Tag Archives: transformation

O Holy Night

24 Dec

~ O Holy Night~
“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn”. Hope, our great hope in Jesus Christ who came to the world in the most humble and lowly ways to be our sin bearer and to give us hope (Google Jesus and hope). When there seems to be nothing left to give, feel, or even take-we still have our hope in Christ and Christ alone. His mercies are new every single day! Amen!
“Chains shall He break,for the slave is our brother. And in His name all oppression shall cease”. He came to break the bondage of sin and Satan’s hold on us. There is a constant struggle of things that can hold us in bondage-grief, food, drugs, alcohol, p*rn, and just about anything else you can think of of this world. “For the slave is my brother” With Christ, you see a brother or sister in place where you might of just seen a prostitute, a drug addict, a beggar, a Muslim or Jew, or any other undesirable or different beliefed person we live among. To love them, so that even if they don’t seek or know Him, they will recognize Him in us.. Oppression of worldliness will no longer weigh me down in spirit and will cease to have any hold on my life.
Our Savior came to be the light of the world (John 8:12) and to save us from sin (Matthew 1:21). Rejoice with greatness and gladness that our Savior lives and our Savior brings with Him hope and life.

Merry Christmas. May you be filled with renewed wonder about the babe in the manger who came to live among us and die for us.
I leave you with a few versions of my favorite song-take a minute to really hear the lyrics and see how it resonates in your soul.
http://youtu.be/4Zh-yR0pbmU
http://youtu.be/lKSknasrE3k

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca

“Image courtesy of [dan] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Let’s be Pinterest friends!

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

Helping Those who are Grieving

16 Dec

The Christmas season, for most, evokes a feeling of nostalgia, warmth, and joy but for others it can be a time of great sadness.  Whether an extended illness, a family break up, or the death of a loved one, the holidays can be tough to get through.  Friends and family are quick to gather together to show love and support in the midst of the trial, but with time, we all resume our regular lives and fall back into our normal routines.

Let’s be honest, it is extremely awkward to bring up someone’s grief.  The truth is, is that the grief is there it just isn’t as visible as it once was and that is what makes it so uncomfortable to acknowledge.  Here are a few ways to help our friends and family through the hard times.  You just might find yourself being blessed in the process!

Find practical ways to be there for them such as bringing a meal or house cleaning.  Even in grief people sometimes have a hard time asking for help.  Ask, “What day next week is best for me to drop off a meal?” that allows you to help without having to be asked.  A hot meal, a clean home, and a good night’s rest is great medicine for the soul.

Send a card or note in the mail letting them know that you are thinking of them especially  during the holidays, anniversaries, or any other personal milestone.  It will make them feel good knowing someone remembers and that those days are still special and important.

Most importantly pray for them and let them know that you did.  We were never meant to carry our burdens alone-Galatians 6:2 tells us to, “Carry each another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

How do you bless those who are grieving? I would love to hear from you.

I pray this Christmas season has you in awe of the baby in the humble manger who came to give everlasting life.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

Let’s be Pinterest friends!

“Image courtesy of [Theeradech Sanin] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

 

 

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

The Weather Outside is Frightful but the Beef Stew is so Delightful……

5 Dec

The temperature here has dipped below zero. Being a hearty Minnesotan I should be well seasoned to the brutal winter cold. “Should” being the key word, LOL! Besides wanting to scoop up my babies and curl under a nice warm blanket, nothing seems to warm you up better than a nice hearty, steamin’ bowl (or two) of beef stew. This is a recipe that I have adapted over the years to change with my growing family and their ever changing taste buds. This is a meal everyone in my family gets excited about. No grumbling and empty plates at the table, a mama’s dream:) Also, easy on the budget! With a few fillers like rice and bread you can easily stretch this meal to feed more without spending more. I can definitely appreciate that!

