Friday, November 30, 2012

Waiting for God Kisses

I wanted to share a little more with you all the things I'm learning in this Bible Study class I'm taking.  I shared last week in my post {A New Name} how we were focusing on our value as God's daughter.  I want to continue with this study since I believe there are many women, Christian and non-Christian who don't know their value and worth. I believe we are really being duped by our enemy and we need to rise up and take a stand.

Do you have a hard time letting God love you??    Did you know that this is our #1 need as well as the #1 command given to us in scripture?  LOVE.   But we can't create it and make it happen it is a gift from His spirit. He wants to love us so completely that His love fills us up and flows out of us. Then we'll be able to Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  That is why is it our "duty" to allow the Father to pour His love into your hearts by the Holy Spirit.  We have to first believe that He can do it and then we must allow Him to do it. I have to be honest, I have had a hard time letting God love me.  But He's pecking through the hard shell and it's penetrating my heart.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  John 15:9-11
Do you know what a God kiss is??  It is a gift from God just for you/me.  It's something He gives to just us. It may be big or it may be small, but it will be uniquely yours.  I shared with you a post on God Kisses about a month ago.  That post was written the same day Kori taught in Bible study about God Kisses.  Now, I thought I was the only one who used that word so it was very encouraging to me and felt like a God kiss that day.  Our assignment that week was to pray each day and ask God for a God kiss.  We were then to wait and watch expectantly for what He would do and then receive it and write it down.  I want to challenge you to do the same thing this wee.

Here is the prayer  Kori gave us that we were to pray each day.

Dear Father God,

I believe that YOU love me just as much as YOU love your son, Jesus Christ.  Even though I don't completely understand that, I will believe and commit myself to receiving all the love You have for me.  Father, would You show me this love today?  Would You teach me about Your perfect love that casts out fear?  Would You give me supernatural power to grasp this love that You have for me?  I look forward to receiving this gift of your love that has been reserved exclusively for me.  And Father, when it comes, please do not let me miss it!  Please make it so real and so personal that I m bursting with love for You.  I'm asking these things so that You may be loved by me in the way that You are worthy of.  In Jesus Name, I pray Amen.

Record your God kisses every day.

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5:

Day 6:

Day 7:

It's very easy to get in the habit of only seeing our short comings or seeing the way we've failed God and get in a performance trap.  Let's just let God love on us this week! Climb up on His lap and just snuggle on in.
 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19
Any feedback?  I'd love to hear some of your God kisses!
PS.  Did you get {A New Name}?  I 'd love to hear that too!

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Becoming Martha


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{20} Quick & Easy Ground Beef Recipes

Most of my blog posts come from a need I have and this one is no different.  I have never been good at menu planning.  When it's time to make supper my mind freezes and I can't think of anything to make.  We raise cattle for the meat so I am blessed with an abundance of ground beef. So I decided I'd make a list of recipes that contain ground beef that I thought my family would eat. This way on nights when I have no clue what to make I can go to this list.  I'm sure you guys never have an issue with menu planning, but just in case you do I'll share it with you.  The first two are ones I've made in the last week or so.  The rest are ones I found in Google. 

Stuffed Peppers

1 lb of Ground Beef
1 Chopped Onion
2 Cups of Minute Rice
3 Cups of  Spaghetti sauce in a jar
5 medium green peppers
1 cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Cut off tops of green peppers, clean out seeds.   Brown hamburger with onions.  Add uncooked rice and 2 cups of spaghetti sauce.  Fill peppers with meat/rice mixture. Pour remaining cup of spaghetti sauce over peppers. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 375°F for 40 minutes or until peppers are tender.  Remove foil and sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes, uncovered, or until cheese is melted 

I made this meal the other night and it was a hit.  It's something I rarely make.  In fact I can't remember the last time I ate it but I did eat it a lot as a kid.

Vintage Hamburger Goulash. Photo by NorthwestGal

1 lb ground beef, browned
2 onions, large chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (16 ounce) bag elbow macaroni
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon garlic salt (I use Lawry's)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder

Brown Ground beef , 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes and 2 onions in large frying pan. Drain excess fat.

Meanwhile, in another pan cook macaroni in boiling, salted water until tender. Set aside until almost ready to serve.

When beef and onions are finished cooking, add the canned, crushed tomatoes and approximately 1/2 cup water; also add garlic salt, pepper, chili powder and mix well.

