Meal Plan for April 16-22

Happy Resurrection Sunday everyone!  Our church is having a Sunrise Service this morning, and then our family will be hopping over to visit my family’s church for their Morning Worship, and having lunch and an Easter Egg Hunt at my parent’s house with our extended family.  It will be a full and fun day!  Also this week is my son’s third birthday, his 3-year well check at the pediatrician, and our monthly MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) meeting!  And…..lots of rain and thunderstorms in the forecast.  Maybe that means we’ll get a lot accomplished in the house?  (We’ll see!)  Since it’s raining though, I did plan for what I hope will be my last “soup day” of this spring!  Check out our menu for this week, and let me know what you’ll be making this week!

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Sunday, April 16

Happy Easter!  We’ll be visiting with my family and enjoying my Mom’s yummy cooking!  🙂

Monday, April 17

Tuesday, April 18

Nathanael turns 3!  He loved—like LOVED–the taco ring I took to our last church potluck, so I’m going to make it again for him!

Wednesday, April 19

  • Beef Roast, Potatoes & Carrots
    (No Recipe Needed.  Add Salt, Pepper, & Garlic.  Cook in the Crockpot on High for 5 Hours)
  • Rolls

Thursday, April 20

  • Beef Stew (Made from Leftover Roast from Wednesday)
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Friday, April 21

  • DeerBQ (From Freezer) Sandwiches
  • Chips

Saturday, April 22

Breakfast for Dinner!

  • Biscuits & Gravy
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Sausage

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

meal-planner-image

I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

Creating a Space for Guests

We recently moved our two boys into the same room, so our “nursery” became kind of an empty space.  Then, my parents gifted us their mattresses that were still fairly new–and we were left with TWO sets of Queen-size mattresses for our bedroom.  So, I got this great idea to turn Joshua’s nursery into a guest room.  It was perfect timing, too, because for Revival we invited the guest pastor’s family to stay in our home!

Space for Guests

Here’s how we took just a set of mattresses and turned it into a guest room:

1. We used pieces of furniture we already had!

  • The dresser that had been Joshua’s changing table still worked perfectly as a dresser.
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  • The night-stand we moved out of Nathanael’s room (to make room for a twin bed in there) paired perfectly with the existing nightstand that was already in Joshua’s room.
  • The nursery rocking chair remained in the corner and served as a perfect place to sit!

2.  We found metal bed-rails.  You can get these at Walmart for pretty cheap, but we were blessed by having a friend offer some that she had in storage!  They work great!  A headboard would look nice, but the room still looks nice without it.

3. We found art for the walls:

  • This piece was one of FIVE free Scripture art prints that I received for registering early for an online homemaking conference last year!
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  • I picked this one up at a local consignment sale for about $10.
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  • I bought this beautiful hanging last fall at a local festival.  My intent is to use it someday if/when we have a daughter.  I’d love to do a girl’s nursery with birds and bird houses!  It has been in storage since then, so I might as well use it!  (It’s actually a little brighter than this picture shows.  You can see the color better in the picture of the dresser above.)
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4.  I bought bedding.  We got ours off of Amazon and it was here in 2 days!

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5. I added some nice touches for our guests:

  • Joshua had a CD player that was for lullabies.  I gathered some worship CDs they would be able to enjoy.
  • I found a notepad and pen, in case they needed to write something down.
    IMG_9843 - Copy
  • I moved a cute trash can from under my desk to their room.  I can still use it at my desk whenever we don’t have guests.
  • I picked up some treats ranging from “pretty healthy” all the way down to “junk food” for them.  Since I didn’t know their tastes in snacks, I wanted to make sure they had plenty of options!IMG_9844
  • For fun, I made this card and placed it in their snack basket.  It’s unnecessary, but it has our WiFi password on it (something we know every guest is going to want!), and I felt it added a personal touch.IMG_9845

All in all, the guest room “project” cost us under $100!  Granted, we were blessed by a totally FREE bed, but you can generally find good deals at local consignment sales, auctions, or even Facebook resale pages.  Look around you!  You might be able to make a nice and inviting guest space too, without too much cost or effort!

