STUFF

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Happy Tuesday!  I just want to give you an update on our life right now…

It actually doesn’t look like this anymore, but I have to document the chaos. Grin.  Even if we don’t have these physical boxes of STUFF staring us in the face, don’t we all feel out of control and anxious at times?

Do not be anxious about  anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let  your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all  understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

I will most definitely be reciting this verse on Saturday when we fly out of the country for our vacation!

Have a great week- GOD BLESS!!

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Let’s Try This Again

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Do you remember when I posted a while back that I was done with wheat?  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stick with it the first time around, but that decision has been kicking me in the stomach, if you know what I mean.  Sooo.. I’m officially committing to it this time.  Since moving to Cincinnati, my various sensitivities have been flaring up constantly and it’s a reminder that these issues aren’t going anywhere, even if the symptoms disappear for a period of time.  I did some research and have been reading a new book called Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.  This book has opened my eyes to the fact that going wheat-free isn’t a short-term option for me, but in fact a complete change in the way I view food.  I still have a lot of reading and research to do, and I am not done with his book, but I’ve already started to incorporate this into my lifestyle.
Last week I felt very sluggish from being wheat-free, but this week I have a lot of energy!  Dr. Davis warns that the first 1-2 weeks people may have withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, low energy, intense cravings, and more.  His book literally goes through the entire body and discusses how the wheat that is produced today (all genetically modified and nothing like the wheat that was produced 50+ years ago) is damaging.  I’m not a medical expert so I won’t go into the nitty-gritty details, but if this topic interests you at all, I would highly recommend his book.  So as I promised in this blog waaay back when, I plan to share my wheat-free recipes with you and I would love yours as well!

I made a breakfast casserole last week that I just finished and I am a big fan.  It’s difficult to find wheat-free breakfast foods that are convenient so planning is key.

Ingredients
2 lbs ground sausage
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 small onion, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced (or 1/2 green pepper)
12 well-beaten eggs (season with salt and pepper)
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or mexican blend)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2) Brown sausage and drain excess grease. Press sausage into the bottom of pan.

3) Break cream cheese into pieces and evenly distribute on top of sausage. Sprinkle with onions and peppers.

4) Pour eggs over the sausage mixture. Add shredded cheese to the top.

5) Bake for 25 minutes, until eggs are just set. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before cutting

and VOILA!! A yummy breakfast casserole that reheats like a dream!

In other news, we are moving into our house this weekend (YAY!!) so I will have some fun decorating/moving posts soon!

GOD BLESS!

Catch-Up

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I haven’t written in a while because there is so much going on right now I have no idea where to begin!

Update #1: We successfully found renters for our duplex in Michigan- praise God!  It happened very quickly and for that we are so grateful.  The exterior of the house was in the process of being painted and they should be finishing this week.  Here are some of the most recent pictures I have:

It’s definitely starting to look great!  Much better than how it looked when we purchased it.  You can see those pictures here.

Update #2: Since the house in Michigan is rented, we were able to begin the search for a house to rent in Ohio.  Well last weekend we found one!  We instantly fell in love with this home and couldn’t let it slip away.  I’ll just show you the outside for now.  You know how I love a big reveal!

And get this- we’ll be living on a street named Michigan.  We love that.

Update #3: With all of this excitement churning around us, what better time to take a vacation, right?! Why not!  So in October we will be taking our first official vacation together.  I am so happy Matt took it upon himself to make this happen for us.  Believe me, we need it.

It will be so amazing to celebrate our 2 year anniversary in Mexico!  We can barely stand it!

I’m just posting this picture because I miss my Zoe so badly.  While we want to get Zoe back from a dog’s paradise my parent’s house as soon as we move into our new house, with our vacation not but 2 weeks later, it doesn’t make sense to do it that way.   *sigh*   It’s hard to be a puppy parent.  We can’t wait to squeeze this little body and give her lots of kisses.

I will leave you with these few updates.  There is much to say about this huge transition, but that is enough for now.

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.”
— Psalm 55:22

GOD BLESS!!