Simmer for about 20 minutes; then add cooked macaroni noodles and mix well when ready to serve.  Be careful if you add the macaroni noodles too soon, they may over cook and get mushy.


Ground Beef for Tacos Recipe

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Beef Enchiladas II Recipe

Hamburger Pie @ Summer's Recipes
This recipe has been a family favorite for years.  You also can vary this and add tomato soup and green beans instead of cream of mushroom.

Salisbury Steak

 Chili Topped Potatoes

Enchilada Casserole Recipe
Basic Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Easy Lasagna II Recipe

Ground Beef Stroganoff. Photo by tweety3474

Taco Salad I Recipe

Tater-tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

Fabulous Wet Burritos Recipe

Shredded Beef Shepherd's Pie

This recipe is one my daughter in law suggested to me.  She really likes it.  Looks easy enough.

This site contains a recipe to make the meatballs and then different sauce recipes to shake it up.

Meatballs in Marinara with capers

Classic Hamburger
Lots of variety is available for this selection.

Thick Burger

There are so many of these dished I completely forgot about. I'm so excited to have this list!

Do you have a favorite meal using ground beef?  If you do please share it in the comments.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hi everybody! I'm Joanna from Jo Finds Joy and I am so excited to be sharing a fun little recipe for No Sugar Added Raspberry Greek Yogurt Pops! I am a Christian college student at the University of Georgia and my goal is to find joy in everything I do! I have a boyfriend of 3 years named Chad and I am a religion major and a French and Greek minor! I hope you'll stop and introduce yourself!

A while back i bought a container of plain fage greek yogurt with big plans to make some yogurt pops! Well it turns out I'm a little impatient and ended up eating most of the yogurt for breakfast several days with honey and chia seeds. When I finally made the yogurt pops I only had enough for 2. oops...

What you'll need
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
honey to taste (start with 3 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons chia seeds (optional)

Add all your ingredients to a blender and blend on low speed. Especially if you are using frozen raspberries, it's a little tough to blend, so start at a low speed and stop it frequently to stir. Eventually it will all blend together

Taste your mix! Mine was very tart, but that's because I used plain Greek yogurt. The honey balances it, but you will still have a tart flavor. If you want something sweeter, try some vanilla yogurt (just be aware that the sugar content will change!)

The chia seeds are optional, but add a great source of omega 3 (more than flax), protein  fiber, potassium...the list goes on. google it. they're great. and they don't taste like anything. SCORE!

Pour the mix into popsicle molds and freeze for a few hours before eating. If you don't have any, try paper cups and popsicle sticks!

They came out yummy! great healthy afternoon snack or even breakfast on the go!


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Sunday, November 25, 2012

35 Things I've Learned in 35 Years of Marriage

Today is Jim and my's 35th anniversary!  Some days I can hardly believe it and other times it feels like, really is that all?  :)  We have a pretty unique situation since I was 16 and he was 18 when we got married. We had a LOT going against us.  Even our actual marriage ceremony was a disaster.  My husband passed out twice, I gave someone a rose and they threw it on the floor and stomped on it.  My dad and his dad got into a fight on the church steps AND it was the first major blizzard of the year.  I'll have to share all the details in a later post because there is a lot more to the story.  

So celebrating 35 years is a HUGE deal for us.  

Our marriage truly is a gift from God!  

35 Things I've Learned:

1.  Marriage is HARD work!  It doesn't just happen.  In fact I can guarantee that if you live with that attitude you won't have a lasting vibrant marriage. Don't settle for average.

2.  Don't try and fix your spouse.  It doesn't work and leads to intense frustration and bitterness. Then you have a whole new set of problems. WORK on YOU! You're the only one you can change!

3.  Be a Good Finder! Look for the good in your spouse, it's there.  Use this principle when your frustrated and trying to do  #2.

4. Date night is crucial.  You have to invest in you as a couple. Make each other first, not your kids. For approximately 25 years of our marriage we have done a weekly date night.  Movies don't count for date nights because you can't talk.  

5.  Find out each other's love language and practice speaking it.   You may do all kinds of things for your spouse and they never feel loved.  That's because you're not speaking their language.  This is crucial!  

6.  Conflict is not bad if you deal with it.  When you deal with the conflict you build your relationship.  If you don't deal with it, conflict kills relationships.