To get started, grab a gallon size Ziploc bag, 1 Cup all purpose flour,
1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp black pepper. Place flour
and all the spices in the Ziploc bag and give it a good shake to mix
flour and spices well. Set aside, you’ll need this in a few minutes.
Thinly slice 2 large onions, 4 cloves of garlic and 2 carrots.
In a large pan or pot heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over
medium-high heat. When pan is hot add your chopped
veggies. Cook 5-8 minutes or until veggies are tender
stirring occasionally.
While veggies are cooking heat 1 1/2 Cups of water and one
beef bullion cube to a boil. Turn heat off as soon as the water
starts to boil and give it a stir. The bouillon cube should
melt into the boiling water. You will need this to make a
little broth for your beef stew. You can absolutely save a step
and used canned beef or vegetable broth.
I am using 1 1/2 pounds stew meat. I usually end up cutting
each piece of stew meat into bite size pieces and cutting off
excess fat (but not all, some fat is good and with the length
we will be cooking the stew the extra fat will just melt into
stew giving it added flavor). Once your stew is cut to desired
pieces, go ahead and put half of it in your Ziploc bag and
give it a good shake to coat each piece .
Veggies are done when they are soft and the onions are translucent.
Remove from pan and set aside.  Once veggies are removed
add 2-3 more Tablespoons of olive oil in pan and bring back
up to medium-high heat.
When pan is hot again start adding your stew meat. You might
have to do this in 2 shifts. Brown stew meat well on both
sides.  Coating the meat in the flour mixture helps not only
to brown the meat and add flavor but it will also be the thickener
to the stew.
When all the stew meat is browned add to the veggies back in,
one small 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and the beef broth.
Stir well. Cover and reduce heat to medium- low. Cook 4-6 hours
stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning to your taste. If the
stew is starting to look too thick add more liquids, I usually just add water.
Cooking low and slow helps tenderize the meat and to
really let all the wonderful flavors develop. The onions, carrots
and garlic will actually melt into the stew leaving behind
their delicious flavors.
Almost finished!
When you have about 1 hour left of cooking you are going to
add 1-2 cans cut green beans (use fresh if you prefer, grocery
store did not have good looking fresh beans) and 2-3 chopped
carrots (use canned if preferred). Cover and continue to cook
until the veggies are tender.  Taste your stew occasionally to
adjust the spices to your taste.
We like to serve ours over some white rice. And for a special
touch we sometimes (OK, more like every time) serve crispy homemade french fries
over the top.

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
1 gallon size Ziploc bag
1 Cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
2 large onions, thinly sliced
4-5 carrots separated, peeled and chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
olive oil
1 beef bouillon cube or 1 can beef or vegetable broth
1-8 ounce can of tomato sauce
1-2 cans of cut green beans or 2 Cups fresh green beans

Directions
*In Ziploc bag combine flour, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Set aside.
*Thinly chop 2 large onions, 2 carrots and the garlic. Add 1-2 Tablespoons
olive oil to large pot or pan and heat to medium-high heat. Add the chopped veggies
and cook 5-8 minutes or until veggies are tender. Remove from pan.
*While veggies are cooking prep your stew meat, cutting the pieces into smaller
bite size pieces. Place stew meat in Ziploc bag an give it a good shake to coat the meat.
Add 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil in your pot or pan and heat over med-high heat.
Add the stew meat and brown well on both sides.
*While meat browns heat 1 1/2 Cups water and one bouillon cube to a boil,
turn off heat and let the bouillon cube dissolve (skip this step if you are using
canned broth).
*When meat is browned, add back your cooked veggies, broth, and tomato
sauce. Stir, cover and turn heat down to med-low. *Cook low and slow 4-6 hours stirring
occasionally and adjust seasoning to your taste. You might also need to add more liquids depending on how thick or thin you like your stew.
* 1 hour before serving add your 2 cans or fresh green beans and your reserved carrots.
Continue to cook until veggies are tender.
A delicious and hearty meal sure to please even the pickiest eaters! Enjoy alone or over white rice and oven warm bread. I hope you enjoy!
~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca
Let’s be Pinterest friends!

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

What do we Stand for?

