Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays

I don't know about you, but I love my crockpot every day of the year, but especially Halloween. It's always a crazy day around here and with all of the sweets and treats going on, it's super important not to skip dinner. So with that said, here's today's recipe for Tasty Tuesday!

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

1 30 oz. bag of cubed frozen hash browns
3 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 pkg. cream cheese
3 Tbsp. bacon drippings

In a crockpot dump in all your ingridients except the creaam cheese. (PS-I've never tried this, but I've heard using fat free won't work...so try the real stuff!)
Cook on low for about 7-8 hours. One hour before serving add the cream cheese. Keep it on low until it melts into the soup. Top with cheese, sliced green onions, sour cream, or crumbled bacon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Getting Real

As I settled into my office this morning with my coffee at hand to check my email, I had no idea the day that was about to unfold before me. Looking back, it was nothing short of divine intervention that He led me to that one email with this quote in it...

"Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost." -Billy Graham

That right there, slapped me in the face. It was a wake up call to my Monday morning. The rest of the day....well it was messy. I hate to be negative, honestly I do. I want to be a light, I want to bring joy, but if I'm not genuine, then I'm nothing. Today was just a bad day. In fact, when I got off work I sent a quick text to my best girl friend that said..."have you ever had one of those bad days that seem to just gain speed with a thousand little things?" I spent my day dealing with health emergencies, people needing help, requiring my patience. I spent my day dealing with angry patients, yelling at me over circumstances out of my control. I spent my day listening to one particularly angry lady who is well known as a very "Godly lady" in our community, a pastor's wife actually, scream and yell at a coworker of mine. A coworker who's salvation I'm unsure of. I felt my heart crumble as I thought of her perception of Christians be tainted by the second. I wanted so badly to intervene and take the lady by the shoulders and scream stop stop stop it's not worth the damage!! By noon, I was ready to crawl back into bed. But instead, God reminded me of this quote. At the end of the day I can have a good cry if I want (and don't worry, I absolutely did. Ugly cry face and all.) but I cannot go back and treat people with the kindness I should've shown. I cannot rewind time and erase harsh words said out of frustration. God has called me to more than that. And praise God, He never calls us to do something that He doesn't give us the strength to do. So I promise, I will not become Negative Nancy. I will not turn this blog into a depressing complaint story. But in light of being real and genuine with you, here was my day. It wasn't so great. But...the greatest news of all, was my God was my strength. Even in the midst of tough circumstances, unexpected bad news, and difficult people, my God was still God. He was still on the throne. Thank You Jesus.


To say I was raised in church is an understatement. I was not a preacher's kid, but I was the deacon's daughter. If the doors were open, we were there. But even if they weren't, we had a key. While my sister expressed her rebellious bone and wasn't always crazy about this part of our growing up, I loved it. Honestly. The people there were my family, family that I only got to see once a week. Unless they were in my age group, then I saw them on Wednesday's too. Or the church office, which I saw almost daily. Nonetheless, I loved them. From young to old.
The girls in my age group were my best friend's growing up. They still are today. We were a group of 5 who went through everything together. We arrived early each Sunday before Sunday School to sip coffee and chit chat and giggle over our dates the night before. We spent every birthday together. We cried over mistakes together, grieved over the sins of our youth we were so ashamed over. We mourned together over losses, including one of our own who suddenly and very unexpectedly lost her life. They all stood by me as my beautiful bridesmaids as I promised my life to a wonderful man. Without church, I wouldn't have had them.
I also wouldn't have had the sweet old ladies in the pews a few down from me who insist on being my surrogate grandmothers since mine are already in heaven. They are the sweetest ladies I know, I hope to be like them one day. They truly love me, and showered me with such genorosity the weeks leading to our wedding. My favorite being the precious one who handed me a pink tool box full of tools with a note that said...Honey, a husband should share many things..but not his tools...so here are your own. It was probably one of my favorite gifts.
I never had a brother either. But the men in the church filled in there as well. When I started bringing a nice young man with me to church, I can't count the number of them that gave him a stern "talking to" in the hallways after service. Its a wonder he ever stuck around long enough to get on one knee and ask me for forever. It's something we both look back and laugh upon.
So yes, Sundays have always been my favorite. I suppose they always will be. It's the day I get to seek my Father and linger in His Presence. It's the day I get to see my extended family within those church walls. They always shower me with hugs and ask me how the newlywed life is, and I get to gush over how dreamy I think it is. These days are a blessing. Consider me grateful.

Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. -Ephesians 5:1

If you live on the east coast, please know you are in my constant prayers as Hurricane Sandy draws near. He is bigger. Always.