kind of a series

I’m definitely no preacher or anywhere close. Just someone sharing from her heart. =)

I guess God is speaking to me intently about loving others. How to properly love others, in a godly fashion,…. with my speech, with my thoughts, with my actions. My last blog I wrote on thinking before we speak. This morning I was reminded of what love is. It’s amazing how we can use that word so liberally and not even think about whether or not we truly love something or someone. “I looooove this show” “I looooooove coffee” “I looooooove you”. Half the time we say we love something or someone it’s really just that we LIKE them.

Now let’s focus on when we say we love a person. Remember what the bible says about love. Seriously FOCUS on this passage. Because I know we hear it often but like Francis Chan suggests put your name in place of the word love. Then ask your self if you really are showing love to those you say you love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 Love (Katie) is patient, love (Katie) is kind. It (Katie) does not envy, it (Katie) does not boast, it (Katie) is not proud. (Here’s where it gets really tough!) It (Katie) does not dishonor others, it (Katie) is not self-seeking, it (Katie) is not easily angered, it (Katie) keeps no record of wrongs.  Love (Katie) does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It (Katie) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

When I read it that way it reminds me that half the time I am not loving to others. I need to be fully focused on Christ ALL the time if I want to accomplish loving people the way He has called me and defines in this passage. There is no way I can possibly love anyone this way on my own. It’s only by His power and the Holy Spirit in me. And I have to be nurturing that Spirit by seeking Him daily. It also helps to have some accountability from other Christians. 😉

Now this business of love, it goes so much deeper then I think we recognize most of the time. One thing I’ve shared with you is I struggle with taking my thoughts captive and sometimes I allow my mind to focus on things that cause anger and resentment in my heart. I have struggled with anxiety for the last couple of years and a lot of times it’s a direct result of not taking every thought captive and handing things over to the Lord. It says in Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up dissension but LOVE covers over all wrongs. I’m not implying here that I struggle with hate because I truly don’t, but if I took this verse and thought about how when I hold ANGER in my heart it definitely stirs up dissension. But if I CHOOSE to love (remember folks love is a CHOICE) when I make that choice to LOVE it truly does cover all wrong. And once again I used this verse last night James 1:20 For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Let’s be honest, the majority of our anger comes out of something petty…. not always but usually, okay for me it does,… and that anger does not produce righteousness of God within me. So therefore I need to lay it over and move on right? It’s a lot easier said then done.

I’d say the key is to 1.) Expose yourself to the truth that comes from the Word of God. And do it repeatedly. You wont be able to read one verse and be over it. Sometimes I find myself having to read multiple verses over and over while meditating on it and talking it out with God. Which leads to the 2nd thing and that is to not FOCUS on the thing or person that made you angry. And number 1 helps because you’d be turning your focus toward God and the more time you spend focusing on Him the less you are thinking about what made you angry.

Another thing God has been revealing to me (and not for the first time but probably the 100!) is that I must be seeking Him to find my worth and value. It’s Him that I must want to please. It’s Him that I want to find approval. I do not need to be seeking the approval of others. (FYI that is a trap I fell into with the whole facebook thing and yet another reason I don’t have it. Just some facts to help you gain perspective on me 😉 ) I don’t need the people here on earth to like what I’m doing or how I’m living. (Seriously, I don’t need you to comment on my photos or blogs and tell me how great my family is…. lol, juuuuuust kidding) I know that as long as my life is honoring to HIM, as long as my life brings Glory to HIS name that is all that matters.  

Now you may feel this blog has jumped around a bit and well, as I said earlier I’m no preacher, I’m also no writer. It’s the heart guys, strait from the heart and frazzled mind of mine 😉 But for me, this all goes hand in hand. I need to be focused on Him, I need to be focused on His word and what LOVE is. Because He’s called us to love. The Message Luke 10:25-28 “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?” He answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?” “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.” “Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you’ll live.”

