Remain Open To Instruction

Remain Open To Instruction

There Is Always Something New To Learn

Well, I finished my Bible Study Fellowship class last week. We spent the year in Matthew. I have to be honest. I wasn’t thrilled to study through Matthew. I am not sure why I felt that way. It could have been because I have read through it before. I am ashamed to admit I thought this would be a boring year. But, boy, I was wrong.

It was such a great book to sit and soak in for me at the stage of life I was in this past year. I learned to name my emotions, recognize my numbing triggers, and process my feelings. It has been quite a year. This book was a very emotional read this time around. I have never experienced Jesus like I did this year. I have never fallen more in love with the person he is or felt the weight of the crucifixion as I did this year.

It was tough towards the end, and I realized I did not want to read the betrayal and crucifixion. So I found myself procrastinating and even dreading it. But, as accountability does, I had to work through it, and it was intense. The best part was how it lined up with resurrection day. It brought it to life, especially for my kids.

I was also able to teach the kid’s version to my boys in our homeschool class, and I cannot tell you how amazing it was. They enjoyed reading and learning about Jesus, and they both decided to accept Jesus into their hearts. They have already shown me they have discernment. I am in awe of how the Lord moves in their little world.

Reading Matthew like this, spending nine months in the book, has been a blessing. If you have never tried an in-depth bible study like this, I recommend it!

Healing Comes First

Healing Comes First

First Comes Love, Then Comes The Therapist

I have noticed a disturbing theme in the news and social media. That theme is dysfunctional relationships. Of course, I know that people have had dysfunctional relationships forever. Still, we live in a time where people’s quarrels play out in front of the world, whether it’s celebrities in courtroom dramas or your average social media over-sharer. Whatever the case, it is necessary to point out how important it is to heal from our traumas before forming relationships with people.

I can speak from experience. I have lived in extreme toxicity and have been a very toxic person myself. However, I can look back at my shameful behavior through my healing, which is still very fresh and new, and see it for precisely what it is. Though I thought I was right in my behavior at the time, I can now see that I was acting out of trauma and letting my emotions erupt and spew uncontrollably.

I have seen marriages and relationships in the news lately, and it sickens me to watch. I recognize some of the toxic traits and behaviors. What stands out overall is people’s emotional immaturity. I got married in the church and partook in premarital counseling. I can see how this can be helpful to two people who are emotionally mature and have done some trauma healing. Unfortunately, that was not my case.

I wish I had known more about myself at that time. I wish I knew more about why I was getting married, who I was marrying, and what traumas we both were dragging into this marriage with us. I wish someone stopped and shook me and said, “Stop! You both need to go to therapy first, work on yourself, and then come back together and do couples counseling.”

I think this approach would weed out a lot of bad marriages from occurring and strengthen marriages that blossom out of healing. I know, that not everyone is up for therapy, and how they respond in therapy also would depend on where they are in their emotional maturity. Still, I think it could shine a light on many areas that get overlooked and glossed over in premarital counseling, which lead to significant problems as the marriage progresses.

My husband and I have had our fair share of drama, and we are in a much healthier place than we have been. We have been together a long time and have grown tremendously, but I can say that healing before would have saved us a lot of heartbreak warfare.

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Delighting In The Lord.

I read this week’s scripture the other day, and I thought it was beautiful. So I have been working on memorizing it. The bible tells us the Lord delights in us, but do we take the time to delight in him? So this week, our scripture is Psalms 27:4.

Psalms 27:4, The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord's perfections and meditating in his Temple.

When I was little, I had a very skewed view of God. I feared God would send me to hell if I did wrong. I remember thinking it would be impossible for me to be good enough living in the world. So I wanted to be a nun because I thought it would be easier if I lived a life devoted to God without distraction. I didn’t have much Godly instruction growing up, but I did have one thing right. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.

I know now that my salvation is not based on my actions but on the work of Christ on the cross. My life is far from a quiet, distraction-free existence of servitude, but it is still essential for me to find quiet time to delight in my Lord. I need to be in His presence. It’s home to me.

