Posted in encouragement, faith, family, keeping it real, Melanie, moments of truth, Uncategorized

Let’s begin again….

It’s been 2 years, 3 months and 25 days ago that I last wrote on my blog. That post, One more Step, was about the loss of my sister, Melanie. This new post will make more sense if you read that one first.

That last post sure sounded like a positive person had written it.  But, I was anything and everything but positive. I was hurting. Through all these months I wanted to share the truth of what my heart was feeling, but I couldn’t. I tried…well, not really,  but I wanted to. The words just wouldn’t come. Most days blogging was the furthest thing from my mind, but there were also days I had a lot to say. Thankfully I knew better, because I am pretty sure none of it was worth saying.  Most of it was sad words and wouldn’t have been a benefit to anyone…most especially me.

I’ve enjoyed writing for most of  my life…I am not a scholar or an English major.  I am just me, a person who likes to write the things I see going on around me, my life, my family and God.  It actually brings me joy to share my life.  So, when I allowed my joy to wane, blogging was the first to go.  I actually let go of everything that brought me joy.  I could put on a good face, learned to be a great faker. I built a wall, a tall and thick wall.  There were very few that were allowed into the fortress I had built around me…and those few were only allowed at the door, no one was allowed all the way in.  I didn’t want anyone to know the pain and hurt I was hiding….I wasn’t allowing anyone to see that I was hurt and vulnerable.  I was afraid to show the weaker side of who I am.  But, alas….after these years of building a wall I am finally breaking it down.  It’s gonna take a while, but I am slowing allowing people in to see the vulnerable me.

My hope is that in the days and weeks to come I am able to share my heartache and struggle with others.  I want to write words of encouragement and  I hope that my story of loss will benefit others going through a similar situation.  Loss is hard.  Don’t let anyone tell you different.  All of us deal with it in different ways. God created each of us with a unique personality and that allows us to deal with things differently.  My way might not be the ‘right’ way or your way, but I can learn from you and hopefully you can learn from me.

My heart ached aches at the loss of my sister.  It’s been a long journey to get to where I am today….I am at a point of understanding. Understanding that His ways are higher than mine…that He knew her time here was complete.

So, reflecting back on the blog post from March 24, 2015 (31 days after Melanie passed away) I want to say ‘dance, little sister, dance.  And today I mean it sincerely.

Winnie

Posted in Uncategorized

Black Beans & Rice

Here is another yummy recipe that Keith & I have tried recently. So easy to throw together.  

Ingredients
2 Tblsp olive oil (I just drizzle…no measuring) 
1 onion, finely chopped (I always use green onions…it’s what my Handsome Hunk prefers)
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cup long-grain white rice (I used brown…it’s what I had, but I think it takes longer to cook)  
2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed (I always grab the low sodium)
1 (14-ounce) can Rotel ( I used the Original) 
1 cups water
2 Tblsp apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, Stir in the onions, peppers, garlic, bay leaves and cumin. Stir & cook for 8 minutes.

Stir in the rice, black beans, tomatoes, water, vinegar & salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 40 minutes or until the rice is tender. Serve hot. 

This was a hit…not only did it taste good, but it smells yummy while it’s cooking. I added avocado to my serving…why? I’m sorry, but do you need a reason? 

This is definitely a do-over.

Give it a try…let me know what you think!

Happy Monday!

Winnie

Posted in Uncategorized

Black Bean Soup

A few weeks ago I purchased Rick Warren’s The Daniel Plan Cookbook.  Keith and I do the Daniel Fast each year in January and have fallen in LOVE with so many of the recipes. I have been looking for just the right cookbook and I decided to give this one a try.  I have only tried 2 recipes, the first isn’t worth mentioning!  But the 2nd, Spicy Black Bean Soup w/Lime & Cilantro…it’s blog post worthy!



Here is the recipe:

1 Tblsp EVOO
1 Tblsp minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded & minced
1 large red onion (I used green onions because that is the only kind Keith will eat!)
1 large tomato, seeded & diced
1 Tblsp chili powder
1 Tblsp cumin
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
2 tsp fresh oregano
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed (you can use dried beans, will need to cook longer though)
2 14 oz cans vegetable broth
1 lime cut into wedges
1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil, add garlic, jaapeno, and onion.  Saute till tender.  Add the tomato and cook another 5 minutes

Add chili powder, cumin, bay leaf, chipotle powder, oregano, black beans and vegetable broth. Stir, bring to boil, reduce heat to allow simmering for about 10 minutes

Remove the bay leaf. Serve it up…sprinkle some cilantro and squeeze some lime over it. Yummy

We ate the soup as is, but you can puree it in a blender if you prefer it that way.

Ummmm, wonderful soup!  It’s on a our list of do overs!  But, it is spicy, so if you don’t prefer spicy, you might want to leave out the jalapeño.

I recommend the cookbook, there are so many recipes that I am looking forward to testing. Next up, is the Herbed Turkey Burgers. Here’s hoping I can swallow ground turkey…it just doesn’t sound appetizing!  But, I’m willing to give it a try…..I hope!

Enjoy!

Have a happy Monday!

Winnie

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Faith Confessions from Sun Stand Still

Steven Furtick’s devotional, Sun Stand Still, has been my morning read for the last few months.  I have learned so much about what audacious faith can look like in my life. Bold faith has changed how I see myself and gives me more confidence to believe what God can do in and through me. 

In a recent morning devotion, he included 12 Faith Confessions and I wanted to share them. You can also go here to watch a 12 Faith Confessions video on Steven’s blog. 

  1. I am fully forgiven and free from all shame and condemnation (Romans 8:1-2, Ephesians 1:7-8, 1 John 1:9) 
  2. I act in audacious faith to change the world in my generation (Joshua 10:12-14, John 14:12)
  3. I have no fear or anxiety; I trust in the Lord with all of my heart (Proverbs 3:5-6, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7)
  4. I am able to fulfill the calling God has placed on my life (Exodus 3:9-12, Psalm 57:2, Colossians 1:24-29)
  5. I am fully resourced to do everything God has called me to do (Deuteronomy 8:18, Luke 6:38, Philippians 4:13)
  6. I have no insecurity, because I see myself the way God sees me (Genesis 1:26-27, Psalm 139:13-16, Ephesians 5:25-27)
  7. I am a faithful spouse and a godly parent-our family is blessed (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Ephesians 5:22-25, Colossians 3:18-19, 1 Peter 3:1-7)
  8. I am completely whole-physically, mentally and emotionally (Psalm 103:1-5, Matthew 8:16-17, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Peter 2:24)
  9. I am increasing in influence and favor the kingdom of God (Genesis 45:4-8, 1 Samuel 2:26, Acts 2:37-47)
  10. I am enabled to walk in the sacrificial love of Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, 1 John 3:16; 4:9-12)
  11. I have the wisdom of the Lord concerning every decision I make (2 Chronicles 1:7-12, Proverbs 2:6, Ecclesiastes 2:26, James 1:5)
  12. I am protected from all harm and evil in Jesus’ name (Genesis 50:20, Psalm 3:1-3, 2 Thessalonians 3:2-3)

I am going to post this on my bathroom mirror so I see them everyday! 

If you are looking for a  new devotional, I recommend Sun Stand Still.  I am almost through, but I am going to do it again! 

Dare to believe God for the impossible!

Winnie