Sunday, March 24, 2019

Weekly Meal Plan || NO. 1

Hey friends!


I've been loving Mycah Hunter's blog recently and have particularly enjoyed perusing her weekly meal plans.  Ever since getting married back in June 2017 I've been trying to figure out the best system for meal planning, collecting recipes and documenting the meals we really enjoy and am *considering* trying to put up my weekly menu on here for accountability and fun! :-) We are starting with an easy week because I only have Sat-Tuesday to plan for as we are leaving early Wednesday for my brother, Micah's wedding.



Breakfast:

Duck Eggs & Bacon
Grain Free Cauliflower Oatmeal ( I've been making this at least once a week since January and am LOVING it! )
Smoothie


Lunch:

Gluten Free Sandwich & Veggies


Dinner:

Saturday - Whole 30 Chili (Page 342) Today I added a can of black beans to it which I often do unless we're on a strict Whole 30 or similar diet


Sunday - Whole 30 Chili Leftovers


Monday - Detox Chicken Soup I can still remember when I found this pin on pinterest several years ago!  lol.  I was laying in bed sick and found the pin leading to the Detox Chicken Soup recipe and thought it looked so delicious I couldn't wait to get healthy enough to make it! :-) It's seriously SO good! The best Chicken Soup I've ever had and I've made it regularly ever since. Note: I don't think I've ever used chicken breasts for this recipe. Instead I usually just start with a whole chicken. Cook the chicken in a pot of water - take the chicken out, debone it and then save the broth and use that in the soup. But I'm sure it would work just as well if you followed this recipe to a "T". :-)


Tuesday - Detox Chicken Soup Leftovers


Wednesday - Leave bright an early for Michigan!! WooHoo!!  Let's get Micah and Lydia married oh yeah! :-D Snacks for the road will consist of: carrot sticks, grapes, celery, gluten free sandwiches and chips.



Alright friends, hope you're having an amazing day! Sending lots of love and sunshine your way!


Oh, btw - before I forget - HAPPY SPRING!


Love,
Monica

Thursday, March 21, 2019

"Impossible" Possibles

 

Hey Dear little Blog!


It's been awhile...and I've missed writing on here.  :-)  This morning as I closed out my devotions with Jesus the thought crossed my mind...."WOW!  What beautiful *impossible* POSSIBLES our Jesus does!!!  

The specific Biblical accounts I'm thinking of are two I read in my Bible reading this morning. 


1.) Abraham's wife, Sarah giving birth to their promised son, Isaac, when it was physically impossible for her body to carry a child.  ( God's *promise* of the "impossible" is found in Genesis 17-18 and then His *promise* FULFILLED is in Genesis 21 if you would like to read through it.) 

2.)  The account of Jesus bringing immediate healing to two blind men. Physically impossible for man but not for God!  (Matthew 20:29-34) 


The similarities and differences between both stories intrigued me and blessed my heart deeply. <3 


There was a desperate plea for God to not "pass by" in both accounts. 

Sarah's Story: "O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, DO NOT PASS BY your servant." ~Genesis 18:3  Abraham had already been told by God in Genesis 17 that his wife was to have a child, but this time God again visited him and Abraham took the initiative to ask for the 3 messengers God sent to not "pass by"....which led to them again promising of his wife, Sarah giving birth a year from that time.  Sarah was 90 years old at this point and beyond the human ability to carry a child. 


Blind Men's Story: "...two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!  The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!"  And STOPPING, Jesus called them and said "What do you want me to do for you?""~Matthew 20:30-32 He stopped, asked what they needed and brought the healing...BUT they cried out to Him FIRST! <3 


Application:   I especially LOVE the example of the two blind men.  Jesus was passing by.... their Hope...their Savior....but they had to CRY OUT TO HIM....they had to take the initiative to  CALL OUT to Jesus.  They were even "rebuked" by those around them and told to keep silent.  How often do those around us affect our decision if we will continue to CALL OUT to Jesus or not....how often does the world try to silence us by making us question the reality of God or how He really truly DOES answer EVERY PRAYER! How often do we KEEP pressing into prayer even when so much seems to be going against us?


Oh Jesus, teach me to be faithful in crying out to You in my every weakness, my every need, my every hurt, my every question. <3 No matter the opposition spiritually or physically may I always run to You first and foremost. Amen.


Love,
Monica





Sunday, November 29, 2015

In His Time....


7 months ago I was walking the beach in Holland, Michigan and taking pictures of the passing sail boats, lighthouse and waiting for the perfect moment for the wind to catch the American flag.  As we watched one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen that evening, I couldn't help but think about him and wonder how he was doing.  How God must have been smiling at how wrong I was to assume I probably never crossed Brent's mind. ;-)  God knew it was okay for me to think that for about another 4 months and kept faithfully leading me into a deeper trust of my heart and life to Him.  He had me (John 10:27-30), He understood my heart better than I did, He was accomplishing what concerned me (Job 42:2),  He was my All-Sufficient One and He would "keep me in perfect peace as my mind was STAYED on Him." (Isaiah 26:3)






Little did I know that the boy, who for some reason wouldn't leave my mind or heart as I watched the above sunset in May 2015 would be standing next to me, on that SAME beach with the SAME lighthouse on November 25th, 2015! :-)  God is SO amazingly precious!  I love that He cares about the deepest things of our heart and is so incredibly gentle and watchful over every single aspect of our lives.  He can be thoroughly and completely trusted! <3  Thank You, Jesus! 