I’m in LOVE with this guest space!  I’d still like to add a headboard to the bed, and find matching curtains for the 2 windows, but I’m pleased with it and feel that it is an inviting space overall.  Of course, we hope to someday turn it back into a nursery if we’re blessed with a third child, but for now this room is helping us to serve others outside of our family!

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Rachel  🙂

 

Meal Plan for April 9-15

So much for last week being “slow”….  I think God just knew that my schedule would need lots of flexibility!  Ha!  Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of things accomplished for our home, but it was still a fruitful week.  We were able to have some friends over for dinner one evening, do some planning for our upcoming Easter Sunrise Service, and we attended a banquet for a local Christian School.  This next week we have my son’s THIRD birthday party (What?!?!?!), our church’s Easter egg hunt, and we’re attending an Easter play in a nearby town.  We’re excited to celebrate the Resurrection!

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Sunday, April 9

Church Potluck!  I took:

Monday, April 10

  • Leftovers!  “Clean out the fridge!”

Tuesday, April 11

Wednesday, April 12

  • Italian-Seasoned Chicken  (No recipe needed.  I just sprinkle an Italian seasoning packet on a chicken breast and fry it up!)
  • Salad
  • Whole Red Potatoes
  • Rolls

Thursday, April 13

  • Taco Thursday!

Friday, April 14

Nathanael’s 3rd Birthday Party!

  • Pizza!  (His favorite!)
  • Chips
  • Cake
  • Ice Cream

Saturday, April 15

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

meal-planner-image

I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

Meal Plan for April 2-8

This week I finally have a “slow” week!  Outside of church, we only have one thing on the calendar for the entire week!  I’m excited because I hope to get back to doing all of my routines well.  With Revival and busy weeks leading up to Revival, I am behind on laundry & on decluttering.  This week I’m making the home my top priority!

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Sunday, April 2

  • Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches
    *The last time I made this I slipped some pulled pork into a freezer bag and stored it away in my freezer.  Last night I moved it to the fridge, and it’s defrosted and ready to go this morning!  Super easy meal!
  • Fried Potatoes
  • Baked Beans

Monday, April 3

Tuesday, April 5

Wednesday, April 5

Thursday, April 6

  • Taco Thursday!

Friday, April 7

  • Leftovers-  “Clean out the fridge”

Saturday, April 8

  • We are attending a banquet for a local Christian School!

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

meal-planner-image

I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

A Desire to See God

Last night at Revival, the preacher talked about Exodus 33, where Moses was asking for God’s presence to be with the Israelites.  After much discussion with God, Moses says “Please, show me Your glory.”  Although God says that no one can see His face and live, Moses is begging to SEE HIM.  So God agrees that Moses can see Him from behind.  He hides Moses in the cleft of the rock, covers him with His hand, and then uncovers Him so that Moses can see His back.

Desire to See God like Moses

At this time, Moses has been meeting with God for a while.  A lot has happened since the burning bush–which I came across in my daily reading this morning.  In Exodus 3, when Moses sees the bush, he was intrigued and wanted to see what “it” was.  God calls to Him and stops him, telling him that he must first take off his sandals.  He then introduces Himself to Moses, saying “I am the God your your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

When Moses hears that this is GOD speaking to Him, the Scripture says “Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.”

Moses was AFRAID.
Afraid to SEE GOD.

Often in Scripture we see the reaction of people being afraid of God, and even of angels.  Since the Fall, man’s natural response to seeing that level of holiness is almost always fear.  Immediately after the fall, we see Adam and Eve–who had previously walked with God often– now hiding themselves from Him.  Mary was afraid when the angel came to tell her that she would give birth to the Son of God.  When Saul met the Lord on the road to Damascus, he was trembling.  Granted, Jesus hadn’t just shown up as a guy walking next to Him.  When Jesus appeared, Saul became blinded by a great light.

At first response, man sees God’s holiness and wants to hide.    In comparison to God’s holiness, we feel guilt.  Shame.  We want to hide.  Even in my own life, when there is sin in my heart–my first response is to close my Bible.  If I’m not willing to give up my sin, I generally don’t want to face God.  And when I do face Him, I come to His Word with a sense of trepidation.  I’m nervous, because I’m expecting His conviction to set in and I know it’s going to change things.  I know it’s going to change me.