Good-bye, Grand Rapids

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In the great purple room
there was a telephone
and work to resume
and a picture of…
A summer camp in June
And there were lots of pet hairs on a chair

And grants to be written, unwritten, and rewritten
And a view of fishing And sometimes wishing

And a stiletto heel and a “fun wheel” and a bowl full of oatmeal
And a couple of co-workers whispering “hush!”

Good-bye room Good-bye room
Good-bye lunch at noon

Good-bye light and the work to resume
Good-bye pet hairs Good-bye chairs

Good-bye notes written and Good-bye files to be gettin’

Good-bye clocks and good-bye walking around in my socks

Good-bye little office and Good-bye leaving at night exhausted

Good-bye home and Good-bye dust

Good-bye nobody Good-bye oatmeal

And Good-bye to the couple of co-workers whispering “hush!”

Good-bye local stars Good-bye air

Good-bye noises everywhere

Love Letter…

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A love note to my husband.  When’s the last time you wrote a love letter to your significant other?  Give it a try and see what happens…

Dear Matt,

You wouldn’t believe what I’m doing right now.  Listening to DMB… shocked?  Would it surprise you to know that when we’re separated for whatever reason, I listen to Dave just to feel closer to you?  And you thought I didn’t like them.  My secret is out.

Six weeks ago our marriage was attacked on all sides.  We were not prepared for this battle and it almost ate us alive.  I am now ashamed to say at the time I was not hopeful we would make it.  I was done, out the door.  You said you wanted to fight for us, but I wasn’t sure.  Many nights I spent on my knees, praying for us.

And then, slowly… ssllloooowwlly… things began to change.

We began to talk to each other.  Really talk.  We looked each other in the eyes when we spoke, and we said things we had held onto for years.  We slowly felt more and more connected to each other.   I was literally feeling the shape of my heart change toward you.  I truly believe we are witnessing how beautiful and sacred marriage can be.  We are meant to be together, and He’s not afraid to show Himself in our marriage to tell us that when we need to hear it.

I believe in miracles, and I truly believe our relationship today is a miracle in progress.

I am so excited to move with you to Cincinnati in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS! Wow.  For a while I did not understand why we were being called to move during a time of such turmoil.  I would literally ask out loud “Lord, why NOW?? Why? Why would you move us to a different city during the fight of our lives??!”  I had resolved that I may never have the answer to that question.

Now I can see the beautiful truth beginning to unfold before us.  I believe we are supposed to physically leave this city, this house, this state, and completely start again.  How many times do you get a chance like that?? Not many, but we have been given this opportunity.  Together, we will pack up our memories of this home, hug friends good-bye, and leave the past in the rearview mirror.  Together, we will turn the key into a new chapter of our lives.  We will explore this new city together and create all new memories.  Together.

I love you more today than I ever have, and for that I am so thankful.

Oooh- my favorite song is playing!! Do you remember this one?

I walk half way around the world,
Just to sit down by your side.
And I would do most anything girl,
To be the apple of your eye.

Troubles they may come and go,
But good times they are the gold.
And if this road gets rocky girl,
Just steady as we go.

Any place you wanna go,
Know I’ll be next to you.
If it’s treasure baby you’re looking for,
I’ll search the whole world through.

Know troubles they may come and go,
But good times they’re the gold.
So if the road gets rocky girl,
Just steady as we go.

When the storm comes,
You shelter me.
And I don’t say a word,
And you know exactly what I mean.
In the darkest times,
You shine on me.
You set me free.
And keep me steady as we go.

So if your heart rings dry my love,
I will fill your cup.
And if your load gets heavy girl,
I will lift you up.

Troubles they may come and go,
But good times be the gold.
So if this road gets rocky girl,
Just steady as we go.

  Here’s to falling deeper in love with each other every day!

XOXO

Walking through the Fire

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Get ready for a long post.  There, you’ve been warned.

I would like to start with Psalm 25, which I have been reading as if my life depended upon it.  As if I needed to read it in order to put one foot in front of the other lately.  And frankly, it has been exactly that.

In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.

