For Your Weekend | Fall Edition!

For Your Weekend | Fall Edition!

Fall arrives & this photo taken with my newly updated ios 9.01 iPhone update!

Well, it’s officially Fall & I’m ready for cooler days, crisp apples, hot lattes (not necessarily PSL) and bonfires!  I’m not looking forward to the shorter days though.  

So, while we still have daylight at 5 pm here in the Central time zone, I bring you the end of September’s links for your weekend enjoyment!
1.  I love a good statistical chart, especially when it’s all about Anne Hathaway’s movie choices !

 

via www.fivethirtyeight.com
 

2. Sometimes we think we’re doing great if we get over something really quickly. Sarah Bessey’s post reminds us that a trauma is not a cocktail story because God’s purpose is for us to share our genuine pain and struggle to reveal Him.

  

3. Hey y’all…Pope Francis is visiting in the USA and he wants us to pray for him.  So, I added him to my prayer list, along with whoever becomes the new House Speaker!

  

4. Sunday-Monday night there will be a Blood moon, lunar eclipse and a super moon all at once!  Here’s the  411 on all things moon-related!  Hopefully my neck of the woods will have perfect viewing weather!

 

via USA Today
 

Hope you enjoy your first Fall weekend!!

Five Minute Friday | Doubt

Five Minute Friday | Doubt

On Fridays I join Kate Motaung’s link up and with other writers write for 5 minutes on the weekly prompt. This Friday’s word is…Doubt.  

Followers of Jesus usually don’t speak of their doubts. Christians are supposed to have All. The. Answers.  All. The. Time. But we have doubts…even if they remain unspoken.  

Having doubts doesn’t make us less of a believer…having doubts reveals our humanity.  Something inside us wants to explain difficult situations with a pithy phrase…God is in control.  Love wins.  God knows best.  These statements only show that the speaker is relying on her own humanity and not coming alongside her friend who is in the middle of pain, crisis, an unbelievable storm and struggling with doubt and struggling with God.

Many times as I struggled with doubt those Christian phrases left me cold. I brushed them off, feeling sad that these believers didn’t know God the way I did…journeying through a doubt filled struggle and how I turned to Him even in my doubt.   

In His Word I found my way to pray…Is anything too hard for God??? (Not, is anything too hard for God!!!!!) Are you the One who was to come or should we expect someone else? (From Jesus’ own cousin John the Baptist)  I do believe!  Help me (Jesus) overcome my unbelief! (Father of a boy with seizures, asking Jesus for healing)

Through my struggles in my faith I have learned this: 

God can take our doubts. Every time. 

And where I expressed my doubts God has met me there in the doubting and strengthened me. 

Have you talked to God about your doubts?  Has He revealed Himself to you through that struggle?  I’d love to hear how God has met you or if you’re doubting now.  

For Your Weekend | Mid-September Edition

For Your Weekend | Mid-September Edition

  
We’re breezing way too fast September, in my humble opinion!  Around here, we’ve been blessed with gorgeous blue skies, unbelievably white fluffy clouds and crisp cool evenings perfect for walks!

On to your weekend links!

1. Rumors that Facebook will be getting a Dislike Button.  Now that the political season is heating up, of course this would be the perfect time to roll it out!  On the bright side, your Friends list may be culled very quickly!

2.  Hans Solo frozen in a mini fridge.  Yep, another iconic Star Wars moment reinterpreted here:

   
 
For $129.98, you can now buy a Hans Solo mini fridge with a DVD of Star Wars Battlefront at Walmart.  Amazing!

3.  This quote Jen Hatmaker tweeted by Patsy Clairemont:

Hardship and loss are strict teachers, but if you lean in, they will help trade sorrow for a cup of compassion.” -Patsy Clairmont

4.  4 year old twin sisters wanted a Hulk princess birthday cake so…This is what they got!

Hope your weekend is easy breezy blue skies and the whitest softest fluffiest clouds imaginable!!

Five Minute Friday | Celebrate Your Day

Five Minute Friday | Celebrate Your Day

On Fridays I join Kate Motaung’s link up and with other writers write for 5 minutes on the weekly prompt. This Friday’s word is…Celebrate!  

Celebrate.  We celebrate the big moments of our lives pretty well…hand lettered invitations, gorgeous Pinterest worthy decor details and guests who arrive in their finest to celebrate the bride and groom, the expecting parents and the reveal of their baby’s gender, or even the first day of school!  

But what about the everyday?  Do we embrace and celebrate the ordinary days that aren’t soft focused, Pinterest worthy decor or well heeled guests?  What about celebrating the everydayness?

Like household chores…  

or small moments… 

  

or noticing the subtle changes that signal Fall is approaching… 

 

Small ordinary moments are worth celebrating!

We mostly live ordinary daily lives and occasionally can celebrate the big moments such as new life, families uniting and growing and a life well lived. But small moments are worth celebrating too!

God is in every moment.

Too often I long for something BIG in my life to happen, the next event, the next trip or conference to jot in my agenda. 

