Tuesday, January 24, 2017

He's Enough

I love that the Lord is so patient with me. He continues to pursue a deeper relationship with me. And even though I keep thinking I can do it on my own, He gently reminds me (over and over again) that He is enough for me. He is sufficient. And His Word is one of the ways He communicates with me.

The ladies in my church are collectively going through the She Reads Truth study called "Open Your Bible." I am not able to attend the large group sessions, but I am doing the workbook in my quiet time. It is full of Scripture references, encouraging me to read, write and understand God's Word and how it is an active part of life.

As I was doing my "homework" last week, I felt that the Lord was pin-pointing a concept that He wanted me to share with my group of moms - God's Word is Enough. I dog-eared the pages in the book so that I could refer back to it as I prepared for the meeting. But I began to fret the day before the meeting...Our meeting is about meal prep...My devotional doesn't fit...Maybe I need to think up something else to talk about...Should I skip the devo time?...

But when I went back to look at the concept, I was amazed that it was also about meal planning. God had done the meal prep for the children of Israel while they were in the dessert in Exodus 16. It WAS topic appropriate! Why do I ever doubt Him? (After all..."God's way is perfect." Ps 18:30)

I was baffled that the Isrealites could complain so much after God continued to take care of them. They'd been delivered out of slavery, witnessed the parting of the Red Sea...again and again, God took care of them. Yet they were complaining.

"If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt," they moaned.
"There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we
wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all 
to death." Then the Lord said to Moses, "Look, I'm going to rain down food
from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much 
food as they need for that day..." So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel,
"By evening you will realize it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
In the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because He has heard
your complaints...The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread to
satisfy you in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against Him..."  
 (Ex. 16:3-8, NLT)

"So the people of Israel did as they were told. Some gathered a lot, some
only a little. But when they measured it out, everyone had
just enough...Each family had just what it needed."
(Ex. 16:17-18, NLT)

The Bible is my daily provision. It's enough because Christ is enough. Charles Spurgeon (a 19th century preacher) said, "If Christ were only a cistern, we might soon exhaust His fullness but who can drain a fountain?" I am so glad, that I can never take too much from the Lord. I can never drain Him of all He has to give. He is always enough. 

As a mom, there are many days where I am empty and tired...and done. But the Word always has something for me. 

"Come to me with your ears wide open. 
Listen, and you will find life..."  (Isaiah 55:3, NLT)

I loved growing up in a strong Christian home. I am so thankful for my parent's love for the Lord and His Word. I saw my mom and dad go to God's Word each morning. I heard them tell of answered prayers. This was normal for me. 

This week, I was convicted of letting God's Word become too common place. I know God's Word is enough for any circumstance, but I have become a little too casual in my thinking. I panic and worry, knowing God is in control, but not surrendering myself to Him. Not going to His Word for guidance and encouragement. Just like the children of Israel - God has provided for me and guided me my entire life, but I still complain. I still worry. I still panic. 

I wrote in my journal, "Forgive me, Lord, for complaining about needing help from you but not turning to Your Word for answers and encouragement." 

Take to heart all the words of warning I have given you today. Pass them
on as a command to your children so they will obey every word  of
these instructions. These instructions are not empty words --
they are your life! (Deuteronomy 32:46-47, NLT)

I want my children to believe that God's Word is LIFE! Since they can't read yet, they need me to show them that God's Word is enough. And that means that it has to be enough for me too.

A song that my sister and I sang together in college kept playing through my mind as I contemplated this concept. (Song here)

All of You
is more than enough for
All of me
for every thirst and every need
You satisfy me
with Your love
and all I have in You
is more than enough

You are my supply 
my Breath of Life
still more awesome than I know
You are my reward
worth living for
still more awesome than I know

You're enough. You're enough. You're enough for me. 

PS...My current favorite devotional tool is this journal. If you're looking for an easy way to get into God's Word daily, try these:  Write the Word, Blue      Write the Word, Peach

And, If you were wondering about some of those meal planning tips and recipes that Amanda shared with our moms yesterday, here you go!

Amanda from Dish T'Pass has spent 20 years in the trenches as a mom and week night dinner table specialist.

I love that she emphasized that food doesn't have to be perfect...she just loves what happens around food.

Cooking for Your Week
  1. Make a list of your family's favorite meals. Have a conversation. Take notes. We eat differently in each season. You may develop 2 to 4 lists. Spring/Summer  Fall/Winter.
  2. Make a list of 5 or 6 meals. Select meals that have overlapping ingredients. Don't make the list day specific. 
  1. Make your shopping list. Go shopping. Put the groceries away. Order pizza. Take a nap.
  2. Option A - As you prepare your first meal, prep completely any ingredient you touch. Receipe calls for 1/2 an onion - cut entire onion. Place remainder in air tight container at eye level in fridge. Repeat with each ingredient including pasta, rice, protein, etc.

    Option B - Take 2 hours and prep all meats, starches and veggies. (Keep a drawer under your prep area stocked with zip-lock bags, sharpies, masking tape, aluminum foil.)
  1. Assemble meals as needed. If you have chosen Option B, assembly is quick & easy. If Option A, you are still looking at 30 minutes or less.
  2. Package any leftovers for lunches OR freeze for future use in soups, casseroles or stir fry. 
  • Start each meal prep with an empty dishwasher. Rinse and load as you go. 
  • Engage preschoolers in helping with dishwasher, setting table and limited food prep. It doesn't have to be every meal and every day...just let them help sometimes so that they understand that food just doesn't appear on the table. 
  • You are the gatekeeper of what they eat. They can't eat what you don't buy. You may have to introduce foods multiple times before they catch on. Our palates continue to change as we age. Encourage them to keep an open attitude - this includes parents too. Teach them that it's ok to not care for a particular food and no one else at the table knows about. 
  • Attitudes -- good or bad, healthy or unhealthy -- are contagious
  • The important thing is sitting down to eat TOGETHER. TALKING to each other. Developing a sense of family, identity, shared life experiences, and lots and lots of LAUGHTER. Perfection is not the standard. 
Slow Cooker Barbacoa

4 lb chuck roast, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup chunky salsa
1/3  cup chili powder
1/3 cup oregano
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup water

1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes

In a bowl, mix all ingredients except meat and canned tomatoes. It will be thick and paste like. Put meat in the bottom of your slow cooker. Coat with salsa seasoning paste. Cook on low 8 hours. Using 2 forks, pull meat apart. ADD can of tomatoes. Stir well. Put lid back on crock pot to heat through while you prepare remainder of meal (15-20 minutes)

This tender, flavorful shredded beef is perfect for tacos, burritos, rice & bean bowls, nachos, and salads. 

*She served this with a spicy ranch (Hidden Valley Ranch and chipotle seasoning) at our meeting. 

Big Salad Night

Leafy Greens - Romaine, Spring Greens, Spinach, Kale

Colored Veggies - tomatoes, colored bell peppers, cucumber, carrots

Fruit- berries, citrus sections, apple or pear

Fiber Add Ins - beans (black, garbanzo) corn, cubes of roasted squash, sweet potato

Healthy Fats - avocado, olives, nuts

Protein - chicken, fish, pork, beef, hardboiled egg

Salad Dressing

Croutons, Crackers or Toast

*Have Big Salad Night once a week. Encourage kids to pick one thing of each color. Encourage new foods. Have something familiar (chicken nuggets) and something new. Kids don't have to have in a traditional salad form.

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 T brown mustard
1 T honey
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil

Whisk all ingredients until well blended. Serve immediately over greens. 

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