I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
    He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.[b]
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
    and their descendants will inherit the land.
14 The Lord confides in those who fear him;
    he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,
    for only he will release my feet from the snare.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
    and free me from my anguish.
18 Look on my affliction and my distress
    and take away all my sins.
19 See how numerous are my enemies
    and how fiercely they hate me!

20 Guard my life and rescue me;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
    because my hope, Lord,[c] is in you.

22 Deliver Israel, O God,
    from all their troubles!

AMEN!!

Have you gone through a season when you thought you were being eaten alive? Eaten alive by the enemy, that is?  When everything you thought you knew was no longer safe, was no longer stable, no longer made sense? 

Have you been there?  By “there” I mean a place where you no longer recognize yourself in the mirror.  I’m not talking about seeing that donut transfer to your hips before you’ve completely digested it- I’m talking about looking in the mirror and literally warping into the worst version of yourself right before your very eyes.  “There” meaning you can’t stand to be in the presence of couples.  Couples that you’ve been friends with for years.  Couples that you love dearly and they love you in return, but finding yourself looking at them in judgment and resentment.  “There” as in waking up with tears running down your face, and having a permanent makeup-less streak on your cheeks until your head hits the pillow that night.

  I know there are those of you that know exactly what I’m talking about.  I know because I’ve talked to you.  I’ve spoken with those who have made it out alive.  And it gives me hope.  I’m not talking about people who have gone through the fire and walked out unscathed.  I’m talking about the nitty gritty, lonely, embarrassing details.  What scars do you have?  What are you STILL working on?  How did you fall victim to the enemy to the point where you never thought you’d recover?  How are you a work in progress?? 

One of my mentors, Beth Moore has provided me with this hope recently. It’s not the first time. And I know it won’t be the last.  If I haven’t shared the link to her blog previously, here is it again.   

Why is it that when we hit our bottom he is ALWAYS there to show us he has not left us?  Not for one millisecond.  He is there in our deepest, humiliating, hateful thoughts.  And He is there to love us and forgive us.  No questions asked. 

Recently, while perusing my favorite mind-numbing website, Pinterest, I came upon a lovely quote by C.S. Lewis:

To be a Christian means to forgive the
inexcusable because God has
forgiven the inexcusable in you.
 

 

Thanks, C.S. Lewis.  I needed that.

Ups and Downs

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With marriage comes ups and downs.  Over the last two weeks, my marriage as experienced both.  A little over a week ago my husband lost his job.  It was something we had been anticipating, but it doesn’t make the news any easier to digest.

Growing up, my father’s employer was constantly getting bought by larger companies and inevitably the call would come, and inevitably he would get laid off.   I am not exaggerating when I say within my lifetime my father has had over 15  job titles.  He could write a book about it.

Looking back, I’m sure my parents experienced nights of uncertainty.  Uncertainty about money, uncertainty about food, uncertainty about our family’s future.  My parents did an unbelievable job at sheltering my brother and I from these uncertainties and for that I am so thankful.  Don’t get me wrong- we had tight times, but their goal was for my brother and I to have a childhood as stress-free as possible and that’s exactly what they did.

It is with these lessons in my heart, I know that my husband and I will get over this hurdle.  With the Lord’s help, the two of us get can through anything.  That’s the beautiful thing about marriage: it’s the two of you against the world.  I see these experiences as an opportunity for us to cling to each other in support and love, or times that can drive us apart into resentment and anger.  The latter has the power to eat a relationship alive and spit it out, leaving one another unrecognizable; however love is far more powerful and that is the choice we make. 

Just as the words our pastors read over us on our wedding day state,

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Now that I’ve covered as much of the “down” as I care to, there are great joys to celebrate!  One of them being all the time we get to spend together!  Matt used to work Saturdays, and now we have our weekends free to be with each other.    A great big, GIGANTIC positive is that Matt also graduated last weekend with his Masters in Management.  What a glorious accomplishment to celebrate after such a negative week!  Here we are on his graduation weekend:

Doesn’t he just look smart in those threads?

So, I leave you today on this beautiful Sunday afternoon to go for a nice, long walk with my husband. 

GOD BLESS!!