Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Loving Well

I have much to write about.  We have been very busy and seem to be constantly on the go.  Luckily, it's all been fun busy...but I have had to neglect my blog nonetheless for priorities.  Ahhh...priorities.  Although I have other (but maybe not necessarily more important) things to be doing right now, I really felt the need to share a part of my heart with you.  *Stay tuned for posts about our recent trip to Maui and my Dad's surprise 65th Birthday party!

Despite being busy, I decided to join a Women's Growth Group at church.  I joined a Beth Moore study called "Loving Well".  This class doesn't just focus on how we can love others well, but helps us remember how WELL we are loved by God.  There are about 12 other women in the class, and this is exactly what I need right now.  This fellowship with other women from all walks of life, who are all stuggling/rejoicing with different aspects of life, is so incredibly encouraging and refreshing! 

First, God's love for us.  We think of love as an emotion, because that's how we experience it.  I love avocados.  I love my husband.  I love my parents.  I love my puppy.  However, God IS love, not just an emotion.  There is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and there is nothing we can possibly do to make Him love us less.  Therefore, God is not just love...He is PERFECT love!  I have been a Christian since I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was young (with a period of time when was older and thought I didn't need Him.  Maybe I'll be brave enough to share my story on here one day) and this is still so incredibly overwhelming for me to try to wrap my brain around.  Imagine the greatest love you have ever experienced, given or received, and multiply that by infinity...pretty overwhelming huh?! 

Isaiah 49:15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son in her womb?  Surely they may forget, yet I will never forget you." 

Romans 8:38-39 "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!"

Secondly, Beth talks about four different types of people in our lives: 
  • Joy - these people are easy to love
  • Testy - difficult to love
  • Foe - we don't even want to love, we may even think impossible
  • Far - people who just miss our radar
Just yesterday, I had a couple of patients at work who are definitely "testy".  Honestly, it's draining to be around them for an hour.  You know those types of people who find the negativity in everything, and seem to say hurtful things and play it off as if they are joking.  Today in Growth Group we talked about these types of people and how God places "testy" people in our lives for a reason...like no pain, no gain I guess.  Most often, there is something broken within this person and they have been placed in our lives so we can love them with God's love that flows from us.  We are not capable of loving them with our small, conditional love; but need God's almighty PERFECT love to fill us up and flow out from us instead. 

Luke 6:27-28 "I tell you who hear me:  Love your enemies, do good things to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

Beth states that it is human tendency for us to love others for what we can receive out of a relationship, but God calls us to love others because we are loved by Him.   

Third, Beth lists some things she believes God wanted her to share.  As I read through these I just started circling various statements that stood out to me.  When I turned to the next page of my workbook, one of the questions read "What statements from day 5 ministered to you most.  Why?"   Wow!  I believe they ministered to me because this is not only what God wanted me to hear, but they are what God wanted me to share with *you*
  • You do have an enemy, My Child.  But it is not Me.  He wants you to think it is.
  • I know what's happened.  I know what's on your mind.
  • I alone know the plan for how this turns out well.  I alone know how to prosper you through this.
  • My eyes and My affections are on you right now.
  • Quit trying to be strong.  Let me be strong for you
Let these promises from God wash over you and bring you peace.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Feeding the Baby Momma

Our friends Jeff and Sarah welcomed their first child into the world February 25th.  Kaily Elizabeth is seriously beyond cute...I mean just look at that picture!  (Taken by our talented friend Brea).

Is there something in the water?  I know so many women who have been increasing the World's population within the last two years...so many!  I'm beginning to feel a little left out.  Just a "little".  Matt and I are not quite ready for any additions just yet.  In the meantime, we are celebrating God's little miracles surrounding us.

Jeff and Sarah are adjusting to parenting beautifully, and they are blessed to have many friends and family nearby to help.  They were able to go WEEKS without having to cook!  Here's my contribution to their new mommy and daddy tired and hungry tummies...Chicken Enchiladas!  This recipe was given to me by a family friend at my Bridal Shower in Longview, and I've made it twice for new parents now.  For a vegetarian version, you can omit the chicken and add peppers and onions (or maybe mushrooms), and also use veggie broth instead of chicken stock.

Filling:
4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 Tblsp butter
1 med onion, diced
4 oz diced green chilies
1/2 tsp black pepper
8 flour tortillas
1 1/2 C grated cheddar cheese

Sauce:
2 Tblsp oil
1/2 diced bell pepper
1/2 diced onion
1/2 carrot, shredded
1 minced garlic clove
2 Tblsp flour
1 C chicken stock
4 oz diced green chilies
1 C sour cream
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt to taste

To make sauce:
Heat oil in sauce pan.  Saute onion, bell pepper, shredded carrot, and garlic until onion turns transparent. 

Stir flour into onion mixture and cook one minute.  Add chicken stock and green chilies.  Cook until mixture thickens.  Stir in cumin into sour cream in a small bowl, and add a little of sauce to sour cream.  Then stir sour cream mix into sauce.  Cook on low heat until heated through.  Add salt to taste.

To make filling:
Mix softened cream cheese with diced chicken.  Brown onions and chilies in butter then add to chicken mixture, add pepper to mixture and mix well. 

Assemble:
Fill tortillas with chicken mixture, roll up, and place seam side down in greased baking dish (I used disposable baking dishes from the grocery store to help with clean up).  Pour sauce over tortillas and top with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  (I put the sauce in a large ziplock and the cheese in a small ziplock and wrote down the directions.  That way it could be stored in the fridge or even frozen if they didn't want to eat it right away)

I made Spanish rice (from a box, not from scratch) and all they had to do was heat it up.