So what about Moses?  He started the same as many of these other men and women.  He was afraid to see God.  And just thirty chapters later, He is begging to see Him.  What changed?

A lot happened in those thirty chapters.  Moses had gone to Pharoah asking for his people’s freedom.  God had performed signs and miracles through Moses.  He had sent 10 plagues on the Egyptians, and had saved Israel from the worst of them–via the Passover Lamb.  God had parted the Red Sea to save them.  God had provided water from a rock, and manna from the sky.  Had guided their every step of the way with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  Perhaps it was this myriad of signs that drew Moses to the Lord, but I don’t think so.

I imagine those signs would only further prove the Greatness of God in a way that would leave most of us lying face down on the floor, ready to obey His every command, but still afraid to lift our faces and behold His glory.  I imagine there was something else going on through all of this–something that seemed even MORE miraculous to Moses.  Through all of these signs and wonders, through Moses experiencing the greatness of God, Moses was also given the grand opportunity to meet with God often.

In Exodus 33:8 we see that whenever Moses would go out to the tabernacle to meet with God, “all the people rose and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle.”  And as Moses would enter the tabernacle, the people would watch as the pillar of cloud came down to the tabernacle.  There, the Lord would talk with Moses.  And all the people would worship God.  Can you imagine?  All the people would see Moses heading to the tabernacle.  They would ALL quit what they were doing, and watch Moses–knowing that GOD HIMSELF was about to come down.  And though they couldn’t see God through the pillar of cloud, they were able to worship His greatness.  It’s unfathomable to even imagine myself one of those Israelites, nevertheless as Moses!  Can you imagine what was going on in Moses’ heart and mind during those times?  During that walk to the tabernacle?  What was he thinking as he journeyed to the tabernacle?  Was he expecting God to come down and meet Him?  Or did he wonder, “Will God show up this time?”  Obviously we can’t know what he was thinking, but beyond a shadow of a doubt, I can know one thing:  He was able to meet with God, and through that He developed a desire to see Him.

What used to be fear became longing.  The more Moses got to know of the Lord, the more He wanted to SEE HIM.  What had changed?  For Moses, it was more than just the miracles that every other Israelite was a witness to.  For Moses, it was one big change:  Relationship.

Moses had a relationship with the Lord.  He had spent personal time with Him on a consistent basis.  He had experienced God meeting with Him each time He went to the tabernacle.  God was faithful to Moses.  He knew Moses by name. 

How did Moses respond?  With one statement.

“Please, show me Your glory.”

Moses’s response to God’s presence?  He wanted to SEE GOD.  I’m the same way.  In my flesh, I first come to God with nervousness.  Sometimes even fear.  My sinfulness placed beside His holiness is overwhelming.  I feel unworthy to face such a holy God.  But just as God came each time Moses approached the tabernacle, the Holy Spirit is always there when I open His Word.  He lives inside of me, but my sin creates a barrier between me and Him.  When I open His Word, He’s faithful to come to me and help me tear down those walls.  And brick by brick, as He removes the walls of guilt and shame, He creates the same desire in me that He created in Moses.  A desire to SEE HIM.

The more I experience God, the more I WANT to experience God.  The more I know Him, the more I want to know of Him.  His presence in my life, though met with fear, creates a relationship that dispels the fear and replaces it with longing. 

I long to see Him,
and to know Him more.

Do you?  Or have you allowed your fear to keep you from His presence?

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Rachel  🙂

Here’s a song to enjoy:

Meal Plan for March 26-April 1

This week my church is having Revival!  I’m so excited to get to sit and listen to God’s Word FIVE times in the same week!  We’ll also have the guest pastor & his family staying in our home one of the nights (They’ll commute the rest of the week.), so setting a plan for our meals was a bit different!  Some of these meals will be prepared for lunch instead of dinner, but it’s still so helpful to sit down and make a plan–and at least know what to expect in that one area of our world!

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Sunday, March 26

  • Church Potluck!  Since it’s a busy week, I’m keeping it simple and taking some corn flake chews and some rolls.

