Five Minute Friday | Safe

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I’m joining the ranks of some other lovely ladies who choose to free write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. No editing, no over-thinking, no analyzing grammar and style. Just writing. Today’s word: safe.

Setting my timer and starting in 3…2…1…NOW.

Safe. To be safe. To not be dangerous. This is what I think at the mention of the word safe. The antithesis of danger – playing it safe, avoiding risk, running away from harm’s way. It brings to mind this Jim Elliot quote:

We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the twentieth century does not reckon with. But we are “harmless,” and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are “sideliners” — coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!

I am so guilty of sidelining. That’s surprising when I think about how one of my highest spiritual gifts is prophecy. But, you see…I’ve lost my prophetic voice. I so long for others’ approval, or I fear the danger of disapproval, that I play it safe. I want to be respected, admired, considered an equal. And I sacrifice my voice in exchange for it. I stay safe.

I don’t want to be safe. I don’t want to be a sideliner. I don’t want to be harmless. I want to be dangerous for good. I want to take risks so others can know goodness, and mercy, and grace, and compassion, and unfailing love. Oh that God would make me unsafe.

What about you? Are you dangerous, or are you safe?

A poem for Throwback Thursday

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Earlier today I saw a tweet from BigMama about how poetry from middle school girls are the great treasures of the universe. While I don’t have any poetry from those days anymore, that tweet led me on a quest through some old hard drives from 8-10 years ago. I basically fell into a wormhole from 2006, filled with pictures and writings from my college days. I’m not sure it did any good because now I regret everything.  We all thought we had it figured out back then, didn’t we? Anyway, in the spirit of throwback Thursday, I thought I’d share a poem from those days of early adulthood angst.

Carry My Yoke

How oft I have longed, for the one who would see
A heart so delicate, dwelling in me.
I chase after my lovers, fallen to my curse.
And no matter my indulgence, I am still slain with thirst.
No love satisfies the depth of this yearning
The vessel is parched, the desert’s heat burning.
Broken by my adultery, exposed in my shame,
Marred by my vanity am I when You call out my name.
“I am gentle, I am humble” were the words that you spoke,
“Seek and you will find Me, let Me carry your yoke.”
What is this selflessness, unabashed by my crime,
Tender and patient, whilst strong and sublime?
Once emptied by hedonism, I gain fullness in You.
A heart scorched by wild wandering is wet with Love’s dew.
“I am gentle, I am humble” were the words that You spoke,
“Seek and you will find Me, let Me carry your yoke.”

 

What’s Saving My Life Right Now


Linking up with Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy today (and inspired by Marisa!) to share some things that are keeping me sane through the winter doldrums.

Winter sunsets. The nights may be long, but Oklahoma has had some seriously beautiful sunsets lately. Do yourself a favor and feast your eyes on the #myoklahoma tag over on Instagram.

French Press Coffee. I’m not much of a coffee snob, but there’s something so satisfying about a french press that I’ve been wanting it all the day.

Houseplants. I’m more of a brown thumb, but surrounding myself with green calms my soul. I recently got a new Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (after accidentally overwatering and killing my last Fiddle Leaf Fig bush), and I’ve got nothing by heart eyes for it. I’ve also been trying to revive some succulents that I somehow managed to kill, and I’ve seen new growth recently!

Visits to the library. I love my Kindle, but I have recently renewed my love affair with physical books, and that can definitely be attributed to spending more time at our local public library. I managed to read 4 books in January, and I think that’s entirely due to reading an actual book instead of an e-reader. Also, the library in my hometown smells exactly like it did 15 years ago, and the nostalgia of a simpler time in my life is oddly comforting.

unpopular book opinions

Cooking. I’ve been working my way through my Grandma’s recipe box, and the good eats combined with sweet memories are the definition of soul food.

My new haircut. Last week, I decided it was time for change and I cut off several inches of hair. I should have done it sooner. I now have a cute little asymmetrical bob, and my shower time has decreased dramatically. It also takes virtually no time to style in comparison to my long locks. No regrets here.

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What about you? What’s keeping you together during these short days and long, cold nights?

2017 Goals – January Recap

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Can you believe we are already one month into 2017? It feels like January just flew by, but I’m okay with it. The winter months always seem to drag on, and I think I get a little bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder by the end of them. Truthfully, once Christmas is over, I’m ready for all things spring!