This week let’s seek most to be in the presence of God, meditating in his word, and delighting in his perfections!

Fighting Temptations

Fighting Temptations

Jesus Provides The Strategy

Satan attacks us on three different fronts. He knows our weak spots, and his tactics haven’t changed. He used the same scheme on Eve and Adam in the garden in Genesis 3 and on Jesus in Matthew 4. Satan attacks the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

If you read in Genesis 3, Eve is convinced to question God’s trust and love for her. She sees the fruit is good for food, pleasing to the eye, and suitable for obtaining knowledge. Here you can see Satan’s three-part attack. As we all know, Eve and Adam fail miserably.

In Matthew 4, we read about The Holy Spirit leading Jesus out to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. Again, we can see the three-part attack. First, Satan tells Jesus, who is hungry from fasting, to make bread out of a rock. But, Jesus does something that Eve and Adam did not do. He refutes Satan with scripture and tells him, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

We continue to see that Satan now takes Jesus to the top of the highest temple in Jerusalem and tells him to prove he is the son of God by jumping off the top. Satan tries to use God’s word against Jesus and quotes Psalm 91:11-12, for the scriptures say, He will order his angels to protect you, and they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. Jesus is not impressed, and he tells Satan, “The scriptures also say, you must not test the Lord your God.”

Finally, we see the culmination of Jesus’ triumphant denial of Satan’s attacks. Satan takes him to the peak of a very high mountain and shows him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He offers this all to Jesus if only he bows down to worship him. Now side note, I have always had an issue with this because I thought, who does Satan think he is offering Jesus the world? He is offering Jesus to take what is rightfully his without the cross. My Jesus prevails. He says, “Get out of here, Satan! The scriptures say you must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.”

After that, we read that Satan left and that is exactly what will happen when you resist him. He will go away. James 4:7 confirms, “Humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Quick Catch Up

Quick Catch Up

I just wanted to do a quick catch up because I mentioned before, so much has changed since I last wrote. We left Utah and headed out to Tennessee where we spent the last year and a half. I adored living in Tennessee. We were up near the Kentucky border about a 45-minute drive from Nashville in a place called Clarksville. Clarksville itself was a nice place but a little overpopulated. It is super close to the army base and they have two large companies that have really brought a ton of people to the area. The campsite we stayed at was nice because it is nestled in the woods right outside of Clarksville so you feel like your out in the country but it’s really close to shopping and restaurants. You sort of getting the best of both worlds.

Nashville was amazing. There was always so much going on and people out doing things. We visited the Parthenon at Centennial Park multiple times. We saw a show at the Grand Ol Opry. Visiting the Opry is a really cool experience, I am not by any means a huge country music fan but just the rich history and warm ambiance you get visiting is something really cool to experience. We saw a couple shows at The Ryman, or as the locals call it, The Mother Church.  Our favorite place to eat was Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and we would go every chance we got! There is always a line out the door and around the building at every location but it is so worth the wait! We also enjoyed the buzz going on downtown on Broadway. That place is poppin’ at all hours of the day!

The funny thing is I didn’t realize how much I loved Tennesee until we had to leave. We got word we had to head out to Idaho in mid-August. It was a pretty long drive with the kiddos and the dog in the van with me but we made it. The nice thing about hauling our home with us is that when we stop for the night I get to sleep in my own bed. I really dislike staying in hotels. So now we have been in Idaho for a couple months and it is really different than we were used to. We went from overcrowded Tennessee to no one in the middle of the boondocks Idaho. After the initial culture shock, I have been able to enjoy the beauty Idaho has to offer. I still miss Tennesee and I will always carry that piece of the south with me. We still aren’t sure how much longer we will be here, we could be gone by the time this posts, but I will keep ya posted!

Spring Break

Spring Break

We had the pleasure of hosting this years spring break family trip. We had a blast in Provo, Park City, Draper, and Salt Lake City.

family at Moochie's

Moochie’s was amazing, I had the Eggplant Parmigiana sandwich, everyone else had  Philly Cheesesteak. Everyone gave it a thumbs up!

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is amazing, my boys could stay in there for hours looking at all the fish. They also have birds, butterflies, and sloths!

family at aquarium
Family in the mouth of a beast

We also took a short drive up to Herriman, Near South Jordan, to see The Real UP House! Its a replica home from the Disney-Pixar movie, UP. We couldn’t go in, as it is a private residence, but it was still pretty cool to see.

The Real UP House

Banana Berry Overnight Oats

Banana Berry Overnight Oats

Overnight OatsI posted this once before on my original blog, but it is still one of my favorite things to eat. Since I have been on a Keto diet, I have not been able to have it in such a long time. I decided to share it again so someone out there can enjoy it as much as I do!

One of my family’s favorite breakfasts is overnight oats. I have pretty picky eaters, but since the very first day I gave them the wonderfully warm and delightful concoction they have devoured it. My husband loves it as well, he usually has it as his midmorning snack at work and apparently, it’s been a hit there as well. I mean, honestly, it just looks so delicious in that mason jar!

Here is my quick overnight oats recipe, it’s pretty simple and you may see many more recipes just like it but since it is something that we love so much I decided to share it!

Banana Berry Overnight Oats Recipe

1/2 cup of oats

1 tbs of chia seeds

A heaping tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt

Small handful of blueberries

2 or 3 sliced strawberries

1/2 banana sliced

1/2 cup of vanilla almond milk and a dash more for decoration*

A couple drops of vanilla

Two shakes of cinnamon

Cover and

*Shake Shake Shake*

Put in fridge overnight

Microwave 1 min then stir

Add

Sliced almonds

Honey bunches of oats granola with dark chocolate

That’s it. Plain and simple but oh so yummy! This is measured out as per serving, I use a mason jar for mine.

Enjoy!

 

 

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

img_6148Last summer we were able to head up north and spend a weekend at Yellowstone National Park. It was amazing! We didn’t plan ahead so we weren’t able to take our fifth wheel up. We stayed at Gray Wolf Inn and Suites in West Yellowstone, Montana. The lodge was really nice, and super close to the entrance. A bit pricey, but thats what we get for not planning ahead. I totally fell in love with the town, it was so touristy but in a mountain man sort of way.

Once we drove in to the park the views just blew me away! We got to see a group of animals grazing in a field. It was an amazing sight. People were out of their vehicles taking pictures of them and walking right up to the herd and the animals were not scared at all. YellowstoneWildlife.jpg

We loved seeing the geysers and the sulfuric pools. I was a little reluctant to go down the trails since I have two young boys, but they did very well! We also made sure to visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. Gray Wolf Inn and Suites included tickets to the park in our package. The kids really enjoyed that. The bears really put on a show for us that day!

Family at Yellowstone 2We only spent two days in Yellowstone and that was not enough. I would have loved to just be able to sit and soak in the beauty and majesty of the scenery. I definitely will make the trip back sometime and next time I will plan ahead!

Valentine’s Day Thoughts

Valentine’s Day Thoughts

I have always loved Valentine’s Day. I think it is such a fun day to celebrate not just romantic love, but just love in general. Being that my love language is gift giving, this is really another day for me to shine! I have had a Valentine’s date with my husband for the past 11 years but I have many friends who despise this day because they do not have a date. I think it’s a great day to love on yourself, and the people who love you!

One of my favorite things to do is make it a special day for my kiddos. We homeschool so that means no fun Valentine’s Day party with cards and candy.  I have made it a tradition to get them a small token of my love each year just to make the day a little brighter. Maybe you don’t have kids, but there is that one coworker, or even a friend that you could surprise with a small token of your affection. On a day intended to spread love, what could warm your heart more than making someone else’s day better!

Happy Valentine’s Day!