Monday, March 27  (lunch)

Tuesday, March 28 (lunch)

Wednesday, March 29

  • Leftovers

Thursday, March 30

  • Tacos  (I think Taco Thursdays is becoming a ‘thing’ at my house!)

Friday, March 31

Saturday, April 1

  • Venison Steak Diane
    *I made this a few weeks ago, and my husband called it “gourmet”!  I knew I had to make it again!  I do replace the brandy with apple juice.  I was supposed to make it this past week, but our schedule changed and I wasn’t able to.
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Rolls

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

meal-planner-image

I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

Consignment Shopping

One of my favorite seasons of the year is “consignment season”!  Yes, it’s a season for me, and it comes twice per year!  Every March, and then again in the fall (usually August), there are three consignment sales that are within an hour drive for me.  Two of these, I make sure to hit every time!

Now, a lot of people love to go check out consignment sales and find great deals.  I, however, always go with a list–which surprises people.  Before I start my shopping, I think about the coming season.  I make a list of how many of each type of clothing each boy needs to own, and in what sizes.  Then, I pull out their drawers, and the boxes of their upcoming sizes, and see what they already have.

From that, I make my shopping list.  I want to make sure my boys have church clothes, play clothes, casual clothes, pajamas, swimwear, and shoes.  Sometimes we need a hat, coat, jacket, or gloves.  On the list this spring is an Easter Sunday outfit for Nathanael.  Joshua will wear the one Nathanael wore last year (Score!).

Two weeks ago was the first of my favorite two sales–the Consigning Mothers Sale in Paris, TN.  I got there about an hour after it opened to the public (because I always struggle with being late), and there was still a great selection!  I was able to buy about half of everything I need!  At that sale, I spent an average of $1.79 per item of clothing, and everything is in like-new condition.  And I scored a few super-cheap family games and wooden puzzles for Nathanael, in brand-new condition!

Today I’m going to my second sale of the season.  It’s a large sale called the Kentucky Kids Consignment Sale.  It’s slightly further from home, but still close enough to make it worth the trip!  (In all honesty, I went to this sale every time, even when I lived 2 hours away…)  I have no doubt that I will be able to finish all my shopping for the boys’ spring and summer clothes!   I almost always spend slightly more at whichever sale is second–simply because I am pickier at the first sale, knowing that I have another opportunity coming up soon.  More than likely, I’ll still spend less than $2.50 per item–maybe even less!

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All of our things that I had prepped for the sale!  I’m hoping to make enough money to cover my shopping there!  🙂

This year, I even tried something new, and consigned my own things with the Kentucky Kids Sale!  It was a lot of work to get things ready, but it was much easier than having a yard sale, or than selling things on Facebook buy & sell groups.   I took all my things to check in on Monday and it was super easy.  By my choice, anything that does not sell, they will donate to a local charity, and we’ll be able to deduct it from our taxes.  I won’t even have to go back to pick up the items!  I can’t wait to see how much money I make!

Do you consignment shop?  What kinds of things do you look for?  I’d love to hear about your favorite local sales or shops!

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Rachel 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where do we draw the line?

We live in a world that is filled with beauty, wonder, joy, fun, creativity, friendship, faith….  I could go on and on.  Butterflies.  Beaches.  Mountains.  Grandeur.  These are the parts of our world that I love to take in and absorb.  They often draw my gaze upward, to the God who created it all.

Unfortunately, our world also comes with darkness.  Sin.  Murder.  Sexual immorality.  Lies and deception.  Pride.  Hate.  Racism.  Gossip & slander.  Evil thoughts.  Sorcery.  Idol-worship.  False gods.  The hatred of God.  We don’t have to look far to find these things in our world.

Of course, between these two extremes are things that are a mix of both good and evil (our thoughts, for example).  Our world sees every shade of gray that you can dream up.  So where do Christians draw the line of what is acceptable?

Draw the Line

As Christians, we are IN the world, but not OF the world.  What does that mean?  And how does it work itself out in our daily lives?  We are in a world where we will obviously be exposed to evil.  That itself is not a problem.  Seeing sin is not a problem, but there’s another aspect of “seeing sin” that is a problem for me–and that comes in the form of our entertainment choices.

