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.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chicken Nacho Dip

We first had this dip at a party. It was so good, we went back for more several times. The couple who brought it found the recipe here. I've used more black beans and included the liquid with the Rotel tomatoes to suit our family's tastes. If you cook extra chicken a night or two before making the dip, it is very quick to throw together.

 It is really an appetizer, but we add fruit or a salad and eat it for dinner. My son made rice to go with it tonight too. 

I guess it doesn't look very appetizing, but it is really yummy. It has become a favorite around here.

Chicken Nacho Dip
10 ounce can Rotel Tomatoes, undrained
1 pound Velveeta, cubed
2 large cooked chicken breast halves, shredded
1/3 cup sour cream
1 ½ Tablespoons taco seasoning mix (about half of an envelope)
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally or until hot. Serve with tortilla chips.

6 servings (main dish)

(I would be afraid to heat this on top of the stove. I think it would burn easily, but you probably could heat it in the microwave instead of a slow cooker, if you don't have a couple of hours to wait for it.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


What does it mean to be creative? If you don't have an artistic bone in your body, can you still be creative?


 I don't think it takes artistic ability to be creative. God is creative, and since we are made in His image, we are too.

Is there a tune that bubbles up when it's quiet? Are there images that come to you as you read God's word? Do you write about what God says to you? - You are being creative.

When an image comes to me as I read, I try to capture it in my journal. These sketches aren't very good, but it doesn't matter. They really aren't intended to be shared.

  Luci Swindoll explains creativity this way: “Being creative is to find your own voice inside yourself, to identify your own ideas and aspirations.  It means singing the song that’s in your heart, to your own melody.  You’re the only one who can hear it, because it is coming from God.  If you look at this song with your intellect, it goes away because it doesn’t respond to your mind; it responds to your heart.  The mind turns it cold, and it quits singing.  These are the pinnacles of experience that caused the great masters of art to produce what they did.  These personal moments give the greatest happiness and greatest wisdom.” ( Life! Celebrate It)

It's hard to find that creative spark when we are always busy and bombarded with noise and information. I have to slow down and be quiet, and quit thinking about what I need to do or the things that are troubling me. Unfortunately, those moments often happen in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. Maybe that is actually a good thing. I do lose some sleep, but the house is quiet and there isn't anything else demanding my attention.

"Created in the image of God, we are meant to brim over with creativity...
All image-bearers of God were intended to overflow with effervescent life, stirring and spilling with God-given vision." Beth Moore, Get Out of That Pit

So pick up a marker, sing a song, write a poem, do a dance and find freedom in discovering who God made you to be and expressing your creative side.

Psalms 40:3 NIV
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

Monday, August 5, 2013

In The Garden

As I sat on the deck a couple of weeks ago, this hymn came to me:

In The Garden by C. Austin Miles
photo by Kristi Blackwood

At the time, I didn't know what God was beginning to do in our 18 year old's heart. (She wrote about it in her blog post, Changing My Plans). She came to me last week and said that she believed God was calling her to withdraw from the college she was enrolled in. (I was ready to spend two weeks shopping and packing to take her to this out of state school.) Instead she will enroll in the nursing program at our community college in preparation for the mission field. This plan allows her to graduate debt free so she won't have to work to pay off loans before she can pursue God's call.

Change isn't easy for me. I had just gotten adjusted to her leaving, now I have to readjust to having her home (which is not a bad thing). There is time to get her enrolled in fall classes, but not much. It will be a scramble to take care of admissions, enrolling in classes and getting books. I need those quiet moments with God every day to respond to whatever change the day brings with grace and to live with the peace and joy God desires for me.

I still love the old hymns I grew up singing. They tend to speak to my heart in quiet moments. There is a beauty and poetry in the lyrics that is missing in much of today's worship music.