Being emptied to be filled up again

This morning it occured to me…the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He let me know a little bit of what he has been doing. Why He has been doing all of the wrecking of my heart and the tears for what I thought were no reason and all of the pain and questions of why why why. Today He let me in on His little secret. He is emptying me so that He can fill me back up. He is making me less and less caring of myself and more and more aware of others. Children in poor countries, Women and Men of faith who show them to me. I am seeing that the pain and tears and hurt that I’m feeling aren’t for me or because of my circumstances. It is for them. The lost, the lonely, the sad, the hurt. It’s for my friends who are going through tough times as the man of the family learns a new life from the seat of a wheelchair. The words of a friend whose heart is burdened by the troubled marriages around her. I see this pain and I am taking it all in, making it a part of my world so that I can SEE it and instead of sitting on the side watching it go by, it moves me to action.
I have a feeling this is only the beginning of this being wrecked part. And that is OK. A while back, I don’t remember when exactly, but I asked God to change my heart. Help me be more like Him. Help me be the woman He created for me to be when He knit me in my mothers womb. I see now that is exactly what He is doing. This fall I asked Him to speak to me as I was working through Priscilla Shirer’s Discerning the Voice of God bible study. This winter He gave me a life situation that I cannot imagine happening to my family but I am a part of and am so blessed because of it. God is speaking to me loud and clear. He is wrecking me to fill me up with Him. The only thing I can think to say is Thank You. You are giving me exactly what I want, even though it is hard. Thank you for having so much faith in me.

Wreckin’

God is wreckin’ my heart every single day. I don’t know yet what it is for, or how He plans to use me once He is done with me. But I can tell you this! Each day, as I go through life, read blogs of faith and encouragement, talk to my girlfriends, go to work, go to church, be a mom and wife, life a life of faith as much as I can – I see that God is doing a number on my heart and soul…and I welcome it! I am not sure why I felt led to even Blog. I think there might be 1 or 2 people that read it. And if not that is OK. I do it for me. Or more for Him. Right now it isn’t any big thing. Maybe it never will be. But maybe someday, in some way there will be some other 30-something woman who is trying to find her way in a new place, with a new faith and she reads something here that makes her realize she is not the only one that felt that way. Then, it will be worth it.
Or maybe 20 years from now my kids look back at this and see how much I was trying to life faith out loud, change my heart and my ways so that they would learn to love Him first and follow Him more than anything else. If my kids turn out that way, then it’s worth it.
And if no one ever reads, replies or posts God knows. He sees….this is me, living my faith outloud. Sharing my journey of how He is changing my heart and my ways. As long as I glorify Him then nothing else matters.

My prayer for tonight

Heavenly Father I come before you tonight realizing that when I am feeling greedy I want “things” more than I want You. I put “things” in place of you Lord thereby committing Idolarty.
Please change my heart Lord. Please help me to not be that person but be the person you want me to be. Move and shape me so that I am not greedy for money but instead eager to serve you.
Please help my family Father so that my children see this trait in me and learn also to not be greedy or try to fill their lives or hearts with “things” Instead may we all learn to come to You when we are broken or empty, sad or hurt and have You fix us instead of “things” pretending to fix us.

Thank You for Your life changing Word that speaks to my heart, shows my mind and opens my eyes to the ways You wish for me to live. For giving me the guidelines I need at any time right at my fingertips.

In Your blessed name,
Amen

Verses that inspired this prayer
Ephesians 5:5 and the study notes in my NIV bible
1 Peter 5:2

Menu For the Week

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted Menu Plan Monday but I thought I would this week. I am always looking for new ideas for my menus. I do not like to eat the same thing, or even similar things too often. To me, too often is more than every few weeks. So, this upcoming week, this is what we will be having.

Monday – Chinese Broccoli Beef with Brown Rice
Tuesday – Breakfast Casserole (still looking for a good recipe, do you have one?)
Wednesday – 1 Pot Chicken Penne
Thursday – Steak and Potatoes. Good old fashioned MAN food!
Friday – Leftovers
Saturday – Chicken Nuggets and Jojo’s
Sunday – Ham, Homemade Mac and Cheese and a green salad

I hope you enjoy one of these on your menu very soon. A shout out for Laura at Orgjunkie.com for her wonderful Menu Plan Monday! It’s a great resource to get new ideas. Thanks for stopping by today!

One Pot Chicken & Penne

This is a recipe I have been making for a number of years now. We have not had it for a long time so I decided to pull it out of the vault and see how it goes over now.

ONE-POT CHICKEN PENNE & PARMESAN

1 Tbs. butter
3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
1 – 14.5-oz. can chicken broth
8 oz. Penne, uncooked
1 pkg. frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrot mix
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

In a 5 qt. saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter; add the diced chicken. Cook for 5 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the broth and heat till boiling. Add the uncooked pasta, veggies and pepper, stirring to coat with liquid. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 13 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, or until pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the soup, milk and 1/2 cup of the cheese until smooth; stir into the chicken mixture. Heat until the mixture comes to just a boil, then sprinkle with remaining cheese.Makes 8 1-cup servings.

Some Great Faith Blogs

I have had a rough few days but think I’m feeling a tad better. I have spent way too many hours the past year reading other people’s blogs. But along the way I have found a few that really move me. I have them also listed in my blog roll but thought I would put them front and center here today. In no particular order, they are

Hester’s Heart
Shaun Groves
We are THAT Family
Jonesbones5
The Gypsy Mama
Lysa TerKeurst

I also have a few others that I’ve only recently found but don’t follow them on a regular basis yet. Since these are probably all pretty well known, do you have others that you visit that I am missing? I would love to hear about them. Please leave me a comment with a link so that I can visit them. Or maybe it’s your own blog that is faith building – that counts too! Just be sure to let me know about it. I am starting to learn how to use Google Reader which I think will cut down on the amount of time I spend in front of the screen reading each day. That is probably a good thing!

I hope you are having a great weekend!
Hugs!

Jen

Feeling Wrecked

I’m sure you have had one of those days where you just feel like a train wreck? Well, that is me today. I am not sure why. I’ve been down and blue for a few days now. Maybe a week actually. I have spent a lot of time in my bible, in prayer and the one answer I keep getting is “Just wait, this will pass.” I think God is wrecking me on purpose. For His purpose. Something bigger, something greater.

I’ve been feeling like something bigger is coming. The good season has been upon us for a short while now and I know it won’t last. It never does. And that is fine. With each dry season I get closer to my Lord. I hear him best when it’s barren. Maybe it’s Satan attacking me and getting the upper hand. I did feel that way about 4-5 days ago. But today is different. Today I feel like an emotional wreck but it’s God doing it and it’s for His purpose.

So I will wait. Be patient. Be still and know that in His perfect time this will all make sense. In the mean time, would you pray for me. Pray that I can sit through this being obedient and faithful. That I can use this train wreck to reach or teach someone else.

The Silly Season now begins

I am so glad that today is over. I’m not that into Halloween this year. But, I am partly dreading what comes next. Tomorrow is the Dawn of “The Season”. You know the one. Where everyone runs around like crazy, headless chickens, trying to be more, have more, do more just because it’s THAT time of year. I’ve called it the Silly Season for the last few years now and that is because everyone gets out of control crazy. We all loose our minds and it’s just plain silly!

This year I am going to try something new. I want this to be the Thankful Season. Thankful for all I have, thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, thankful that I live in a country where I can share that Good News. Just thankful for all things, big and small.

I am asking God to help change my heart. Change how I feel and deal with the holidays. Help me see and show what they are really all about. Is it possible to make Thanksgiving be less about food and more about being thankful. Can we make Christ the main focus as Christmas approaches. What can I say or do, and how can I act so that my children and my non-Christian friends can see how God is doing a work in me.

This will be a work in progress, as all life is. The focus of holidays have been heavy on my heart lately and this is just one more way God is molding me to be more like him.

So happy Fall Ya’ll! Let’s see what we can do to shake it up this year!

Flittering About

That pretty much sums up my entire life in some ways. Trying this, trying that. Going here or there. Believing this new things or that new fad. New age, old age, my age, any age. Not being grounded but wishing I was. Being grounded in some kind of belief but not really feeling like grounded was good. Years and years went by. I changed jobs, towns, even husbands. But I still always felt like I was flapping in the wind, kind of out of control even though everything seemed under control. In my heart of hearts I always knew……He was waiting for me.

To come home, back to His loving arms. Waiting for me where I had left Him, so many years ago.

Thank you Lord for being so forgiving and patient. I do not deserve that kind of mercy after so many years of disobedience. Thank you for making me with a God Shaped Hole in my heart, that only you could fill. Thank you for letting me figure it out even though I was so slow to do so.

I am more grounded then I’ve ever been in my life. I love the peace and calm I finally feel. I know that I don’t want to flit about anymore and I’ll work hard everyday to dig in and learn Your ways. Your word. Your truth. And I know that when I’m beginning to feel out of control, flapping in the wind that you are right there beside me. Always keeping a firm grip on me…my flittering days are over.