In movies and TV, we often find things that are of this “darkness” category I listed above.  Even in children’s movies.  This latest buzz about The Beauty & The Beast has caused quite a stir over a small scene that focuses in on a homosexual moment.  Many Christians are left wondering if it’s “okay” for them to watch the movie at all.  I’m not going to answer that question for you–at least not specifically, but I do want to redirect the focus of that question.

If your question is, “Is it okay for me to see sin?” then my answer would be Yes.  We see sin every day in our world.  Seeing sin around us isn’t sinful.  But that’s not the question I ask when I make my movie choices.  Here are a few other questions I ask instead:

  • Why do I see movies at all?  What is the purpose of it?  For me, the answer to this is almost always “for entertainment.”  On rare occasions, the answer will be “to learn”–Like in The Passion of the Christ, other Christian movies, or secular documentaries.
  • How does this movie suit my purpose?  If the movie is for entertainment, what in the movie will be entertaining me?  Does the movie revolve around goodness, or evil?  Does it emphasize magic?  Does it highlight sinful relationships?  If the purpose of the movie is to learn, what will I be learning?  Will it lead me to or away from truth?
  • Could this movie impact the way I think or act?  If so, how?  This question is tricky because it calls for some deep searching of our own hearts.  We like to think simply about this.  “Seeing an adulterous relationship on TV will never make me want to cheat on my husband.”  However, this isn’t as cut and dry as we’d like to think it is.  From personal experience, I know that if I consistently watch TV shows with sexually immoral relationships, I start to emotionally pull for those relationships to work out.  In that case, my heart and my beliefs are affected by my entertainment.  I also know that the more curse words I hear in the world around me, the more likely I am to begin thinking those words when I am angry (and eventually I would begin speaking those words as well.)
  • What does God think about this?  What does the Bible say about this?  The most important thing I do when evaluating a movie is to evaluate in by God’s terms–rather than my own.  What does God think about me being entertained by the things in this movie?  What does it imply about my heart, that I am entertained by these stories?  What does Scripture say about the things I’ll be seeing in the movie?

Over the years, there has been Christian debate over many pieces of entertainment.  One of the main ones has been the Harry Potter movies & books.  When the first of these came out, I was in High School.  Many of my friends read the books and watched every movie.  As a pastor’s daughter, I did not.  My parents had taught me that witchcraft, wizardry, and sorcery were wrong.  Harry Potter, at a quick glance, obviously centered on these things as the main story line.  So it was an easy decision for us.

But years later, friends (who watched Harry Potter) pointed out to me that I wasn’t consistent with that.  If magic is wrong, then I’d have to cut out Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, and even Mickey Mouse.  And so the obvious question came into play:

Where do we draw the line?

My beliefs have gone through a step-by-step process on this:

  1. At first, I would watch it if it was not the main story line.
  2. Then, I would only watch it if evil was presented as evil, and good was presented as good.  (Example: Batman.  The joker and the League of Shadows were very evil, but were presented as the bad guys, so that was okay.)
  3. Third, I became conflicted, and began to ask myself another question.  Even if evil is presented as evil, am I finding the evil parts entertaining?  (Example: Batman. The joker’s question, “Want to see a magic trick?”.  Many people, myself included, found this very twisted scene to be entertaining.)

When I began to look at my heart, I began to realize that almost all of the things I found entertaining were not something that a follower of Christ should be entertained by.  In fact, when I see sin, it should grieve my heart.  At that revelation, to watch a movie that will do nothing more than grieve my spirit is not something that appeals to me.  I don’t want to watch something that will make me feel burdened and sad.  At least not often.  There may be occasions that this is fruitful–like watching a documentary on Christian persecution.  It grieves my spirit, but it also drives me to my knees for my brothers and sisters in Christ.  It is not, however, what I would call “entertainment.”

With these as my standards,
you might be wondering,
“What’s left for her to watch?”

Truth be told, there’s not much.  There is only ONE “guy” movie that we have in our collection, and I haven’t been able to find another.  For the record, it’s The Giver.  If you know of another, let me know!  My husband would be most grateful!