If you’re a regular reader, you may remember that I gave up Facebook for the year and established some goals to pursue throughout 2017. Let me just say that so far I have NO REGRETS from that decision. Over the last month I have seen an improvement in my overall mood, and I don’t miss Facebook at all. And given that we are experiencing such a heated political climate right now, I am certain that leaving Facebook was probably my best decision ever.

Since we are one month into the year, I thought I’d do a quick check-in on my goals for 2017. These will just be short updates, as I plan to write some posts related to some of these goals later this month.

  1. Writing my book – I have been working on this goal in short bursts here and there. In particular, I’ve been developing a personal essay (that will later become a chapter of the book) for a local writing contest.
  2. Training for a half marathon – I’m sad to report that I didn’t do much running in January. One reason for this is that I need to invest in some higher end shoes – my current New Balance shoes are fine for the treadmill but leave me in pain when running outdoors, which is my preferred running location. I’m thinking of getting some Hoka One Ones, but I’m waiting until we have room in the budget for that investment.
  3. Blogging – I have definitely been blogging more! I successfully posted 2-3 times a week on the blog throughout the month of January – which is a huge improvement!
  4. Being present – Since I still have Twitter and Instagram, this is still a challenge at times, but I have seen a pretty big change here. Most notably, I find myself just forgetting where my phone is, or leaving it at home when we’re out at church or running errands. Stepping away from Facebook has definitely led to a decreased attachment to my phone, which is a plus.
  5. Reading more books – I read 4 books in January! Stay tuned for a review post soon.
  6. Saving money – I am so excited about this goal. For the first time EVER, we came in under budget in every budget category! We have some very specific goals for this year (which include buying our first home), so I’m really pleased with how well we managed our finances in January.

Overall, January was a good month for meeting goals, and I hope that consistency carries on into February as well. How are you doing on your 2017 goals?

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Barbecups Recipe – a quick and easy weeknight meal

Barbecups Recipe Quick and Easy Weeknight Meal

As a working mom, I’m always looking for quick and easy meal ideas. There are many days when I’m just too tired to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and then cleaning up from dinner. That’s why I was so excited to find this recipe in my grandma’s recipe box.  As soon as I read it, I realized this recipe was perfect for busy moms like me: there are only 5 ingredients, and it’s ready in 30 minutes or less.

An added bonus is that your kids can join in making this recipe! I wish I had got some pictures of my kiddos standing at the counter helping, but I was too busy having a panic attack. Real talk. You see, sometimes I get so fixated on perfection that I miss the beauty of imperfect moments – like freaking out about my (almost) 4-year-old messing up the barbecups instead of enjoying the activity with my family. However, my sweet husband gently and graciously reminded me to be present in the moment and stop worrying about everything. I thank God every day for that man, but especially so when he can talk me back from the ledge of the Grand Anxiety Canyon.

As I was saying, this recipe is very kid-friendly. My toddlers loved squishing and stretching the doughy biscuits – and snacking on some cheese along the way. Even my husband jumped in to help. Also, not only is this recipe a fun cooking activity to do with your kids, it’s also something they will actually eat. My kids are notorious for never eating the good stuff I cook for them – but they both made happy plates after having barbecups. That makes this recipe a win in my playbook.

I think this recipe would also be great gameday food, too. So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy option to add to your Super Bowl spread, give these barbecups a try!

Barbecups

  • 3/4 lb ground beef (I used 1 lb)
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce of choice
  • Minced onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-2 tubes of refrigerator biscuits
  • Shredded cheese

Brown ground beef and drain. Add BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and minced onion (if desired; you can also add it to the meat while you’re browning it, which is what I did).

Take biscuits and press individual biscuits into ungreased muffin cup, making sure dough goes up to the edge of muffin cup. (I combined 2 biscuits per cup because I was having trouble getting the biscuits to the edge of the muffin cup. That’s why I recommended 1-2 tubes of biscuits). Spoon meat mixture into muffin cups and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Pretty simple, right? This recipe is definitely going into my rotation for quick and easy weeknight meals. I’m planning to round up some of my other favorites to share on the blog, soon. Do you have some go-to recipes that are quick and easy for weeknight meals? I’d love to  give them a try, so share them in the comments!

PIN for later:
Barbecups Perfect Weeknight Meal for Busy Moms

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