20 Nov

Maybe we’re doing it all wrong.  We spend so much time letting others know what we’re against, maybe, just maybe, especially as Christians, we need to be showing the world what we are for.  I saw something today (in regards to the new Kmart commercial) that someone posted on my local news channel Facebook page regarding the said commercial and this person posted, “Yeah, just another thing for Christian freaks to complain about”.  My first gut reaction was to reply and speak my mind to this person but I paused.  This person might be on to something.  It really got me thinking.  How many opportunities in an average week do I have the opportunity to portray to the world what I stand for as a follower of Christ?  The answer is many.  I rub elbows with other mama’s, chat with neighbor’s at the mailbox, make small talk with the folks at the grocery store and all the while I have the awesome opportunity to be the face, hands, and feet of Jesus.  Why then do I waste that time spewing so much negativity?

Why do we become interested in something in the first place?  Probably because there is some sort of appeal to it.  We want the Good News to be appealing.  For people to stop and think about Jesus in a loving approachable way.  If we constantly on our moral soap boxes we’re just stirring up unnecessary conflict and we lose that possible connection to start a dialogue that could potentially lead another to Christ.  We need to preach the Good News and plant seeds but if we are lacking that neighborly love than all efforts to sow those seeds would be in vain.  We can’t expect non believer’s to have the same filter we do.  Once you invite Jesus into your life it is then the job of the Holy Spirit to convict us and help us to become right with God.  Being a Christian is a verb and we want to use those actions to draw people to Him like in Mark 1:17, Jesus said, “Follow me I’ll make you fishers of men”.  I am certainly not implying that we should idly sit by and not stand up for Christ.  What I am proposing is that maybe we find more ways to be cohesive, to be that Christian that is relatable and not hateable.  To get people excited about all that they would gain in knowing Christ and not all that they would have to give up to follow Him.

What do you think?  I would love to hear from you.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

Let’s be Pinterest Friends!

Linked up with

rhm

Image courtesy of basketman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

Loving Every Age

14 Nov

As many of you know, I LOVE my birthday!  It is a great time to reflect on the year past, to see where I was, where I am, and where I am going.  Our culture reveres youth and anything over 30 as a has been.  I disagree!  I think we need to celebrate every year and thank God for the privilege of age and wisdom!  Aging is inevitable.  No matter how much you dwell on it, wish it away, or daydream of your younger years, they are not coming back.  So celebrate!  Be proud of your age and wear it to the glory of God!  You never know when it will be your last, so make it memorable not only for you but for those who love you!

I am so grateful that 36 years ago today I was born! I am grateful for all the experiences, all the tears, all the laughter, for all the things that built endurance and character, and mostly for God’s faithfulness through it all!  Today I celebrate and today I am so blessed that you made it a day I will treasure always!

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca
age 36

Let’s be Pinterest friends!

Linked up with

a wise woman

Photo credit mrsiraphol/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

Happy Veteran’s Day

11 Nov

Freedom isn’t free. Thank you to all the brave men and women past and present. May we live in such a way that it honors your great service and sacrifice. A special Veteran’s Day thank you to my dad, a career Navy man who did two tours of Vietnam. What a great privilege it is to wake up everyday and praise the Lord without fear of persecution. My freedom is such a precious gift and I thank you and honor you, everyday!   God Bless you and God Bless the USA.

veterans day

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

Let’s connect on Pinterest!

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

Images: Google Images

The Original Teen Mom

31 Oct

18 years ago today I was 17.  It was my senior year of high school or at least it should of been. I was that girl. You all knew her. That girl in high school who suddenly disappeared from the halls-the girl who got pregnant in high school. Let me tell you, it wasn’t trendy 18 years ago to be that girl. There were no television shows or magazine covers to glamorize it.

At 23 weeks pregnant I went into preterm labor. For a week they were able to pump enough medication into me to delay delivery. Halloween 1995 at 24 weeks pregnant I welcomed my 1 lb 12 oz baby girl into the world. The doctor laid her briefly on my chest before being whisked away by a team of doctors and nurses. Hours later I was wheeled down to get a glimpse at my daughter. She was covered in tubes and wires and her eyes were still fused shut. She was beautiful despite it all.

Her outcome was bleak. I was told to prepare for wheel chairs, feeding tubes, extreme mental impairments and the list went on. Some said it was what I deserved for being a teen mom, others said that I got myself into this so I would have to deal with this on my own, and I was ridiculed by the rest. Let me tell you, it was a dark, terrifying, lonely time.