Here are our standards.  Before watching any movie, we examine the content from websites like http://www.movieguide.org or http://www.pluggedin.com.  We do not watch moves with listed sexual content that is greater than tight clothing or non-sinful kissing (Kissing that is not in a sexually immoral relationship and not sensual enough to cause lust in our hearts).  We do not watch movies that portray any form of witchcraft, sorcery, magic, wizardry, or the underworld (vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc.).  We make an exception for viewing Bible stories (like our children’s movie that shows King Saul going to a medium and calling up a spirit of a dead prophet.)  We do not watch movies that use curse words inappropriately.  I’m okay with proper usage of words like damnation or Hell.  Or even, on rare occasions, the other words for female dog or donkey–when they are used to refer to the actual animal in a non-crude attitude.  I’m not okay with crude or potty humor.  I’m also not okay with movies that thrive on disrespect and unkindness.

When most people find out our movie standards, they are “aghast” by it.  They say, “You’d have to cut out everything!”  In truth, it’s not everything, but it’s most things.  And that’s okay, because movies and entertainment are not NEEDS.  There may come a day in our world (maybe very soon) when there are literally NO forms of entertainment that are acceptable for a Christian to watch.  If and when that day comes, will you be willing to say, “I will completely give up movies and TV for God”?  If that’s a decision that’s “off-the-table” for you, I’d encourage you to examine your heart.  This is the exact question I had to come to terms with.  As of now, there are still things that I can sit down and watch, and feel good about watching.  But even if there weren’t, I would not have to find something that is a “lesser evil” to watch.  I don’t need to be entertained.  I just need God.

At first, in my heart, I felt that it was unreasonable to have to give up entertainment for the Lord.  Then I realized that God doesn’t just ask us to give up entertainment.  He asks us to give Him everything.  All of it.  He asks us to die to ourselves.  To surrender all.  That most definitely includes our leisure time, don’t you think?

So where do I draw the line?  The answer is…..I don’t.  God has already drawn clear lines in Scripture about what is holy.  So instead of trying to create my own lines (like I used to do), I just look for the ones He has already drawn.  It’s not as complicated as it seems, but it does mean that the world doesn’t have all that much to offer me in the form of entertainment.  Thankfully, God has so much more to offer than any movie ever could.  Any pleasure or rest that I could get from a movie is easily surpassed through the blessings that my Lord brings into my life.

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Rachel  🙂

 


Related Posts:
A Heart that’s Entertained by Worldliness
Why I Won’t Be Seeing “The Shack”

Meal Plan for March 19-25

Last week was as busy as expected, and one of my meals did NOT go so well.  That’s alright, though.  I’m not giving up!  I will try those chicken and dumplings again, but I’ll probably wait a month or so just to make sure I’ve fully recovered from the failure.  This week is my favorite Consignment sale, and I decided to try out selling my stuff there this year!  Hopefully I’ll make some good money back to put towards all the clothes I buy.

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Sunday, March 19

  • Leftovers- “Clean out the fridge.”

Monday, March 20

  • Salad
  • Spaghetti
  • 4 Cheese Herb Butter Braid
    (We bought this from a local school’s fundraiser, and they are so delicious!)
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Butter Braids are amazing!

Tuesday, March 21

Wednesday, March 22

Thursday, March 23

  • Tacos

Friday, March 24

  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches
    *We have some already in the freezer, and I’ll combine some of Wednesday’s leftovers with it.
  • Fried Potatoes
  • Baked Beans

Saturday, March 25

  • Venison Steak Diane
    *I made this a few weeks ago, and my husband called it “gourmet”!  I knew I had to make it again!  I do replace the brandy with apple juice.
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Rolls

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

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I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

The Power of Shining Your Sink

On Wednesday I woke up feeling….tired.  I just needed a nap.  BUT I had way too much to do for that to happen.  I was behind on laundry.  The house was a mess, and the boys were unusually disobedient.  And then I realized we were out of milk, because Nathanael has suddenly developed an obsession with drinking “mooook” and needs soooo many cups per day.  And  we needed it for dinner.  My normal shopping day is Thursday, and since the store is a 22 minute drive one way, I didn’t want to go 2 days in a row.  So, I set out to do next week’s meal planning and shopping list a day early.  Once I had that finished I headed to the store and did all my shopping.

