Welcome to my corner of the world. I believe our experiences are not only for our benefit, but should be shared. I hope you will find something in my journey to encourage and inspire you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Who Am I Trying to Please?

Have you ever listened to the way birds sing their hearts out. They just do what God made them to do. It reminds me to do the same. 

I have a tendency to want to please people. I don’t feel valuable unless I have had my efforts validated by those I care about.  Is that just human nature? We want to feel loved and accepted unconditionally. I was in my thirties before I began to understand that what people think about me isn’t important. Here is part of a devotion on who we should want to please:

“Someday soon this earthly life is all going to be over! And what will matter then?
    How smart, capable, or successful we were? How loved, appreciated, or applauded we were? How much we possessed? How much we achieved? How much we accomplished?
    Will it matter whether we were attractive or ugly, smart or dumb, sick or poor, known or unknown?
    When this earthly life is over, when all is said and done, none of these things - which now seem so important – will matter.
    Only one thing will matter on “that day”… the only thing that will matter is that you and I have glorified [God] on earth and have finished the work that He has given us to do individually.”
Kay Arthur, His Imprint My Expression

    You see, in this life as in the next, we will only find unconditional love and acceptance from God. When I am failing at pleasing people, I tend to think I need to be more like those I look up to in order for God to use me. When I still can’t please those I care about, I withdraw and wallow in self-pity. In that condition, I’m of no use to anyone.

Last week I came across some letters dear friends have written. When I read them, I realized God made me exactly the person I am supposed to be. I have the strengths and weaknesses, the gifts and talents, and the personality traits I need for the circumstances I will encounter and for the ministry God has planned for me. If I will focus on Him and be myself, I will bless the lives of those around me. I still won’t please everyone, but I will bring glory to my God and will please myself.

Along with that realization last week came something I have prayed for over several years. Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit, but it was missing from my life. When I saw that I am good enough for God there was freedom – and joy.

It is time to stop hiding from the world, rejoice in who I am, and just shine. I will need to make sure I spend time listening for God to show me the way to go. I can’t please God if I don’t know what He wants me to do. It will be hard to make that time, but I intend to cherish every moment.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taco Salad

The weather today makes me think of salads. Unfortunately, That's not what we'll be eating tonight. This one is quick to throw together and has been a family favorite since I was a teenager. (Too many years ago to think about!) Change it up to suit your families tastes. Maybe shredded chicken and black beans, or leave out the olives, add green pepper or  jalapeƱo.

Taco Salad  

1 pound lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 15 oz. Can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 6 oz. Can small black olives, drained (optional)
2 small heads Romaine lettuce, washed and torn
8 oz. vinaigrette style Caesar salad dressing
7 oz. Bag Nacho Cheese flavored tortilla chips, broken
2 medium tomatoes, sliced

Brown and drain ground beef.  Add the taco seasoning mix and the water the package calls for. Cook over low heat until most of the liquid is gone. Allow to cool while assembling salad.  Place all ingredients except tomatoes in large salad bowl.  Toss well.  Top with tomatoes and serve.
(If you anticipate having leftovers, serve dressing and chips on the side instead of mixing them with the salad.  Soggy chips and limp lettuce do not make a good lunch the next day.)

6-8 servings

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I've spent weeks agonizing over what to write here. I don't want to write for the sake of writing. If no one benefits from my words, then I should be using my time to accomplish other things. Ultimately, I believe that each of us has a story to share. God didn't create us who we are or give us the experiences we have only for our own benefit. We are created to live in community and share our lives. My struggle today may serve as an encouragement to someone in a similar situation or as a warning to one who is at a decision point. So I will prayerfully put my thoughts into words and trust God for the fruit they will bear.