"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
~Micah 6:8 NASB

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Healthy Recipes: Cream Corn and Fruit Salad

The second part of Monday's dinner with the in-laws was some homemade Cream Corn and a Strawberry and Blueberry Salad. Here is the first part.

Homemade Cream Corn and a Strawberry and Blueberry Salad.

I made the corn from some corn that we had frozen over the summer.  The first step is to cook the corn with butter in a skillet over medium heat.
When the corn is done cooking, you take corn out of the pan and put it into a serving dish.Then heat some milk and Parmesan cheese until it starts to thicken.  Once it starts to thicken up, pour the cream mixture over the corn and mix together. 

For dessert, I made a Strawberry and Blueberry Salad.  I mixed fresh blueberries and fresh strawberries with sugar and vanilla.  Yum!

Healthy Recipes: Chicken with Red Potatoes

This Sunday, I was so proud of myself because I went to Martins and bought all fresh fruits and veggies - nothing frozen or processed.  The best part is that I was within budget.  I made this meal on Monday night when Steve's mom, step-dad and little sister were in town.  They enjoyed it too.

Chicken with Red Potatoes

In our roasting pan, I put red potatoes that I had cut in half or quarters with some vegetable oil and rosemary.  I baked them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes with the lid on.

Don't they look good already?  Then I added the fresh, not frozen, chicken thighs on top of the red potatoes.
Next, I added some spices, diced tomatoes, and onions
Then I baked everything together for 30 minutes with the lid on.  Finally, I took the lid off, flipped the chicken, stirred the potatoes and baked for another 20 with the lid off.  It turned out great.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Leibster Nominations

This is part two of the Leibster Award.  Part one can be found here.  Now for the hard part.  I have to nominate some of my favorite blogs that have less than 200 followers and ask them eleven questions.  It's going to be hard to choose blogs that have not already been nominated before, that I know of.  Others can also answer one or more of the questions in the comment section if you want to.

Faith, Hope, and Love

Jen is my first nominee.  She is an amazing lady that I have never met in person.  When a normal person would fall apart, she never let life break her faith.  She was so welcoming to me when I joined to board and very inspirational to me when I felt my faith being stretched to the breaking point.

Learning to Love this Life

Kristen is another wonderful lady that met online.  I did get to meet her in person over Christmas and I am go glad that I did.  She just started blogging, but I have no doubt that it will great.

Things Hold Together

Sharon is a great friend that I have also never met in person.  She has been so supportive of me this last year.  She joined our Wycliffe prayer team and I know that her prayers are working.  She also sent me the sweetest card back in November as we passed our second milestone.  That meant more to me that she will probably ever know.  I am so excited that she is just months away from meeting her rainbow.


The author of this blog is my spectacular cousin, Gina.  She married my cousin, Pete, many many years ago.  Her and my cousin have two kids and she is a great mom.

Now for my questions:

1) What is your favorite color?

2) If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

3) What is your favorite part of your job?

4) Who in your life do you find inspirational?

5) Where were you born?

6) What is your favorite song?

7) What was your favorite class in school?

8) If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do with it?

9) What is your favorite animal? Why?

10) If you had the power to rid to world of one thing, what would it be?

11) Why do you blog? (I borrowed this from Stasy because I like the question)

Welcome ICLWers/Leibster Award

Welcome to the ICLWwers. I hope you can enjoy our website.

A few weeks ago, a wonderful online friend that I have never actually met, nominated my for the Leibster Award.  I definitely recommend that you visit her blog.  She is such a strong individual and I feel so special that she nominated me.  The Leibster Award is a blog to blog award that goes to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 readers.  Thank you, Stasy, for the kind words you said.  It is really is humbling to know that someone is watching your life and likes what they see, especially when your world feels like it's falling apart.

Here are the rules:
  1. Display the award image on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate other bloggers, link to their sites, and ask them eleven questions.
  5. Notify the bloggers that they have been nominated and link to the post.

Seven Things About Me
  1. I love musical theater.  Phantom of the Opera is my all time favorite.  I am listening to the music right now.
  2. Steve and I own three vehicles and they are all completely paid for.  Except for Steve's student loans and our mortgage, we are debt free and plan to stay that way. 
  3. I have a twin sister.  Her name is Erin and she is awesome.
  4. I lived in four different states all before I turned 10: Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and now Indiana.
  5. My parents have been married for 32 years.  They are such an excellent role model of what a strong Christ-centered marriage looks like.
  6. Steve and I have been married for 5 1/2 years.  I love him more everyday.  It's been a rocky year, but I think we are stronger for it.
  7. If I could eat lasagna at every meal and not gain weight, I would be a happy girl.

