sunday, sitting in church, God started to stir things in my heart again.  He was calling me back to the struggle.  Jacob_wrestling_new

There are certain aspects of our character or sin nature that die hard.  Things that can be  accomplished only through an intense struggle.

This has been a common theme on my blog because this is where God has me.

There is no way around, no shortcuts.

Matthew 11:12 loosely says, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of the heavens is taken by violence, and the violent seize it.”

This means to me, a tenaciousness in our faith that sees us through our doubts, disappointments, and failings.

It’s struggling things out when it would be far easier to give up on dreams.  The struggle is real and never more so than in the fight to become all God made us to be and accomplish what he has for us.  The struggle is most intense when we cling to God even when we aren’t seeing answers to prayers or we feel forgotten.

My charge to you (and me) today is to chose to believe that you do have a destiny.  That the intense struggle is preparing you for greater things.  The fight is refining you of those things in your life that you know need to go.  Don’t give up, press in.

 

Winter is Over!

SpringSorry that I haven’t blogged in like forever.  I have been super busy.  I got a part time job at a local coffee shop.  Just to heap more craziness into my crazy life.  Cause that’s how I roll. ;)  I really love it though.  I get to smell coffee all day, drink free coffee, and get out of the house.  Win!  I also work with mostly teenagers, whom I get along with embarrassingly well.  I don’t know what that says about my maturity level, and I don’t really care.

We finally got our first really warm and beautiful day yesterday.  I was getting my daughter out of the van and was overcome with the warm sunshine on my skin (haven’t felt that in months!) and the birds chirping and I started to tear up at how wonderful it was.

Winter is SO long here. (I’m a Minnesotan) So when spring arrives it is glorious and wonderful.  I love Spring so much.  I love the renewal of it all.  It also makes me think of the cross and the resurrection.  The beauty and life that came out of the harsh winter that was the cross.

Winter passes and spring comes.  The ground thaws and flowers bloom.  The old makes way for the new.  Life goes on.

My hope and prayer is that we all find beauty and renewal in our lives as we experience spring and Easter time, that we would take time to marvel and get alone with our Savior.

new_life_with_text_500

 

Puppy Love

20160113_065032.jpg

I haven’t blogged in a bit because I have been busy with our new puppy, Copper.  Our kids have been begging for a dog for years.  Last year we went the chintzy route and got a couple pet rats.  About the fourth time they bit one of the kids they went back to the store!  SO I finally twisted my husbands arm- er, talked him into- a real live puppy.  Not just any puppy.  A golden retriever.  Like and 90’s kid I grew up watching movies that featured talking golden retrievers and have always wanted one.

Right now he is super cute and super annoying!  He is really mouthy, which I guess is common for a hunting breed.  He is also sweet and follows me around the house.  He’s only had a few accidents and seems to be doing well so far with the training.  I can’t wait till he is grown and calm and the famously easy going, happy family dog.

So here are some purely gratuitously cute pics for your enjoyment…🙂

20160106_161221.jpg20160106_160734.jpg20160110_191441.jpg

20160110_192119.jpg

 

 

Gluten-Free Fudge Brownie Recipe

I am a lover of all (well, almost all, hold the bacon) things chocolate.  I am also gluten free.  So, here is a gluten free (betcha can’t tell!) brownie recipe that is intensely rich, fudgey, and decadent.

20160106_065402.jpg
Not the best photo BUT these brownies are unbelievable!

 

 

GF Fudge Brownies

  • 6 ounces Baking Chocolate (a box and a half)
  • 1 cup butter (two sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour (you could sub in coconut or oat flour as well)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • chocolate chips to sprinkle on top (optional)

The recipe I adapted this from used multiple bowls but I don’t think that is necessary.  I melted the chocolate and butter on the lowest stove setting in a heavy duty glass mixing bowl- stirring occasionally.  When just melted remove from heat and whisk in the sugar, flour, vanilla, sea salt, and finally the eggs (one at a time).

Pour in to a greased standard sized pan 13 X 9″ (I used two pie pans)  Sprinkle on the chocolate chips.  Bake at 325 for half an hour.

In the mean time go ahead and lick the bowl and utensils. ;)  Respectable recipes will tell you to allow the brownies to cool for an hour before slicing.  I think life’s too short for that nonsense.  I wait ten minutes.  Tops.  Nothing like a warm fudge brownie to make your heart thrill with joy as your blood sugar soars!

Enjoy!

 

Don’t let your Song be Silenced

This past year, going through some stuff; I allowed my worship to be silenced.

I was worshipping God and was filled with joy and his Holy Spirit this week.  I realized for much of the past year I had been silenced by worry, doubt, fear, etc.  And my joy and passion for God had really waned.

If prayer and bible study are our daily bread than worship is the olive oil.  Literally- oil in the Bible signifies anointing and the Holy Spirit.

I know for me that nothing connects me to God more than heartfelt worship.  I feel him work in my heart, he reveals things to me, I find my purpose as one created to worship God.  Music_Worship

The enemy wants to silence our worship because it is so powerful.  The joy of the Lord is our strength and we never tap into that more than when we enter into worship.

When we exalt God our problems are minimized.  We get a proper perspective and are able to enter into his peace, even if our circumstances don’t change.

I want to make this year a year of purposeful worship.  I want to make my home a sanctuary.  I want my children to grow up in the presence of the Lord.  I want my heart to be ruled by his peace and his presence.

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11

New Years Resolution

Through-out my faith walk, hardships have always propelled me closer to God.  But honestly, this past year, I’ve allowed current trials to come between us.  My super spiritual explanation is that God wants us to follow and trust even when we aren’t getting what we want.  Even if what we want is something noble and right.  I am praying and believing for my son to be healed from his long, tough struggle with eczema.  It hasn’t been just a minor skin irritation- but multiple staph infections, trips to the E.R., sleepless nights, etc.

IMG_4997
My Family

 

He still has eczema and I am still praying.  My stance is that sometimes (often) God walks with you through it.  “Everyone will be salted with fire.” Mark 9:49  Like that old saying, “For those headed to Heaven, Earth is as close as we will get to Hell.  And Earth is as close to Heaven as those headed to Hell will ever get.”  So I’ll let a bit of fire refine and ‘salt’ me now, knowing that there are great things in store.

I know though that I am incredibly, lavishly blessed and loved by God.  Walking through some stuff.  Still a bit of a spiritual hot mess.  But loved dearly as a daughter of the King.

The other morning I got up early to pray and read my bible for the first time in too long.  I felt God’s presence and favor so strong.  It was a fresh reminder that it is a privilege and joy to walk through life with Jesus Christ.  Many people spend their lives in fruitless pursuit of truth.  I know exactly where to find him and He is eager to meet with me.

So this New Year for me brings hopes of getting closer to God.  To chose trust over fear.  To allow God to work in and through me.  To see Him do great things this coming year.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19