Something BIG already has happened though…salvation through Jesus!  A new life, forgiveness and purpose.  I can be small and ordinary and celebrate daily what Jesus has done and is doing through me!

I didn’t arrive at this revelation on my own. I owe it  to Emily P. Freeman’s latest book, Simply Tuesday, I can embrace my  ordinary life and celebrate my smallness!

  

And so I’ve been celebrating my smallness, my ordinariness, my every days and giving thanks to Him for being with me every moment. And what I’ve learned is this…

The more I celebrate my own small ordinary moments,  the more I can celebrate others’ big life defining moments. 

What does celebration look like to you? Do you celebrate the ordinary moments? Do you celebrate well others’ big moments?


Easy Curry Chicken Salad!

Easy Curry Chicken Salad!

 

Yummy chicken salad!
 
My authentic Southern girl roots begin to show when I begin craving some chicken salad!

Just like potato salad, every Southern lady’s chicken salad is just a little different! My admiration of the lowly chicken salad only elevated after living in Atlanta for several years!  My word, the Georgia ladies know their chicken salad!

For years I followed various chicken salad recipes precisely but could not replicate the magic. Until I learned the first secret of making chicken salad…don’t measure anything!

Once I grasped this chicken salad prepping concept, everything changed! It freed my mind to focus on flavors and combinations rather than precisely measuring  ingredients!  And…the chicken salad magic happened!!!

So…trust your instincts, eyeballing and tastebuds and create your own magical chicken salad!

Curry Chicken Salad

  • Cooked chicken, shredded or chopped (I boil my chicken for about 20 minutes that I’ll be using in casseroles, etc. so if there’s leftover cooked chicken, I use this)
  • Mayonnaise
  • 3-4 stalks of chopped celery
  • Generous handful of cashews, chopped
  • Heaping 1/2 teaspoon of mild curry powder (adjust to taste)
  • Lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Mango Ginger Chutney
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    Combine all in a bowl, taste, adjust seasoning as necessary.  If you can control yourself, refrigerate for at least an hour to let all the flavors begin to blend!  After mixing, I sometimes add more mayo or salt or whatnot for taste!

    About mayo.  I’m trying to eliminate processed food, but my at home mayo attempts have been more miss than hit. Ugh. The waste. Ugh. The clean up. I’m also eliminating as much soy from my diet as possible so it’s been frustrating to find a quality store mayo not made with soybean oil. 

    I actually hadn’t made chicken salad because of the dilemma until I found this: 

    Amazing…vegan, Non-GMO and yummy! (but don’t tell my husband!)
     

    I found Just Mayo at Walmart.  Yes, Walmart!  It’s vegan, canola oil, non-GMO certified, economical and delicious.  Seriously, you will want to slather Just Mayo on everything!!  Bless you Walmart!!

    Trader Joe’s Mango Ginger Chutney

    This is sooo good with minimal ingredients!!
     

    Shauna Niequist first turned me on to Trader Joe’s Mango Ginger Chutney when I tried her Key Largo Burgers from her essay/recipe book Bread and Wine.  Sadly, we do not live close to a Trader Joe’s (Trader Joe’s could you fix that please in Bowling Green, Kentucky?) so I first scoured the local grocery store shelves for mango chutney. Let’s just say, what you find in the normal grocery stores leaves something to be desired. 

    So, when I made my first pilgrimage to Trader Joe’s, I found it and stocked up on it.  Like hoarder status. Because, it’s amazing. I use it in the burgers, chicken salad, sauces and even as a spread on sandwiches. So good!

    So, be fearless with chicken salad!  Make your own crazy flavored chicken salad with what you have on hand!  

    What are your favorite chicken salad combinations?  Are you lucky enough to have a local Trader Joe’s?  

    For Your Weekend | Labor Day Edition

    For Your Weekend | Labor Day Edition

     

    Hoping you have blue skies for your long weekend!!
     
    Summer unofficially ends this weekend and to be honest, I’m kinda ready!  I’ve savored this summer especially but am already getting excited as I see tiny changes towards fall…super foggy mornings, shorter days, less bugs out on the back deck at night. 

    So, I hope you accomplish your home project, sales spree or savor last bit of beach or lake time!  Here’s to Labor Day!!

    1. Follow Hipster Barbie immediately and thank me later! Her InstaGram handle is @socalitybarbie and her feed is GOLD!  Here’s the link and here’s a sample:

      
    If you’ve run across “serious” styled hipster feeds and said…huh? then this InstaGram is the anecdote!  #blessed

    2. After experiencing major jet lag…an explanation.

     

    Via Wall Street Journal
     

    3. I missed Force Friday, but I hope you bought your toys !  Yes, I absolutely loved the original Star Wars movies…I’m old enough to remember watching the first one on the big screen and being blown away by the special effects of the Death Star and Hans Solo flying the Millenium Falcon through space. 

    That said, George Lucas crushed my Star Wars love dead when he revived the franchise and created Jar Jar Binks. I left the movie theatre mad and haven’t watched any of the newer releases since that horrific day. 