And if you need a definition for your “neighbor” Jesus proceeds in that passage to define what your neighbor is. 😉

So I’m upping the anty on my New Years Resolution. And it’s to LOVE GOD BETTER. (Which in turn will help me to love PEOPLE better) I want to love Him to the best of my ability. That’s the funny thing about our walk. We never reach perfection in it. We’re never finished, not until we arrive in Heaven. So we can always improve, always do better. So here I go! I will try to grow more and love more by seeking Him more diligently. Pray for me!!! 🙂 ….. maybe even join me?? 😉

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Think before you speak

I feel as if I’m learning more every day how impactful your words are. I’ve always been a pretty sensitive person and I like to think I’m sensitive to the feelings of others. My mom always tells me I’m much like my Aunt Marybeth b/c we both are keenly aware of things that could be hurtful to others. So I feel like as a friend and person in general I try pretty hard not to be rude or insensitive or say things flippantly that could be hurtful even unintentionally. The downside to this though is that I tend to read into things and make the mistake of misinterpreting what OTHERS say. This is a major reason why I don’t like to use text message and I do not have a facebook. I feel like both of those methods of communication can easily lead to miscommunication and I myself even having been offended with out the other person even knowing, maybe not even meaning too. Immediately when my heart starts to sink and my mind begins to wander I know Satan is on the prowl to destroy a relationship. That’s what he loves to do right? He loves to divide friends and family. So I go to the Lord in prayer and ask for the strength to move beyond this and pray and seek Him for reassurance of where my confidence, worth, and value come from ultimately and that’s Him. Sometimes when I receive or see something that seems like a jab in my oh so sensitive spirit, the Katie in me wants to respond back and let that person know that what they said hurt. But the Bible says  A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 And I belive this goes two ways. 1 being that if you use harsh words it could stir up anger in the person you are directing them at. But for me, if I use a soft answer in response to something someone said to me, I avoid the anger that a harsh word I could have used might stir up within myself. If you think about it, the more you focus on something negative the more angry and bitter you begin to feel. It never makes you feel happy to speak harshly to or about someone. Atleast not me. I believe that’s the Holy Spirit at work within me. For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:20

But while I’m writing on this subject I also want to challenge myself and those who may read this to think twice about comments you make and things you say. Maybe think two or three times in fact. Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger….  James 1:19

This is one of my favorite verses and I love how the Amplified Bible translates it.  Ephesians 4:29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.

When I look at my speech through the filter God views it, I can recognize that some serious change should occur. If we are striving to lift Him up in all we say, then anything that could be hurtful to one of his sons or daughters is offensive to Him. Did you know your speech can even be selfish? Making remarks that voice you only are concerned about YOU is not glorifying to Him. Because it’s not about us, it’s all about Him and what brings glory and honor to His name. So I’m going to re evaluate my speech, maybe even make some appologies to a few people. It may not even seem like a big deal to ourselves but could we have been offensive??? Should we seek to glorify God with our speech by not being selfish and hurtful to others. I think so. And I think this might be a good New Years Resolution, (if I may go all cheesy on you with the resolutions 😉 )

PS: I will post a blog with pictures from all the blessings of Christmas. Soon to come 😉

Easy Tilapia and pretty yummy too

Okay so everyone knows Tilapia is pretty bland. But it’s cheap and good for you. The other night I through some tilapia in a baking pan and sprinkled lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper and I dumped a can of diced tomatoes with oregano, garlic and basil. I popped it in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes and it turned out pretty stinkin good for how easy it was. Jason really liked it. Give it a try 😉 cheap, quick, easy, just the way I like it!

Mama’s soup recipe

I have no idea where my mother got this recipe for soup but I got it from her and made it last night. It’s REALLY yummy and REALLY easy. I have a hard time going online to like foodnetwork.com and finding a new recipe that’s actually easy and doesn’t require crazy ingredients I’ve never heard of. So if you feel me on that note you might like this easy to do soup I learned from my mommy.

So it’s Chicken and Vegetable Soup actually quite healthy too 😉

Rotiserie Chicken Original (Publix 😉 )

1 Can of original Rotel tomatoes and green chiles

1 can of diced tomatoes

Corn (you can do a can or I prefer cutting it straight off the cob, 3 ears, yummy!)

4 carrots peeled and chopped

1 Sweet Onion chopped

Optional: chopped up celery. I didn’t do this though.

1 can of beans, I used great northern

1 cup of original spaghetti sauce

1 1/2 to 2 cups of water

Basically what I did, and M even helped me, was I through everything in the crock pot. Peeled the chicken into small pieces. My mom suggested sauteing the O and microwave the carrots but I skipped those parts and literally just through EVERYTHING into the crock pot. Nice bite size pieces. And I started cooking it on high for about an hour and then switched it to low for about 2 hours. It was delicious and I imagine you could do it in a pot on the stove as well if you don’t have a crock pot. But M helped me by pouring the canned veges and the ones I chopped into the pot and stirring it up. She really enjoyed it and though she already loved this soup from eating it so much when we lived with NeeNa and Popi I think she was even more excited to eat it when I emphasized that she cooked it. 😉 Just a little tip to maybe get your kiddos to eat good food.