No matter, everyday I was there mothering her as much as I could under the extreme circumstances. Two and half months later and one month and one day before her due date, Alison beat the odds and came home months ahead of schedule weighing a hefty 4lbs 7 oz. Not only did she come home but she stayed home. The first few months were rough. Sleeping for only 45 minutes at a time, countless doctor appointments, and financial hardship.

Alison beat the odds in ways that doctors can’t explain. It wasn’t an easy ride but we made it.

I could go on, the story is good….well, at least I think so:) I share the good with the bad. The triumphs with the tragedies. No, it wasn’t ideal to be a pregnant teenager. I see my daughter now at the age I was when she was born and she is such a baby still. I think back to the girl I used to be and I see a scared young girl in need of a little compassion, guidance, and forgiveness.

I think sometimes we dismiss people who are hurting when we feel like they brought it on themselves. We pick and chose who is deserving of mercy and compassion and when we do we are playing god. Loving someone who is hurting because of their poor choice doesn’t mean you agree with or support their transgression.  Indifference and humiliation further breaks the person. We serve a God of healing and mercy and sometimes that healing and mercy comes from you.

Today, I rejoice and thank God for the miracle who sleeps down the hall. I thank God for giving that 17 year old girl such love and compassion for that tiny baby, and I thank God for His compassion and mercy on me, and for being the God of second chances.

*Photo is of the first time I got to hold my daughter*

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca

Let’s be Pinterest friends!

Linked up with

rhm

and

LivingWell

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

Comparison

27 Oct
Amen!  Just what I have been speaking to my teenage daughter about.  So easy to fall into the Hollywood trap.  Great reminder for all women.
~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca
Let’s connect on Pinterest!

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

Connecting in a Disconnected World

20 Oct

We are such a fast paced busy society.  The 21st century has us overbooked, over stressed, and completely disconnected with each other.  We are families with busy careers and too many activities.  The time spent face to face with each other is being replaced with being shoulder to shoulder in the car distracted by some sort of gadget. I Pods, cell phones, and video games have replaced real human interaction.  Families used to treasure the time around the dinner table just sharing and talking, creating strong family bonds.  Now, it’s a race to throw something in the microwave or visiting the drive thru in between activities.  We are losing the true purpose and beauty of life and our families are missing out on the deep bonds that make family so precious.

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media.  I have reconnected with friends, “watched” families grow through shared pictures, and kept up to date on all the happenings of family and friends near and far.  I love reading blogs and having answers to questions only a Google search away.  But, I am not cultivating real relationships by starring at a screen all day, actually just the opposite is happening.  We are becoming an anti social culture losing our ability to have meaningful person to person relationships.

Having a presence is social media is fantastic and can be incredibly beneficial.  It is a great tool to reach masses, connect, and network.  Placing limits, especially for our children is vital.  We need to give them plenty of opportunities to be disconnected and let them have the chance to develop organic imaginative play, learn social cues and interaction, develop critical thinking skills, proper communication skills, and time to build lasting strong relationships.  In order for my family to see the value of disconnecting I have to demonstrate healthy social media habits.

I found myself slipping lately.  My son called me, “laptop mommy” the other day, YIKES!  I don’t want to be remembered as the mom who wasted her day in front of a screen “Liking” someone else’s memories; I want to be making my own.  Imposing healthy limits on myself will keep me mindful of what is valuable and meaningful.  The importance on being present in your home and limiting outside distractions be it social media or too many activities will have positive impacts on children especially as they grow into their teen years.  Having meals together and making time for each other will greatly reduce the likelihood that your children will abuse drugs and alcohol and they will experience a greater sense of joy and satisfaction not just with their family but life in general.

I am making the commitment to reconnect and be present with those I am with and focus on things that have eternal value.

What are some steps you take to limit computer, cell phone, extra curricular activities, etc..?  I would love to hear from you!   As always, thanks for taking the time to visit.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

Let’s connect on Pinterest!

Linked up with

rhm

and

LivingWell

Image courtesy of “FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

My Father Is……….

16 Oct
 This is something I came across long ago.  I have this printed out and keep it in my Bible.  It has been a treasure to me and I hope it will be to you, also.  Thanks for visiting.

Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca

Let’s connect on Pinterest!

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

%d bloggers like this: