Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Putting In The Right Stuff

On Monday I took our fourteen yr. old to his first day of high school world view class. Wow! It's exciting, yet startling. Exciting, because he is beginning a new stage in life and gaining an invaluable learning experience. Startling, because I can't believe he is already in high school! I have been asking myself lately, "Have we been putting in the right stuff? Will he know all he needs to know to face the future?"

You know, I've heard it said that after they start driving, "It's all over!" Wow, that means I'd better hurry . . . he's about to turn 15!

I am keeping my eyes peeled for teaching opportunities such as, washing and cooking skills, to good work ethics and decision making skills.

So I ask you, "Are you putting in the right stuff right now?" Together let's ask God to remind us of what that is . . the stuff that really matters most.

With eyes peeled,


Monday, August 24, 2009

Whatcha Got Cookin'?

I come from a family of cooks-Good cooks I might add! Thanksgiving dressing was one of my Granny Young's specialties. My Granny Grace made a Milky Way Cake that was out of this world! Lovejoy's on Main Street is a wonderful shop and restaurant in Whitesboro, Texas, which is owned by Hank and Rita Lovejoy . . . you guessed it . . . my parents! They are known for many things at Lovejoy's (homemade soups, salads and sandwiches), but one of the most popular items on the menu is their German Chocolate Bread Pudding! Add to that, both aunts on both sides of the family are incredible cooks—one even owned her own catering business. And you're not going to believe it, but it gets worse. My brother married a gourmet chef and together they provide personal chef services! Lesa, my sister-in-law, doesn't make anything ordinary . . . When she serves a meal, it becomes extraordinary! She is truly one of the best cooks I know.

I say all this to let you know the pressure I was under when I decided to cook. Many times I allowed myself to feel that I didn't measure up. I wasn't organized enough. (So much for our "Contentment" talk!) I didn't have all the ingredients I needed when I did decide to cook. Or, much of the time, I was just too plain-tired to cook. So, too often, my suggestion to my husband was, "Let's go out to eat!" Not only was this an expensive suggestion, after a while, it became a self-defeating suggestion. I wanted to cook for my family. I knew I needed to set a good example for my children and teach them to cook. I desired to be home to eat together, but I just wasn't very good at juggling all my responsibilities and getting a healthy dinner on the table on a consistent basis. "Why can't I do this?" I would ask myself. "My mom did it all the time and made it look so easy!"

One day my husband suggested I take a look at a website a co-worker had found, When he told me that Dave Ramsey endorsed the program, I thought, "Oh, great! 7 creative ways to prepare rice and beans! This sounds fun!" At first, I have to admit, my feelings were a little hurt. I knew I wasn't doing the best job in the area of meal preparation, but I didn't want my husband to suggest I needed help. "The kitchen is my domain . . . right?"

Reluctantly, I decided to take a look. But to my surprise and delight, I discovered that not only did E-Mealz offer 7 meal recipes and the preparation instructions to go with them, but also a categorized grocery list mapped out for the aisles of my favorite store. Wow! I was sold immediately! This was my answer to my meal-time woes.

We have been using this meal preparation program for several months, and it has literally changed my way of thinking about cooking at home. I no longer dread making dinner. My children are very involved in meal preparation now. It has allowed me to be hospitable in a moment's notice, not wondering if I had all the ingredients I needed. We eat at home much more than we did before, and I feel that I'm providing for my family, like I always wanted to. What a wonderful feeling . . . sanity is back!

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH E-MEALZ MEAL PLANSOne of the things we want to do at Mom and Loving It is to pass on practical, helpful tips when we come across them. This is one we feel strongly about passing on to you!

Ladies, maybe you feel overwhelmed and defeated in this area much like I did. We want to encourage you. You can do it! Take a look at E-Mealz and then let us know what it does for your family!

Dear Lord,
Thank You for our daily bread. Now grant me the will, wisdom, and ability to prepare it for my family with strength and dignity, like the woman of Proverbs 31 (vv. 15, 25-27). In Jesus' name, Amen....Dig in!

Mealtime blessings!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Calladiums by Davis

"Davis, we need to plant these." I held the pot of calladiums high for him to see. He frowned and I waited for what has become a little too familiar...complaining - whining about things I ask him to do. Sure enough it started: "No, mom. I don't want to." I put on my serious face and said, "You really need to stop arguing when I ask you to do something. We're all part of this family so you need to do your part!"
He looked at me and said, "But, mom, I made that pot." Ah-ha! Now I got it. He wasn't fussing about planting the calladiums, he was upset about burying his pot. I assured him that I loved his pot, too, and wouldn't dare hide it in the ground...just the calladiums.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Get Busy Resting

Moms seldom sit. It seems there’s always a mess to clean up, dishes to wash, dinner to cook, laundry to wash, dry, fold, iron, put away…and never mind any responsibilities outside the home! Moms have little time to sit and rest.

But, we’re supposed to. We know it. Bewildered by the absurdity of when and how to rest, we keep toiling, striving, trying to get it all done – only to find that it never ends.

Yet, we’re supposed to rest. We know it. God must have meant for us to take a break in the midst of the chaos. What does that look like?

When the kids ask 45 questions in the car, we can breathe a prayer asking God to help us answer patiently. While stirring a pot, we can be still and know that He is there. When worry invades our thoughts as deadlines loom, our eyes can move from the pressure, to focus on Jesus – our helper, sustainer, and strength.

I’m not at the end of this lesson - looking back. I’m a work in progress. But, I (Sharon) am on the journey, learning how to rest, not just by taking a load off in the nearest chair. I'm beginning to rest in Him - the author of my days.

Won’t you join me? We were never meant to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. In the middle of our circumstances, we can find rest in His arms.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28