And that’s it. No crazy seasoning, no other weird ingredients or prepping, it took me like maybe 25 minutes to get everything chopped and in the pot. And that was working with a 3 yr old as well. So I just think this is a great healthy meal for the fam and the mom with the crazy kids running her life, lol.

Dr. James McDonald

So I really enjoy listening to him and some others at oneplace.com. And I started a series he did back in Feb. on building a home God’s way. I did the first two and they were really good so I just wanted to throw it out there for any of you who might find interest in building your home and family God’s way. 😉 I know everyone has differen’t taste on who they enjoy listening to so I recognize not everyone will like James as much as I do but he’s good. He backs everything up w/scripture, he’s very CLEAR AND my favorite part is he’s quick and to the point. Each of his audio sessions are like less then 20 minutes long and when you are a mom with two small children that is AWESOME. So, check him out, see if you like him as much as me. =) heres the link to the first one of his series “Building a Home God’s Way”. Building a Family God’s Way And from there just go to his Archives and click broadcast by series to find the series and the following sermons. Enjoooyyy!!!

Down side of cold weather…

Okay so up until tonight I was ALL about the cool weather. It’s fun. You get to wear lots of layers, cute scarves, nice jacket if you own one 😉 sometimes it snows….. BUT when the roads get icey is when I’m not loving the cool weather. It was bad enough driving home from dropping Jason off at his first GA Christmas party with the guys. No lie I passed ATLEAST 5 accidents. And I pretty much drove 20 miles per hour and under from a city like 40 miles away. At one point I was on a bridge that was all icey and of course there was an accident so we were dead stopped on it and even just going like 2 miles an hour my car started sliding around. VERY SCARY. Finally we made it home though and I most definitely was thanking and praising God for that. But my evening gets better. If any of you know me well at all you know I’m a total baby when it comes to being alone. Basically I never am. I’ve never lived alone, never slept in a house alone, and don’t plan to ever. I’ll die from an anxiety attack before I fall asleep alone. So it’s 1:00 Titanic is almost over and Jason is stuck at his friends house because the guy lives on a big steep hill that’s totally iced over and they can’t leave. Let me just say and excuse my language but this SUCKS. I’m tired, I’m starting to get hungry again, I have a headache, probably from being tired, and I’m about to let Jake inside to keep me company. Which if you knew me you would know that’s desperation right there.

Baaaahhhh between my anxiety over Titanic sinking and being alone with all these noises,…. I’m gonna be a wreck in the morning =(

Random moments with the Grahams

Okay so this blog is just based on some things that happened recently that I captured on my crackphone. And I say crack phone because literally I cracked my iphone. 😦 I know, sad news right. I don’t even know if I was nice enough this year for Santa to bring me a new one 😉

Okay so cool thing happened Sunday. We woke up and we had snow flurries!!! And it got better, we were sitting in church and looked out the window and it was totally snowing. The girls were so excited and ok so were Jason and I. That was the first time they’d actually seen snow. It didn’t snow enough to cover the ground though so I don’t consider that their first real snow experience… I mean they didn’t get to build a snow man or even sled down a hill on a pizza box…. BUT it was still snowing and “I guess that’s pretty cool”.

Thanks mom for accidently bringing me Kendras coat. I would be freezing without it. Thanks Kendra!

As you can see M was trying to catch the snow =)

Okay and these next few pictures are just more places R decides to take a nap. And I think it’s pretty funny. The one on the pillows, we were getting ready for a Christmas program and she laid down after her bath and had her a little power nap.

Always has her Bama 🙂

Doesn’t look that comfy but she slept there for quite awhile. And of course M is glued to the tube.

I just love this hat that Jason got her. Apparently she had soaked through her diaper (in his care obviously 😉 ) and so he had to go to Target and buy her a new outfit and he did pretty good. Accesorizing with this hat. My man knows fashion.

 

And this is the marshmellow santa craft that Jason did with the girls. He drew the santa face and everything. Pretty good huh??

And that’s all of the latest random moments with the Grahams.