I got home and went back to attacking my consignment sale items that needed to be entered by Friday.  I delayed on the laundry and cleaning, but at around 4:00 I was pumped to start dinner.  On the meal plan was chicken and dumplings–my absolute favorite!  All through the day, whenever I felt stressed I would just tell myself, “It’s okay because I get to eat chicken and dumplings tonight!”

I hadn’t attempted chicken and dumplings in over FOUR years, after failing miserably at them when I was a newlywed.  Now, I wasn’t even worried about them.  I’ve gotten so much better at cooking meals over the last couple of years, and I figured I’d be able to handle it–no problem.  Or so I thought.  I started the chicken, and then the potatoes that would be a side.  When the chicken finished, I pulled it from the broth, used a little broth to make the dumplings, and then thickened the broth up.  So far, so good.  And then I started dropping the dumplings in.  I dropped 7-8 into the pot, and then lost them.  Like….they disappeared and were magically absorbed into the broth.  I couldn’t find them in there anywhere!  The broth became so thick it wasn’t even usable.

As I gave up and just left the kitchen, I had used half a gallon of milk, half a bag of self-rising flour, all the broth from cooking the chicken, and half of a store-bought container of broth.  I had failed, again.  Even more miserably than the last time.  I cried.  I texted my husband big long teary text-messages, and he came home and saved the day.

He came home, dumped my disaster into the trash, and then made chicken and dumplings from start to finish.  Because unlike me, he CAN make them.  I have no idea why I can’t, and HE can.  But I’m just going to go with being thankful that he saved the day, because otherwise I’ll just feel pathetic.

We barely had time to eat dinner, get ready, and get to church.  I was 5 minutes late for church, and I was supposed to be teaching the preschool class.  Sigh.  What a LOVELY day.

After church I needed to come home and clean the mess of a kitchen, but I just. didn’t. feel. like it.  I turned on a TV show, and laid on the couch for 2 hours.  We didn’t put the boys to bed until after 10:00.  And then I looked at the kitchen.  I felt paralyzed.  I did NOT want to even touch it.  Couldn’t I just go to sleep and leave it for tomorrow?

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Yes, there was even food splattered on the bottom of my sign.

 

I could.  I knew I could.  But then I looked at my “Shiny Sink” reminder sign and felt a twinge of guilt.  I remembered something a friend had sent me that came from the Fly Lady.

“When I procrastinate, it’s as though I am punishing the future version of me…..As though the person who will live in my body tomorrow is a totally different person.  One who either really loves doing dishes or someone I just don’t like–and therefore it’s a good idea that she have a kitchen full of 2-day-old dishes to take care of.  Amazingly, though, it was always still me that had to get up the next day and face the ugly kitchen, the dirty floor, piles of clothes, etc.”

As I reflected back to this quote, I knew that I did NOT want my Thursday to start off just as badly as my Wednesday had gone, and I decided to bless the me of tomorrow by giving “her” a clean kitchen to begin “her” day.

So, at 11:00 at night, my kitchen looked like this:

Yuck.  It stresses me out to even see these pictures.  I started by putting away all the clean dishes.  Then I re-loaded the dishwasher as much as possible.  I scrubbed and rinsed the remaining dishes, and then cleaned the counters.  It sounds quick to say it like that, but it took me TWO. FULL. HOURS.

At 1:00 am I headed to bed, and my kitchen looked like this:

Ahhh…..  Breathe.  I literally stood in the kitchen when I finished, just breathing.  It was like for the first time all day, I felt peace.  I breathed, and then I headed to bed.  And I slept wonderfully.

And the best part?  Thursday’s version of me woke up to a house that was ready for my day.  I was busy with THAT day’s chaos, which we all know–is enough for the day.  I’m so thankful that I didn’t have Wednesday’s chaos still hanging over me.

I’m so incredibly grateful that I remembered the Fly Lady’s wisdom in that moment, and was able to bless myself with a better tomorrow, and give my family a more peaceful mother and wife.

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Rachel  🙂

Keep Flying and Shine Your Sink!