    Hopefully, the new movies and Disney will erase the dark past. 

     

    Save or not save your money…there is no try!
     
     

    3.  This quote for this week by Tim Keller:

    Bad evangelism says:  I’m right, you’re wrong, and I’d love to tell you about it.  -Tim Keller

    I know your Facebook feed has been blowing up this week because of what’s going on in Rowan County, Kentucky. Normally, here on my blog, I do not comment on politics, but I will here for a smidge. 

    I hold the trifecta. I live in Kentucky, am licensed to practice law here and I hold an MDiv. Fellow Christians, for the love and with love in my heart stop it. I can promise you, no one has ever changed their heart through someone telling them..I’m right, your wrong and let me tell you why!

    Others will know we follow Jesus by how we show love to one another. 

    Update:  Here’s a thoughtful well reasoned legal proposed remedy here by Saints & Sceptics. 


    Five Minute Friday | Say Yes and Figure It Out Later!

    Five Minute Friday | Say Yes and Figure It Out Later!

    On Fridays I join Kate Motaung’s link up and with other writers write for 5 minutes on the weekly prompt. This Friday’s word is…Yes!

     

    Saying Yes! to my own God given abilities!
     

    I love Tina Fey’s line…”Say Yes and figure it out later” because for too many years, I over analyzed everything…and it paralyzed my life. 

    I would review all facts, opinions, statistics and see all the “nos” and obstacles and reasons why not to do …fill in the blank. And I would tell myself No.  I wasn’t permitted to have fun, joy, etc. 

    That’s no way to live.

    So…gradually and more recently in 2015 I’m saying YES! to many things and going with the flow and figuring it out later. 

    Yes to travel.  I’m fortunate and blessed to have the luxury of time and means to travel and I’m saying YES! To travel. It’s a big world out there and in the past I turned down way too many opportunities to travel. No more. 

    Yes to me.  Again, for far too long I sacrificed in my work and personal relationships in some crazy way to gain others’ approval and to show my loyalty, all to no avail.  No more. 

    Yes to freedom in Jesus.  So many women are chasing such crazy standards of what’s been portrayed as godliness, perfect wife, etc. plus then overlay what’s expected from a female on church staff (my most recent position) and that’s an impossible burden which Jesus never asked me to carry.  In 2015 Jesus reminds me that His burden is easy and His load is light.  I’m saying YES! to Jesus all the way!

    Yes to more laughter, joy and positive nonparanoid people in my life!  People you hang out with will rub off on you.  One day I realized I was immersed in an unhealthy culture of paranoia and negativity and once I was freed from it, saw everything clearly. I had became paranoid and negative myself because of my immersion in an unhealthy culture and now…so much joy and peace in my life!  Amen. 

    Saying YES! has been such a game changer in my life this year. I take small trivial risks as well as bigger risks now. I allow myself to have fun.  My life’s still not perfect but it’s my life fully and completely and I’m loving the freedom and joy Christ has given me through this journey!

    What are you saying YES to these days?  What’s been a game changer for you?  Let’s keep this conversation going in the comments!

    Tuesday Tip | Easy Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

    Tuesday Tip | Easy Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

     

    Yay!!! It’s September and Tuesday!!!
     
    Happy Tuesday y’all and even more so, Happy September!  I’m so excited that September’s arrived!

    Maybe it’s the three days straight of 8 plus hours sleep (empty nest yay!) I’ve been getting or maybe it’s the glimpse of cooler days ahead, but I am giddy today!  

    I agree with Gretchen Rubin  that September is the new  January and I’m seriously happy for a new consistent routine!  Do you feel the same?

    On most Tuesdays I’ll try to give a quick tip that I’ve found helpful in my work, housework or all around good-to-know.

    For years, I’ve been super sensitive to store bought cleaners.  All types of cleaning agents…laundry detetergent, counter sprays, floor cleaners, you name it. When I would come in contact with these cleaners my body would break out in itchy hives. 

    After being hive-free for years (thankfully my former workplace switched to organic cleaning products) last week I innocently rested my elbows on a table at a school event and by the time I got home, was covered in hives. Ugh. 

    So, today I’m sharing a homemade all purpose spray recipe I found on I Heart Organizing .

    Thankfully, I’ve been using this cleaning recipe for over a year and have stuck with it. It’s simple and cheap but the most important factor is that it actually works!  

     

    Three ingredients is all it takes!
     
    The recipe I use is I Heart Organizing All Purpose Cleaner.  Click HERE for additional household cleaning recipes.

    I Heart Organizing All Purpose Cleaner

    • 1 Cup of Distilled Water
    • 1 Tablespoon of Castile Liquid Soap
    • 10 Drops of Essential Oil
    • Combine into spray bottle and shake before each use

     I upcycled an old Method all purpose spray bottle. For this bottle I triple the recipe. I use unscented Castile liquid soap with essential lemon oil but you could use whatever soap/fragrance combination you liked. 

    That’s it!  Are you feeling the excitement of September or is it just me?  Let me know in the comments!