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Not A Cakewalk

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There has been so much going on lately, that I finally feel like I can sit down and type through what I have been feeling and it’s not all good things. Read the rest of this entry »

Life of a Christian in an Adult World

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“Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father in haven, which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
-Mathew 18:18-20”

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How He (Still) Loves Us So.

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Do you remember coming home after church camp in those high school summers and feeling such an insatiable drive and hunger for God? Jeremy Riddle and David Crowder would hang on your speakers for weeks and Wednesday night youth group was the most exciting night of the week. Read the rest of this entry »

As I Lay Me Down

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The moments between taking off your makeup and getting yourself into bed, and actually falling asleep can feel a lot more like weeks, not moments. This is prime enemy time, and when all of my thoughts are running around and wandering, I find it to be so much harder to discern which thoughts are mine, which are God’s and which are the enemy’s.

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Things That You Realize When You’re Not Looking For Anything.

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“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
-Psalm 91:2

I was reading this passage earlier and it really challenged me and I thought I’d share my personal thoughts.

I think trusting God can sometimes get a little blurry as to what it actually entails, what it means on a daily basis, and maybe how it has gotten misconstrued. I mean I know for me personally, that I don’t always FEEL like doing what I should, or what I know I need to, or maybe even what God has asked me to… but I don’t usually look at those types of situations as not trusting God. It’s usually a matter of free will, right?

A friend of mine and I were taking a walk and talking about married life and life with kids (she and her husband have an incredible baby girl), and how it can be challenging to adapt to the life of trusting someone else’s input – especially the times you might disagree with it.

Growing up as an independent woman with a good sense of herself (whatever that means, right?), and a pretty good head on her shoulders, learning to adjust to having another human as such a major part of my life, my decision making and my future, well it can seem kind of daunting.
I’ve struggled with a lot of perfectionism and feeling like my identity and all that I am rests on whether or not I answer “it” right, especially in my relationship with God. Trusting God when you’re single versus when you’re married has to be one of the most incomparable things in life. Now maybe to all you ladies who have been married for over a year, bear with me because I’m only learning and maybe the secret is right around the corner. The decisions I made when I was single affected (for the most part) only myself. Obviously they affected SOME other people, but you know what I mean? All you had to do was look out for numero uno. Make sure that you stayed out of sin and rough situations based on your own actions alone.

But marriage. That’s my heart AND his heart. THAT’S A WHOLE OTHER HEART!

It’s a weird place to be. Because honestly, loving my husband is one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. He is compassionate, he’s empathetic, he’s kind, he is by far the funniest person I’ve ever known, not to mention his good looks cause I could go on all day about those… no he has never been a difficult person to be in love with. He’s always the first one to repent, he always wants peace in our home, he stands up for me and defends my honor, and always keeps me safe. I mean…heh, I definitely scored.

And then there are the moments when I disagree with one of his decisions, and I have to decide in my heart, whether to trust him or not. And those moments can honestly be the most difficult. Because I’m not just choosing to trust him, but I’m also choosing to trust God. Let’s face it, Phil isn’t always right, but God gave him to me as my covering, to follow him and honor him with my trust. And theoretically if your husband loves God and is pursuing a relationship with Him then his decisions will in turn reflect more of God, which is of course, always right.

Now this goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway, if you’re in an abusive or ungodly relationship, and your spouse’s decisions are causing harm to you or your family (in any sense), there are different verses for that. And God by no means endorses women (or men) to be victims. So if that is your situation, please have the courage to change it.

With that being said, that is not my case at all. And I suppose what I’m trying to get at is, although he might make the wrong choice and fail, knowing that he’ll be loved and trusted anyway, makes a world of difference. And me choosing to accept the fact that I am not the leader of my home, and though contrary to occasional belief, I DON’T actually know everything, maybe it will make those moments easier to tackle.

Just Dill With It, Okay?

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Man, I just love dill. When I worked at a wedding venue I had the pleasure of assisting in some of the catering preparation and we made these delightful cucumber canapes, which featured an absolutely insane dill spread. It was there that my love for dill was birthed and I have never looked back. It’s such an underrated herb; with such a light taste that can accent or star as the main seasoning. It leaves your mouth tasting fresh and your stomach feeling like whatever you just ate must have been healthy for you. What a hidden gem. One of my staples in cooking, no matter the occasion, or time of the day, it is always appropriate to dash (or splash) some dill on, making every main entree a starlet, in the limelight of glory, just waiting to be devoured.