So much happiness & joy in this picture!  My favorite place with my favorite boy!  All I can say is God writes the most beautiful stories and He makes ALL things beautiful in HIS time. <3 




"In His time, in His time,
He makes ALL things beautiful in His time.
Lord please show me every day,
As You're teaching me Your way,
That you do just what You say in Your time."


"Behold, I am doing a new thing." ~Isaiah 43:19

Saturday, October 24, 2015

December 2014

  I was re-reading back through a journal entry from December 28th, 2014 and was blessed all over again by this quote: 


“This is how you deal with God. Praise Him BEFORE you are delivered. Praise Him for what is coming. ADORE HIM for what He is GOING to do. I do not think there is a sweeter song in God’s ear than the song of one who blesses Him for grace that has not yet been tasted, who blesses Him for answers that have not been received but are sure to come. The praise for past gratitude is sweet, but even sweeter is the praise of FULL CONFIDENCE that ALL WILL BE WELL.” 

~Charles Spurgeon

So beyond beautiful looking back and seeing all that He has done in my life since that journal entry - physically, spiritually and emotionally! <3 Praising Him for all HE has done and will do in my life.  He is so good and so trustworthy! 

Jesus...thank You! 

~Monica 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hummingbird Story

  Today my brother found a Hummingbird trying to escape from our garage.  Over and over again it continued to fly into the back garage window obviously trying to regain it's freedom back into the great outdoors, but in the process kept experiencing the same result of hitting glass.  If it had just turned around it would've seen the large open garage door.  My brother, Adam, gently picked it up and carried it outside and let it fly away.  But it occurred to me isn't that what we do so often in our lives with God?!  We see where we want to be or where we want to go and try to get there on our own strength and in our own way....and if it's not God's way the result will be a continual flying into the back garage window and ultimately making no progress just like that little hummingbird from earlier today.  I think there could be multiple analogies to today's little happening but I felt like God was reminding me to to just keep looking up at Him, trust His way...trust His hand...trust His timing and not be fearful because HE.KNOWS.BEST. <3 The little hummingbird was scared of Adam at first....but soon realized Adam was just trying to help it. :-)  May I "...SEEK FIRST HIS Kingdom..."(Matthew 6:33) and trust Him and His ways in every area and not trust my own strength or my own extremely limited wisdom/vision.  God sees what we can't, just like Adam saw what the little bird couldn't.  He can be trusted with and in E-V-E-R-Y aspect of our lives!  :-)




"Tis so safe to walk with Jesus, leaning hard upon His arm, following closely where He leads us, none can hurt and none can harm.  Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him! How I've proved Him o'er and o'er; Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! Oh, for grace to trust Him more!" ~<3 




"In EVERY situation and circumstance of your life, God is *always* doing a thousand different things that you cannot see and do not know." ~John Piper 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ravi Zacharias

 As I listened to Ravi Zacharias today the last part of his sermon really struck me.  They didn't have a transcript of his message on his website so I had to replay it over and over again until I finally was able to decipher and record every sentence....but here it is.  Very though provoking and very good!  So much truth wrapped up in these words!  And yes, I did have to look a couple of those words up in the dictionary before I knew what they meant. ;-)


"In the tide in history that seems to be inextricably moving towards so much of lawlessness and unrighteousness and injustice, I draw comfort from the fact that God always seems to bring it down to the individual and He says set your house in order first. He said to Nehemiah take the men and put them in front of their own homes, let them build a wall in front of their own homes first. And I am confident today and I say this without any pretense, please hear me, I am absolutely confident today that if the church of Jesus Christ sets her house in order we will see revival break out in this land, I have no doubt about that whatsoever. And how does that begin? It begins in YOUR LIFE and it begins in mine. So the finger can't be pointed there...as much as it pains you and me. I have to look this way and say Ravi, is righteousness and justice from God the foundation of my life? Is God's voice present in my life?  What a wonderful thing when you can say the glory is present. The voice of God is heard.  I want you to follow this argument: If there is darkness...could it be from the dust of the herd running in the wrong direction? Are you and I willing to stand alone if need be and move in the right direction where the darkness dissipates and the light shines brightly? Listen to the words of Malcom Muggeridge: 'The world’s way of responding to intimations of decay is to engage equally in idiot hopes and idiot despair. On the one hand some new policy or discovery is confidently expected to put everything to rights: a new fuel, a new drug, d├ętente, world government. On the other, some disaster is as confidently expected to prove our undoing. Capitalism will break down. Fuel will run out. Plutonium will lay us low. Atomic waste will kill us off. Overpopulation will suffocate us, or alternatively, a declining birth rate will put us more surely at the mercy of our enemies. In Christian terms, such hopes and fears are equally beside the point. As Christians we know that here we have no continuing city, that crowns roll in the dust and every earthly kingdom must sometime flounder, whereas we acknowledge a king men did not crown and cannot dethrone, as we are citizens of a city of God they did not build and cannot destroy. Thus the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, living in a society as depraved and dissolute as ours. Their games, like our television, specialized in spectacles of violence and eroticism. Paul exhorted them to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in God’s work, to concern themselves with the things that are unseen, for the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal [1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Cor. 4:18]. It was in the breakdown of Rome that Christendom was born. Now in the breakdown of Christendom there are the same requirements and the same possibilities to eschew the fantasy of a disintegrating world and to seek the reality of what is not seen and eternal, the reality of Christ.'  Spiritual leadership is central. Self aggrandizement is fatal. Obedience to known truth is crucial. Responsibility is personal." 

                                                                     ~Ravi Zacharias

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Crusades and Grandpa...

Last night my Grandpa and I enjoyed several hours discussing history...one of my favorite things to do with him since I was a little girl. :-) He shared stories about his Mother, my Great-Grandmother who would share with my Grandpa how she had personally known many cripples and disfigured people because of their involvement in the Civil War.  He shared how she was thrilled beyond description when she was the FIRST woman in this area to ever vote....a story I had never heard.  YEAH! Way to go Great-Grandmother!! :-) He said it must be in my blood straight from great-Grandma that I'm such an outspoken advocate for voting...I wish I could have met her!  We talked about WW1 and WW2...how throughout all of America's history many generations have given so much to preserve the freedom of those here in America and around the world.  My Grandpa is literally a walking history book because of how much he knows and has studied...and it's always fascinating talking with him about anything that has to do with World or American history.  And then we talked about how necessary it is to know history....because not only is there a lot we can learn from the brilliant minds of those behind the greatness of America, but also because history unfortunately has a tendency to repeat itself.  And sometimes, knowing your history can act as a warning and also a guide to those who study it, as well as be a shield to you against "re-written" History.  Immediately after our talk I started watching the President's address at the National Prayer Breakfast.  I'm grateful he read from Pastor Saeed's letter and mentioned how important it is to bring him home...a definite answer to prayer of God working in President Obama's heart.  It truly touched me deeply how kindly he referenced the precious Abedini family and all they have been and continue to go through. (Read more about that issue specifically HERE) But I am also extremely disappointed at his inaccurate mentions of the crusades.  I respect the position President Obama holds over our country and I pray for President Obama regularly...that he would be led by God and from God be blessed with wisdom, discernment, insight, and that he would come to know Jesus Christ personally...who is the One True God and the reason America has enjoyed such prosperity.  But I am NOT okay with history being re-written or misspoken...especially when in reference to my Savior's Name. <3 It was very interesting to watch the President's speech immediately after my talk with Grandpa.  Once again it affirmed the necessity that we really must remember and learn from the past and in doing so, make sure our facts are *accurate* not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of future generations. (Specific info on the Crusades below blogpost)  I also think I know what the next time period of history to be discussed during Grandpa's next visit....you guessed it, the Crusades. ;-)  I knew enough to know that what was said yesterday was not completely accurate and misdirected, but will continue to do more extensive research and then...as always, talk to Grandpa about all my history questions and research. :-)  He is very wise from his almost 90 years of life.

On a less serious note.  When Grandpa was telling me about the excitement of his Mom when she could vote for the first time...I couldn't help but read him a section from a John & Abigail Adams book that I am currently reading and specifically where Abigail wrote to John in regards to why women should be able to vote: "Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands.  All men would be tyrants if they could.  If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to form a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation." LOL!!! Abigail's letters crack me up...she was quite the spirited little lady! ;-)  Now, I do not agree with her that ALL men would be tyrants, but I do think my Great-Grandmother must have caught her vision and well over a hundred years AFTER Abigail penned those words to John, she was the very first women to be in line at the designated voting office in Victor Township in 1920.  So, in the spirit of Abigail Adams...may we as women continue to help the men vote for what is right and stand for TRUTH to preserve in this country what so many died to protect.

"Oh to be valiant for TRUTH in this day of falsehood." ~Spurgeon 

"The light SHINES in the darkness, and the darkness HAS NOT overcome it." ~John 1:5

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." ~Edmund Burke

"Study History, Study History. In History lies the secrets of statecraft." ~Winston Churchill  

"If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them." ~C.S. Lewis

Okay, I will now get off my little soap box.  I just can't stand by and not voice any opinion when history is mentioned in a false way and if you'd like more info on the Crusades I welcome you to read below and/or research it for yourself! :-)

Happy Friday!

~Monica

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There is a lot you can learn from researching the Crusades and although there is some debate still out there about them, I do believe the below paragraphs sum it up pretty well. And if you'd like to understand even more about the crusades you may find THIS article interesting. 

"So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.


Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity—and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion—has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.


With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed's death. They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt—once the most heavily Christian areas in the world—quickly succumbed. By the eighth century, Muslim armies had conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.


That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense."

~Thomas F. Madden, Crusade Historian, May 6th, 2005
Reference HERE