Firsts

September 5, 2010

Today began a new journey for my husband and I. This marked the first Sunday that my husband preached at The Village Church at Holly Springs as their pastor. Ron and I have been going to VCHS for about a year, and they called him to be their pastor 3 weeks ago today. It has been amazing to see the way the Lord has orchestrated this whole process, from us visiting the church, to praying about joining and serving with them, to submitting his resume to the pastor search committee, to them calling him as the pastor.

Now begins the excitement of moving forward. We are so excited to see how God is going to move in the community of Holly Springs. We are not naive to believe everything will be easy, but we do know we have our greatest source of strength in the Lord during those challenging times.

After sharing the news with a friend of mine from college, she made the comment that had she told me four years ago I would be married to a pastor, I would have never believed it. In fact, I probably would have laughed. Not that I wasn’t a believer at that point in my life, but I was definitely living a life that was of the world and living for my self, and had been for quite some time. But God is gracious, and it’s incredible to think on how he has transformed my life! I don’t think I’ll ever feel “good enough” (who does?) to fill this role, but I feel so blessed that the Lord saw fit to use me in this way. I count it a privilege to be able to serve my God alongside my husband at our church.

We are both blessed to have the majority of our family living close by. Because of that, many of them will visit our church over the next few weeks to hear Ron preach. Today, my dad and his family, and two of my former co-workers with their kids came to visit. We almost doubled the size of the congregation! It was great to see everyone and to know we have their support as we embark on this journey God has led us to!

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A few years ago, when I first heard about the organization Compassion International (a Christian child advocacy ministry dedicated to helping children in poverty by matching them up with sponsors) I thought it would be an awesome thing to do one day. I was not in a financial situation where I felt I could commit to sponsoring a child each month. However, it kept coming up. I mean, like 3 times in a week I heard about this organization- in different places. Fliers were passed out at a Shane and Shane concert (side note, I LOVE them and highly encourage you to check out their music!) and both Shanes shared how sponsoring a child through Compassion Int’l changed their lives. I continued to think to myself “one day.”

For the past couple of years, I’ve kind of put that thought on the back burner. Lately, however, I’ve seen mentions of the organization creep back into my life through blogs I’ve been reading and God is stirring my heart again for these children. I perused the website and fell in love with so many faces of the children living in some of the poorest parts of the world. (check out the website here)

I sent Ron a text (because I was at school) asking him if we could seriously begin to pray about sponsoring a child through Compassion Int’l. We don’t have children of our own yet, but I definitely feel like this is a way God can use us to love on someone else’s child, while ensuring they are hearing about the gospel. Will you commit to praying with us as we pray through this decision? While it’s not a huge financial commitment at only $38, it is something we want to commit to for as long as the child needs us, in hopes of maybe meeting him or her someday.

Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Blessings Unlimited

May 18, 2010

I have recently begun selling for a company called Blessings Unlimited as a way to pick up some extra income and to enjoy girls’ nights frequently. It is a Christian company and all of the products are beautifully designed to reflect Scripture. The products are mostly home decor and greeting cards. I invite you to check out the website, and let me know if you’re interested in hosting a Gathering in the next couple of months.

I love using the products in my home, as well as sharing them with friends and family. The products are useful, high-quality, and beautiful!

I love one-dish meals for a couple of reasons… 1. I don’t have as many dishes to wash, and 2. I end up eating a good bit of veggies without even realizing it! I tried this recipe tonight and it was great! With a combination of meat, veggies and a starch, it was a complete meal and we have enough for lunches tomorrow!
Cottage Pie (straight from Ireland :))

You’ll need:

4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered.

1 1/2 lbs hamburger meat

1 small onion

1-2 cups veggies of your choice

1/2 a stick of butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until tender (about 20 minutes). While they’re cooking, saute onions in butter over medium heat, approximately 5 minutes. Add in hamburger meat and garlic. Brown hamburger, and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in veggies and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat and cover for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile. mash potatoes with milk and butter until creamy. Spread the meat and veggie mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish. Cover with the potatoes. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and browning.

Enjoy!Mine didn’t turn out exactly right because I didn’t make enough potatoes, which made it hard to spread evenly over the top of the meat and veggies. It still tasted great though!

Chicken N Dumplins

May 5, 2010

Traditions are pretty important in my family. If my grandmother fixes something different for Christmas Eve dinner, someone is bound to get upset. We ALWAYS eat chicken ‘n dumplins. All of the grandkids help drop the rolled out dumplings into the pot and over the years, I’ve learned how to make them!

The first time I made them was when I was student teaching in Ireland. I wanted to make an authentic southern meal for my host family and decided I couldn’t get much more southern than chicken ‘n dumplins! They really aren’t that difficult to make and definitely feel more legit than using the refrigerated dough from the grocery store! My hubby was impressed that I actually mixed up and rolled out the dough for the dumplings and ate quite a bit of this tasty recipe!

What you need:

2 Chicken breasts, bone-in (you can use boneless, just add chicken broth to the water)

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp salt, divided

water

Boil chicken in a large pot of salted water. With the bone in, it will make it’s on broth. If using boneless skinless chicken breasts, add about 2 cups of chicken broth to the water. While the chicken is cooking, mix flour, 1 tsp of salt and half a cup of water in small bowl. Knead until it is a doughy consistency. Roll out onto lightly floured surface and cut into small strips.

When the chicken is done, remove from the broth and set aside. Slowly drop dumplings into boiling broth. Do not stir. Remove bone from the chicken and shred meat. Put the chicken back in the pot and let boil for 5-10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Lately I’ve been pondering this thought… what does it take to be a “good” wife? Everyone always throws out the Proverbs 31 woman as the example to which we should look to manage our home, take care of our families and serve our husbands. While I definitely think she’s an excellent role model for any woman, I don’t necessarily think you have to have all of her characteristics to be a good wife.

I havent been married very long at this point… a little over a year. I’m still learning my husband and am sure that I will constantly learn new things about him as we grow old together. My ultimate aim in life is to glorify God, and I strive to do that through my marriage as well as any other aspect of my life. To best love my husband, I’m constantly looking for little things I can do to serve him, to create a refuge in our home, or to take care of his needs.

I’m learning that one of the best ways I can show him how much I love him is through giving myself to him. As a teacher, it’s often hard to leave everything at school. I’ve been determined this year, however, to save my patience for my husband. My students probably don’t think I’m as nice as my students from previous years did, but that’s okay, because I have patience for my husband when we’re home together. Working full-time makes it hard to have evenings free of housework or dinner preparation to spend entirely with Ron, but I’m learning that he would much rather have time spent with me, with my undivided attention, than a spotless house or a gourmet meal.

I decided to start this blog as a way to think through different aspects of what it means to be a good wife, and to share ways that I serve my God and my husband. I love reading blogs, and gleaning tidbits of knowledge from other women who have been through similar situations as me. I’m not sure how diligently I’ll be about writing.. I suppose as often as I have a good idea for a post! 🙂 Enjoy!