Well I’ve been wondering lately, is it really the dill that I love so much, or is it perhaps that I have found something I like and am using it in excess in hopes of everything will be just as good as those canapes. I have known myself to do this at times. To find something that I love so much, and then ruthlessly push myself into perfectionism trying to make all of my 7 or so years of cooking (or learning to cook) add up to my teacher’s more than twenty. It’s so challenging sometimes to see the end result, to know what it looks like, what it tastes like, what it feels like, and yet not have the experience to make that ideal thing belong to me.

It’s like how you can go have a lunch (or go to a marriage conference) with an older couple who have years and years of experiences, memories, doing it right and wrong, and ultimately who have put time and patience into their relationship, and now are seeing the fruit of that. They have a great relationship. And you go home, and have to deal with still having crap in your own relationship and life. Hearing women talk about how they’ve dealt with some really difficult challenges, and how they came out the other side victorious, and really wanting to do the same thing, but just not bring at that place yet… well that can just really suck.

Phil and I had the same sort of thing happen to us. We heard all of this information of how to work through your problems, how wonderful it was to be in a marriage with a man who loves you and a woman who loves you, and basically seeing the “light” (so to speak) at the end of the tunnel of what an amazing marriage could look like – and then we came back to reality, and honest to God tried to apply everything that we had learned and really wanted to work through in a mature, loving, patient and kind manner.

Well THAT sure didn’t work.

We still had the exact same problems, if not a few more stirred up. And we went through an entire week of bickering at each other, pushing out every kind of negativity you probably could imagine, and ultimately being just so confused that it was happening, because we really thought we were going to do so good. And I suppose it wasn’t that we were doing bad, but gathering all of that stuff together and trying to make six months into twenty years in a day just does not happen. And that is so frustrating. Why can I just not be perfect, already?! Why is that I know that I’m just word vomiting all over him, and I know it’s wrong and I know what I’m supposed to be doing but I can just not seem to get a handle on myself.

After a long week of feeling distant from each other, seriously irritated with each other, and more short tempered than we had ever been, we decided to go for a drive. He just picked a direction and drove, and it was on a long road going to nowhere we came to peace with each other and the fact that we just are, where we are. And trying to get anywhere that fast wasn’t going to work for either of us. Really it’s trying to cheat the system. It’s wanting to get to the end without doing half of the work.

So we looked at each other, forgave one another (and ourselves) and released each other to just take our time in getting to twenty years. And since then, our home has been at peace. Dealing with it doesn’t always necessarily mean taking all of your issues and shoving them down each others throats (okay, it never means that), but sometimes it means accepting life for what it is, imperfect and sometimes a little rocky. Sometimes I mix weird things with dill that don’t taste good, and the only thing I can do afterwards is suck up my pride, let go of the expectation that I set on myself to be perfect at everything, and live life a little better. Turns out, it’s much better.

Anna’s Crispy Baked Dill Drumsticks

However Many Drumsticks You Want
Whatever Herbs You Want
Some Oil
Some Salt (I Used Garlic Salt)

So you preheat the oven to 425 degrees (Fahrenheit) and try to separate the chicken skin from the meat
and stuff your herbs in there. I used fresh basil, thyme, and of course dill. Bake it for like 22 minutes and turn them over,
and bake for another 25 minutes or so.

Anna’s Homemade Chips

I Used 4 Medium Red Potatoes and 1 Sweet Potato
Some Oil
Some Coarse Sea Salt
Some Dried Dill
Some Garlic Salt
Just A Little Cayenne Pepper

These can be baked at the same time and temperature as the drumsticks.I sliced them thinly,
and put them on oiled foil, in a single layer with no overlaps. I turned them over when the first timer
for the chicken went off. But they came out a little before the second timer, it just really depends
on how you like your chips. I put them in a bowl lined in paper towels and added the salt, cayenne, and dill just gradually,
and gave them a nice shake to evenly coat them. But you can add whatever you like.