Tuesday, November 28, 2017

For The Woman Who Has Lost Her Way

David Cassidy's last words before he passed away were: "so much time wasted." I sat and sobbed as I read that over and over. 

How poignant a statement. How much time do we waste each year? Each month? Each week? Each day? Being mad, being hurt, being scared, being sad, being beat down. What a wast.

If you are like me, if you have sat in this solitude for any length of time, you know it's the loneliest place to be: without direction or purpose. Maybe, like me, you have lost friends. Maybe you don't know where to turn and how to pull yourself out of this despair. If you're like me, you got to rock bottom: you no longer wanted to exist. Maybe you're there now.

I shared snippets with a friend today of my past year and my failures. I did a lot of things wrong. A lot. I was lost, confused, hurting, broken. But do you know? I wouldn't change it. I couldn't be here, writing a beauty for ashes story, speaking life over the hurting and the lost if hadn't been there. Nothing with God is wasted - He is using it. His call on my life is for you - the lost women. The hurting women. The sad women. He wants YOU back. He wants YOU to be whole. He wants YOU to find Him in the battles and the trials. 

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. -Luke 15:4-5

If you are lost right now, God is a breath away. Stop. Tell Him how you feel. Tell Him you're scared. Tell Him you're lost. Tell Him you don't know what to do. Ask Him to fill the void.

Now, open your Bible and start reading.

John 3:16

Matthew 26:27-28

1 Peter 2:9

Psalm 119:105

Ephesians 6:10-18

Romans 8:26-27

1 John 4:4

Psalm 121

Psalm 8:1-3

Romans 8:28

These are truths to cling to each day. When you feel lost, pull these out and let God fill you.

Thank you for sharing your stories, your struggles, your hearts. The messages pouring in make me cry, laugh, grieve, and everything in between. You are not alone - we all go through the desert sometimes.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. -Luke 19:10
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

To My Monster-In-Law on Her 60th Birthday

Q: What is the worst thing an emergency doctor can tell you after admitting your MIL? 

A: Ma'am, we were able to save her!

Here's the thing about mothers-in-law: you're supposed to hate them. They are supposed to make your life worse, criticize your cooking, your housekeeping, your child-rearing, and make you feel like no one (including you) is good enough for her perfect, shitting-rainbows, talented, handsome son. Why he chose you is beyond her.

I first met Cyndi when I was 14 years old. I was fast friends with Josh, and her very first words to me were: "so, you're the girl he's been on the phone with everyday."

Simma, sass face.

Q: What is the ideal weight for a MIL?

A: About 2.3lbs, including the urn.

Cyndi got used to me being around - she couldn't get rid of me, really. Being at their house became part of my daily routine. When I started teaching, I would take my lunch breaks with Dennis & Cyndi for coffee and General Hospital, everyday, without fail.

If you were to ask most people, they would say that traveling with their mother-in-law would have to be one of the worst forms of torture on earth. We've four-wheeled through donkey pee to get to a tequila factory. Have you done that with your mother-in-law?

Q: What do you do if you miss your MIL?

A: Reload and try again.

When Maddie was born, I knew it was coming. Don't give too much. You're not giving her enough. She should sleep with you. She shouldn't sleep with you. I didn't do it that way. 

Instead, I got support. And Starbucks. A lot of Starbucks. And butt pillows.

I'm sorry you have hemorrhoids. Do you want me to get you a donut pillow?

What is the difference between turkey and mother-in-law? 

There is no difference: both are the best when they are cold on the table.

I anticipated a meddling mother-in-law, unhelpful and judgmental.

What I got was a mother-in-law who loves me like I'm her own, a woman who stopped everything in her life to take care of me and Maddie when I was on bed rest for NINE MONTHS with the twins, a woman who is unwavering in her support of whatever I am doing, a woman who counsels me, a woman who prays for me, a woman who makes me laugh, cry, spit, swear, and laugh again, a woman who steps in when there's a need, a woman who loves my kids more than life itself, a woman who is a confidant, a woman who encourages me and rallies me when I'm down, a woman who cares for our kids when we need someone and we don't trust strangers, a woman who organizes my kitchen when I move because I would rather poke my eyeball with a dull pencil, a woman who has seen me at my best and at my worst and loves me all the same.

Happy 60th Birthday to the best mother-in-law on the planet. Thank you for not being a psychotic, meddling mother-in-law. I cannot thank the Lord enough for getting you as a mother-in-law. Thank you for being all who you are and more. 
Monday, October 9, 2017

Crock Pot Chili

'Tis the season to make the best comfort food. We're kicking off the first snow of the season with a shredded chicken chili straight from Pinterest. I tend to toss spices and seasonings in without following a recipe, but here is the structure of what we made tonight. Add and subtract as you see fit for your and yours.

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans
  • 2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes (w/chilies - but not for my picky kids)
  • 4 oz can chopped green chili peppers, chopped (optional)
  • homemade chili seasoning (see below)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 24 oz (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts

Seasoning from
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Combine beans, onion, diced tomato, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker and mix well.

Place the chicken on the bottom of the crock pot, completely cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours.

Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred.

Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.

Top with your favorite toppings!