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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Love Isn't Enough

You know those cliché sayings like "Love is enough" or "Love is all you need"?  It has taken me a while to realize that those are completely false. 

Love may be enough to get you through a fight with your best friend or a rocky marriage for a little while but ultimately it is not enough. 

Will love get you through unfaithfulness? 
Will love get you through helping someone overcome addiction? 
Will love get you through a hurtful betrayal? 
Will love get you through trying to remain close to an inherently rebellious teenager? 

At some point we have to recognize that love is not enough.  As humans we do not have a never ending supply of love.  Eventually we run low or just completely run out.  This also goes for trust, grace, patience, peace, faithfulness, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, self control...the list goes on and on.  And what a lot of people do when they run out is give up or just move on with their life.

Well, that didn't work out so I'll just move on. 
He didn't respect me enough or he is never going to change so I will just get on with my life.  
If she doesn't want me in her life I won't waste my time.
 
The common theme there is me, me, me.  Selfishness and pride get in the way of us truly working on relationships.  My pastor once said that "half of the problem in a relationship is you".  We all have faults and moving on to another relationship means you are taking half the problems with you.

No, love is not enough.  WE are not enough.  We need Jesus.  It's really that simple.


The amazing thing is that God fills us with whatever we need.  He knows what we need and He fills us with it. 

 
Today I encourage you to stop relying on yourself to fix a relationship, a person or a situation.  Rely on Him.  I promise if you give it up to Him, He will take it on as his own burden.  He may not give you the outcome that you want but He knows what is best for us. 


And He will give you peace through it.  And he will give you an endless supply of love, trust, grace, patience, peace, faithfulness, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness and self control. 



Trust Him!


 ~Jewels*


Easter Weekend 2014

I hope y'all had a great Easter!  We had such a nice, relaxing Easter weekend.  I am so glad we kept it low key and didn't try to squeeze too much in. 

It was nice to be home with both of my boys on Friday for a change.  We had fun dying Easter eggs!





Friday night we went to One Night to Unite in Wylie.  I am so in love with our town.  I love that all of the city's churches see the importance of coming together and uniting as one body to spread the gospel.  The music and speakers were great!  We went with our life group and had so much fun at the event and at dinner afterwards.

Garrison and his sweet friend, Tyler.
 
The girls (missing some of them)

Saturday we went to my in-laws' and had a delicious lunch followed by an Easter egg hunt for the kiddos.  We also got to meet my in-laws' sweet new puppy, Sochi.  SO cute!!!











Sunday we went to church and enjoyed an awesome service.  We didn't get a family picture but managed to get a couple of each of us with the boys.  This is the first year Garrison complained about me putting him in a matching sweater vest with his brother.  I'm enjoying it as long as I can find their sizes in the same one... even if that means until they're 24 and 30!  ;)

 
 
The big boys went to a Rangers game on Sunday afternoon.  Daddy spoiled Garrison by upgrading their seats and paying for him to be Junior Ranger.  He got lots of goodies and was able to run the bases first at the end of the game. 
 
Notice my completely clean shaven husband.  :( 
I'm SO glad he's growing it back out already.  Love my bearded, burly man!

Garrison told his daddy at the end of the game, "Daddy, that was the best day of my whole life!  Even better than Six Flags!"...Yep, definitely worth it!  :)
 




~Jewels*

 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Words I Would Say

Why do we make things so complicated, particularly with religion?  I have been thinking a lot about this lately and no wonder people are so turned off from church/religion, which they directly associate with Jesus.

I think about a lot of the churches I have attended over the years and I can understand why people feel like they have to fit a certain mold to belong.  Taking that leap and attending a church for the first time takes courage.  The last thing these people need is to feel like they have to be sinless to be worthy of acceptance or love.  I'm not sinless.  Are you? 

God loves us just as much as he loves the addict who has been clean for 30 days.  God loves us just as much as he loves the man who wishes he could control his temper with his family.  God loves us just as much as he loves the woman who was unfaithful to her husband and is trying to put her marriage back together.  How we respond to someone who is broken, hurting or in pain can forever change the outcome of their relationship with Jesus.  How we look at them, how we talk to them, whether we acknowledge them at all - these are all things we must be aware of.  I am writing this to myself as much as I am to anyone who may be reading.  I often find myself seeking the comfortableness of close relationships.  I find myself holding back from talking to someone who may be going through hard times.  I doubt myself and my ability to help them.  What I am coming to realize though, is that it is not me that will help them.  God gives all of us the strength and tools we need to reach out to others in love.  We just have to be close enough to Him to feel that gentle push when the time (His time) is right. 

Accepting and loving others does not mean you are condoning their sins.  It just means you are not condemning them.  Does Jesus not do this for us?  And does he not expect the same from us (John 13:34)?

I am starting to learn that believing in and following Jesus is not as complicated as we tend to make it.  It's quite simple when you think about it.  I love this song, "These are the Words I Would Say" by Sidewalk Prophets.


Be strong in the Lord
Never give up hope
You're gonna' do great things
I already know

God's got His hand on you
So don't live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say


I love reading the blog from the pastor at my sister's church in Houston.  Today's post, titled "Freaks and Lunatics" was particularly good.  I hope you'll take a minute to read it.

How will you respond to the next person you meet who is struggling with something?  Will you share your own brokenness?  Will you tell them the impact God has had in your life?  Will you acknowledge them at all?

"But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, " ~1 Peter 3:15


~Jewels*


Monday, April 7, 2014

Oven Baked BBQ Chicken and Corn on the Cob with Jalapeno Lime Aioli Sauce

Garrett and I are trying to cut out potatoes, bread and pasta.  We are starting with dinners since that is where I love to incorporate my oh so yummy potato recipes or full of flavor pasta recipes.  If y'all are anything like us bad carb loving people you probably had the same reaction I first did when he told me his brilliant plan.  What are we going to eat?!?!  Ha!

I have been on the hunt for some new recipes and this is the first one I tried last night.  Pretty damn good if I do say so myself. 

Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

Ingredients:
  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (I used regular)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 3-pound chicken, cut into 2 wings, 2 breasts, 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs (I just used about 4 large chicken breasts and sliced them in half lengthwise so they would cook faster)
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the pepper, the paprika and the garlic powder to a small bowl. Stir to combine. Rub the mix on the chicken pieces.
  3. Combine the ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and the remaining 4 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon pepper in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan. In batches, add the chicken to the hot pan and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the browned chicken pieces to the prepared baking sheet. Add 1/2 cup of the prepared bbq sauce to a small bowl and brush over both sides of the chicken. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and brush with additional sauce and serve the remaining sauce for dipping.
This is not my photo but it turned out looking pretty similar!


Corn on the Cob with Jalapeno Lime Aioli Sauce

I made a lot of modifications to this to make it easier but I will list my modifications next to the original instructions.

Ingredients for the Corn:
  • 4 ears of fresh corn, with both husk and threads removed (I bought the small frozen corn on the cob and used four which gave me extra aioli sauce for leftovers today with canned corn.  Since I did not grill my corn I did not need the remaining ingredients, for the corn.)
  • Olive oil to brush
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • A pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Ingredients for the Aioli Sauce:
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stem removed, deseeded, and chopped (I used 2 Tablespoons chopped jalapenos from a jar.  It was just spicy enough for us.)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (for smokiness)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese (I did not use the cheese only because I forgot.)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro to garnish (I did not use this because I did not have it but think it would be a great addition!)

Directions:

The recipe I followed had step by step directions on how to grill corn on the cob on the grill.  If you are interested you can click here for the directions.  I followed the directions on the package and just cooked the corn in the microwave - easy peasy!

For the sauce:

Place all the ingredients, except the cheese and cilantro, in a food processor or blender and process/blend until smooth.  Drizzle aioli over the grilled corn cobs, and sprinkle on top with Parmesan cheese.  Garnish with the chopped cilantro, if desired.


Enjoy!

~Jewels*


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Stand Firm

The closer you get to Jesus the more important you become to the enemy (Satan).  I have noticed this time and time again in my life and honestly, it has prevented me from wanting to deepen my relationship with God because I know that Satan will be right there to throw up a trial, an obstacle or a hardship. 

I can remember starting a devotional in the past and all of a sudden Garrett and I were fighting like crazy.  I put down the devotional and things got back to normal.  This happened on more than one occasion. 

I can remember all the lies that went through my head about why we shouldn't adopt Ethan...but that time I didn't give up.  Because God gave me confirmation that this is what He wanted for us and I soon realized those lies were not at all from God.  God showed me through the adoption process that the most important thing I could do was to trust Him and have faith.  I remember constantly coming across this scripture (Psalm 46:10) in the process.


Our pastor spoke about this specific topic at a class this past Sunday night and these are a couple of the verses he referenced.



Some of the most faithful Christians I know have been through trial after trial.  They have experienced abuse, death, major illness, addiction, depression, infidelity, poverty and loss.  And through it all they have stood firm in their faith.

 
I have learned to not be fearful of the enemy because God will always prevail!  Here are some of my favorite verses talking about the power God gives us to defeat the enemy.
 
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” ~Luke 10:19
 
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” ~James 4:7
 
How do we stand firm in our faith?  We put on the full armour of God!
 
 
Today I encourage you to not let anything prevent you from deepening your relationship with God.  He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).  No matter what trial you face He will be with you every step of the way. 
 
I would rather go through a hundred trials with Jesus than none without Him.
 
I refuse to delay my spiritual growth because of fear.  I want to be the woman God calls me to be. 
 


~Jewels*