Stasy asked eleven questions that I need to answer and then nominate those I feel deserve the honor, asking them eleven questions in return.  The first part will not be too difficult.  The second part could be a little harder, because I have to find blogs that I love that haven't been nominated before.  Many of great blogs that I read and love, she nominated.

Stasy's Questions for me
1) If you had to stay one age for the rest of your life, how old would you be and why?Probably 25.  It's the year that I got married. 

2) Favorite color?Blue

3) If you were a police officer for twenty-four hours, how would you use your authority?I would arrest people that walk slowly in the grocery store and block the aisles.  Don't you hate when you are walking down an aisle and you can't get through because someone is blocking the aisle.

4) Do you make resolutions every year? Why/why not? If you do, what was your resolution this year?Resolutions are so easily broken.  I try to make written goals.

5) If you could have any talent in the world, what would it be?I would love to be able to sing, but if that wasn't possible I would love to be able to write.  I have so many good thoughts in my head, but when it's time to put them on paper, the words never come out right.

6) If a movie were made about your life, who would play you? Why?
I would probably play a lonely girl trying to figure out what her purpose in life is.

7) Favorite sport to watch? To participate in?I'm not a huge sports fan.  I have started to like watching college football since getting married.  Mostly OSU games. 

8) What part of pop culture do you wish would just disappear?I would love for the current mindset that pop culture is creating that if you not are sleeping around or doing drugs you not "cool."  I have seen so many wonderful former students of mine fall for the lies and are hurting because of it.

9) What makes you laugh?Watching escaping baby pandas - If you haven't seen this video, then you must.

10) What single piece of technology makes your life easier? More difficult? 
Easier: The computer - without it I wouldn't be able to do my job.
Difficult: None that I can think of right now, but I'm sure I will later when I go to use it.

11) Why do you blog? 
My blog started many years in college as part of my college Bible Study.  It then evolved into just a blog about married life, my faith, my ministry, and my life in general.  This last year, it has become a blog about loss, faith, and a place to air my thoughts about living life after loss.  Since Steve and I have joined Wycliffe Bible Translators, it is also our main website for our ministry.

Road to Transformation

The Road to Transformation from Wycliffe USA on Vimeo.

The Bible translation process can be loosely compared to a roadmap of checkpoints. While each language project is unique, this map helps to simplify an otherwise complex process for the purpose of illustration.

"In 1999, we (SIL and Wycliffe) adopted Vision 2025—a Bible translation in progress in every language community needing it by 2025. That was a bold step, and we all knew it came with a commitment to change the way we worked.

Since then we have been pleased to watch this commitment translated into action through cluster projects, computer adaptation, and other innovations that have delivered the Scriptures to more people faster than ever. Along with you, we¹ve watched new translation programs started and the number of needed translation programs drop.

In October, for the first time ever, that number dropped below 2,000! The official translation need is now 1,967. For the first time there are more translation programs in progress than there are translation needs. More people have more access to Scripture than in any previous generation.
While reflecting on the number of starts is exciting, it is also sobering because it means we have more to finish!

Wycliffe and SIL exist to eradicate Bible poverty so that all language communities will have the opportunity to be transformed by God¹s Word and ultimately reflect God¹s glory. Vision 2025 was a commitment to change, not just for the sake of change, but to change so that this life-changing Word reaches people sooner rather than later.

What we do matters; God has chosen us to contribute to the greatest acceleration of the pace of Bible translation ever witnessed by the Church! Be encouraged."

~Bob Creson
Wycliffe Bible Translators USA

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My First Pinterest Project

Today was such a great day. Steve and I both had the day off, so after church we went to lunch with my best friend, Shere and her wonderful family.  We spent several days trying to decide where to go.  We decided to meet at the South Bend Chocolate Cafe.  Steve and I had had actual food there.  We both had the half sandwich and soup comb.  We both got the Grilled Fajita Pepperjack Sandwich and I got the Lobster Bisque soup and he got the Cheesy Broccoli soup.  Everything I had was spectacular and fresh made.  Shere's girls had a great time playing in the play area while us adults chatted.  There is no better way to end a get-together at the cafe than chocolate.  I got a Hoosier Sundae - Hot Fudge, 1 Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream, 1 Scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream, Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Pieces, Whipped Cream, a Cherry, and Two of Our Hoosier Candies and the six of us shared it.  Yum!

Today was such a great day.  I think I said that already, but it's ok to repeat it.  It's been a long time since I have felt this good.  After lunch, I came home and worked out for 30 minutes on our exercise bike and did some house cleaning.  Then I got inspired to organize the kitchen.  I created a Pinterest account several months ago, but I hadn't really done anything with it.  Tonight, I looked up kitchen organizing ideas and came up with this one. I changed to idea a bit based on what I found at Lowes.

Here is the before picture of the small cabinet next to our stove.  We hadn't really used it much, because we couldn't decide what to put in it.  I found something at Lowes that would allow us to put a sliding shelf in the cabinet that fits a small trash can.  Now our trash can doesn't have to sit out in the dining room or kitchen.  It's hidden away.

Here is the after picture.  The trashcan came with the kit.  Steve put this together in about 5 minutes.  He is really good with tools.

 Here is the before picture of under the sink.  It was kind of a mess with all our cleaners just thrown under there with no organizational thought.

Here is the after picture.  I cleaned the bottom and put a mat underneath everything to keep it looking nice.  Up on the shelf, I put the dust pan and rubber gloves.  The white basket holds all the miscellaneous cleaners, like oven cleaner, car cleaners, bleach, etc.  Then in the middle there is an area for the trash bags, Febreeze, and swifters.  On the right side, there is a basket for the kitchen and bathroom cleaners.  That shelf slides out and can be removed, so I can pick it up and take the whole thing to the bathroom and bring everything back at the end.

Total Cost for the whole project: $102.84

Friday, January 18, 2013

Goals for 2013

I generally don't make resolutions because they are so hard to stick with.  Instead, I have a few goals that I want to accomplish.  Some of them are small and some are much bigger.  I narrowed it down to 5 things that I want to accomplish this year.

1) Sell our house

2) Get healthy and get back to my Christmas 2011 weight before my sister's wedding in May.  I joined, with some members of my online support group, myfitnesspal to help me reach that goal. 

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

3) Read 10 books - I tried this goal last year, but with everything going on last year I didn't finish it.

4) Reach 100% of our partnership goal

5)Learn how to crochet - again.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bible Study Theme Verse

Jeremiah 17:7-8

New International Version (NIV)
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

I chose this verse to be the Theme Verse for the online Bible Study I lead.  I have never met most these amazing ladies in person, but we were all brought together because we have one thing in common.  Our paths crossed because of great heartbreak, but together we are looking to the future.  Anxiety can sneak up and destroy you if you let it.  We are blessed because we trust in the Lord and have confidence in Him.  I know I'm not alone in feeling anxious when we feel like we are in a drought.  A drought is when you feel like everything around you is falling apart and that God can't possibly still be there.  It's hard to turn to God when you feel empty.  We don't have to fear the drought because God promises us that even when we go through heat we are still connected to His stream.  We always have the ability to bear fruit, even when we feel weak and empty because we are using His strength, not ours.


The last 12 months have been months of great reflection for me.  This post is me being very open and honest.  2012 was a journey of faith for me.  I saw some pretty dark days, some even in the last few weeks.  I did not get through this year by my strength.  God and I went through some battles.  I never want anyone to think this year was easy for me or that I never had bad days.  I asked a lot of unanswerable questions.  The biggest one was, "WHY?"  I don't understand why Steve and I were thrown into this battle.  We had just given our lives to join the mission field.  Why this?  Why now?  Some people believe that just the fact that pain and suffering exists in the world suggests that there is no God.  Could God remove all pain and suffering from the world if He wanted to?  I think He could, but would we still have our free will.  God could have created us as robots forcing us to love and follow Him, but He didn't.  He wants us to choose Him.

This year shook my faith to the core, but as hard as it was I think I'm getting better for it.  Don't misunderstand me, I'm angry and God and I have had some talks that would my mother cringe.  I don't think God is afraid of our angry when we don't understand.  In fact, I think he wants us to come to Him with those questions.  I hate the Christian platitude, "everything happens for a reason."  Whether that's true or not, platitudes like that are rarely helpful. 

I had a friend, that I've never met in person, described her relationship with God as "shaky."  She was searching and, who knows, she may have been almost there, but now she is even farther away. 
-->Her words "I will admit, mine was shaky before we lost our baby and that loss is really what put the final nail in the coffin for me."  Those words made me angry.  Not angry for what happened to us, but for what happened to her.  Why? Why did you take her perfect baby  when you could have used it to remove a nail, instead of giving her another one.  I don't understand.  God, please don't let her put that final nail in the coffin forever.  Even though I went through some angry, shaky times this year, when a nail was offered to me I somehow always gave it back.  I know that Satan would have loved it if I gave him the satisfaction of walking away from God.  How many other people around are putting that final nail in?  I don't have any answers for them.  I'm walking this same journey of life that they are. 

What conclusion have I come to for me?  There is so much hurt and evil in the world that I don't understand.  There are questions that I won't ever understand until I'm standing in front of Jesus.  I think God grieves with us.  He knows what it's like to lose a child.  I believe that if I walk away and give up my relationship with God He would grieve even more for that.  I am going to continue to cast my anxieties on God because I really believe that He cares for me.  I don't think I would have it through this year without that belief.