7.  Fight Quickly, don’t let conflict last for long periods of time.  Ephesians 4:26

8.   Keep your spouse on your toes! Throw little things in your relationship they will least expect.

9.  Enjoy each other!  Let the work go sometimes and just have fun with each other.

10.  Be Yourself! If you change to please them, you won't be authentic nor will your marriage be.

11.  Sometimes you will have to sacrifice your wants for the good of the marriage

12. Make a decision to stay married. Take the D word out of your vocabulary.  If you never say it, you'll rarely think it.

13.  Love is an ACTION, not a feeling. There are going to be times you aren't going to {feel} like loving. ACT!!  The feelings will follow. 

14.  God cares more about making me holy than he does my happiness in marriage.

15.  Invest in ways to grow your relationship.  Marriage retreats, Marriage Sunday school classes, books on marriage, video series on marriage. Listen to podcasts that focus on marriage. At the end of the post I'll have a resource list.

16. Choose what you focus on in your spouse. If you only focus on the negative I guarantee that is what you'll see.  It's so easy to slip into seeing the bad so catch yourself when you're headed in that direction.

17.  Honor each other.  It's so easy to get snippy and short with each other. Treat each other as your would treat a guest. I know this can be a hard one!!

18.  Learn to enjoy intimacy!  It’s made for a life time.  Keep the fire burning. I'll keep this one short to not embarrass my girls! :)

19.  Kiss your spouse good night every night!

20.  Allow space for each person to pursue their passions. My husband LOVES to hunt and I have not always been a good hunting wife.  I'm leaning to give him that space.

21.  Find at least one thing you like to do together.  Jim and I’s one thing is gardening. 

22.  In any conflict ask God to show you your part in the conflict and ask Him to show your hubby his part.  I promise He'll show you your part if you ask and this will keep you from living in pride.

23.  Appreciate your differences don’t fight them.  If you’re both the same, one isn't needed.

24.  Recognize the differences between males and females and how they think.  Our first 10 years I didn't understand this principle and it caused a lot of conflict.  Gary Smalley has some great teachings on this.

25.  Take a trip together once a year, just the two of you. It doesn't have to be a trip to Hawaii.  We've gone to big places, but we've also gone camping which was just as meaningful as the big trips. The goal is extended time alone together, just you two.

26.  Make God the center of your relationship. This happens when we allow God to mold our hearts. We HAVE to have his help to make this work.

27.  Look at the big picture!  The problems you face today won’t necessarily be permanent.  Don’t let your problems cloud your view.

28. Learn to choose your battles!  Not everything NEEDS to be fought about.  Fight Quickly, don’t let conflict last for long periods of time.  Ephesians 4:26

29.  Marriage was created to be team work. Use the strengths of each person.

30. Pray, Pray, Pray!  It's your life line.

31.  Be your spouse's publicist!  Brag about your spouse whenever you can. Especially when they can hear you. They will secretly eat it up!

32.  Don't put yourself in places that could get you into trouble.  Like chatting with an ex on Facebook, etc.  satan is a roaring lion ready to destroy your marriage don't help him out!  

33.  Be careful with who you vent about your spouse to.  You need someone who will be able to forgive his flaws and not remind you of them ever time you talk.  

34.  Don't let yourself go!  I know it's necessary to have dress down days and hang out in sweats all day long.  BUT don't let that be the norm, unless that's how you've always been.  You don't want to give your spouse the left overs.  Give them the best!! You will feel better about yourself as well.

35.  Keep yourself free from bitterness! Don't let conflicts build up.  It will hold you captive to sin.  Acts 8:32

There you have it  the 35 lessons I've learned in no particular order. 

If God can do it in my marriage He can do it in yours.
Jim and I 4/12 flying to Mexico for 5 days away by our self.

Recommended Resources:

Hidden Keys of a Loving, Lasting Marriage by Gary Smalley

Experiencing Christ Together: Finding Freedom and Fullfillment in Marriage by Neil Anderson

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy by Gary Thomas

Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex by Linda Dillow

Celebration in the Bedroom by Charlie and Martha Shedd

The Power of a Praying® Wife by Stormie Omartian

Focus on the Family- Great articles and podcasts on marriage.

Family Life- Great articles and podcasts on marriage.

If you want more ideas on  how to add spark to your relationship please check out these post:

Do you have any lessons you've learned in your marriage? Any comments, questions?

If you've learned anything from these lessons or feel others could benefit from them would you please pin this article?
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