Countdown Status…

Well…only 4 more days until “operation no sweets” is over and 4 more days until we leave for Disney!! I cannot tell you how excited I am for this countdown to be over!! I have to say that even though I haven’t been eating sweets, I have been eating other things that aren’t too healthy for you either, so my “no sweets” thing was kind of neutralized with things like cereal and chips.

As far as Disney goes…I think I am more excited to go than a 7 year old on his birthday! I guess that’s because I’m a huge kid at heart and I’ve only been to Disney once (I think I was 9). I have to stay positive during this week and keep myself busy because it is all I can do keep my mind off of Friday and wishing it was here! So, I’ll leave you with a question…What was the best vacation you’ve ever been on and what made it so special?


Clay jars, Torches, and Trumpets

These are the 3 things Gideon and his army used to defeat the Midianites in Judges 7. No, there’s no mistake…they had no double-sided swords, or shields…just clay jars, torches and trumpets. When I read this I didn’t really take heart to the fact that these weapons are important to know about! It was only after I did a little more research to find the importance of these things to our spiritual life.

Now, if you know Gideon, you would know that he wasn’t this great man. His family was the weakest of the Israelites and he was the youngest in his family (not a prime choice for a warrior). But the Lord had different plans for him. Gideon was called to deliver the Midianites into the Israelites hands with the Lord’s strength. We all know how it turns out, but have you ever thought about the weapons that were used?

This is what I found…WE are the clay jars, Jesus is the torch within the jar, and our testimonies are the trumpet call which we are asked to sound. Maybe you’ve thought about this, but when I found this it all started to make sense. Every time trials, dips, or strife are among us we are forced to rely on the promises of God. We are forced to carry out His plan with obedience and have faith that His promises are true. We have to be fully broken to receive the life Jesus has for us. With each trial we face, our clay jar is cracked. (I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of cracks in my jar). The more your clay jar is cracked, the brighter the torch (Jesus) can shine through. The more you become broken in Him, the more Christ will shine through your life.

Gideon defeated the Midianites by

“blowing the trumpets and smashing the jars grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted ‘a sword for the Lord and for Gideon'” ~Judges 7:20

The Midianites ran for their lives and the Lord delivered them into Gideon’s hand. The cracks in our jars show our weaknesses, but as Christians, the light that shines through the cracks show our power through Jesus Christ. There is great power in our weaknesses and the best victories often come when we are at our weakest. This enables Christ to shine brighter and receive all the glory when our trials have been defeated.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Jesus is the potter and I’m the clay”? Well, it’s very true! The Lord will test you, He will allow trials to enter into your life, He will allow those cracks to appear until your jar is broken and all that’s left is the torch lighting your path.

Don’t become dis-heartened when you face trials. Your goal is to smash the clay jar so that the torch can shine!

Awesome Honey Pecan Pork Chops

Adam, being the great husband that he is, came up with our “menu of meals” for the week and one of the meals he chose was Honey Pecan pork chops. I decided to ask my mom over for dinner last night and thought this would be the perfect thing to make. Let me just tell you…”awesome” doesn’t quite describe it…it was more like a superb, delicious, yummy, tummy filling, satisfying, awesome dinner! It had just the right amount of sweetness to it (which made me happy)…kind of like a sweet potato! Anyway, I should of taken a picture of it, but I didn’t. I’ll leave you with the recipe so you can try it and then tell me how you like it!

1 1/4 lbs. boneless pork loin, lb.ed thin
1/2 cup all-purpose flour for coating
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1) In a shallow dish, mix together flour, salt and pepper. Dredge pork cutlets in the flour mixture.
2) In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chops, and brown both sides. Transfer to a warm plate.
3) Mix honey and pecans into the pan drippings. Heat through, stirring constantly. Pour sauce over cutlets.

I served this with green beans and rolls and it was the perfect meal. I also made some extra chopped pecans and used them the next day for a salad (just an idea)…definitely a favorite of mine! Enjoy!

PS: Operation “No Sweets” – still a success…15 days until Disney!

Operation “No Sweets” – Day 1

So far so good on the no sweets until spring break thing. I do have about 9 more hours though til the end of the day. I have a feeling it will get harder, but I think as long as I can keep my mind off eating, I’ll be ok.

On another note, I had a great Bible class today! I don’t call myself the best bible teacher by any means, but today was great! I even had a student say, “This was a fun Bible class today!”. I love it when I get to incorporate the things our Pastor says in my Bible class with the curriculum we are doing at that moment. I actually got to get in some things Pastor said in a few sermons in this one class! We are talking about Gideon in Judges 6-8 and how he was not your typical “warrior” but God chose him anyway to lead the Israelites. I was able to incorporate some of the things Pastor said in his “dip” series like the “3 R’s”…Receive, Remember, & Respond. I told them that Gideon had to receive the activity God was sending him, remember God’s past faithfulness even when Gideon doubted (the way God always brought the Israelites through battles), and respond to who God wanted him to become (a stong leader). Shoutout to Pastor Steven!

My kids also have a memory verse this week from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 which talks about honoring the body God gave you. We ended up talking about hanging out with the wrong crowds and how they will bring you down if you’re not careful. I was so excited when I thought about this…I told them that we were going to do a little illustration. Adam’s parents told me about an illustration that they did in their Sunday School class once. So, I got 2 students up front and pulled 2 desks up. I had one of my biggest (tallest) students stand on top of the chair and told him to try to pull the other student up to the 2nd chair. He tried and tried and couldn’t do it. Then I told the student who was on the floor to try to pull Charlie down and he did right away. They had a blast with this and I proceeded to tell them that if you’re hanging around people you shouldn’t be around and you’re telling yourself that you will change their ways, it’s never going to happen. However, it is very easy for them to pull you down (out of God’s hands) into their “world”. I challenged them to look at their lives and ask themselves if who they’re hanging out with is influencing their behaviors for the good or for the bad. Shoutout to Mom and Dad #2 (thanks for the idea)!!

Alright, sorry to keep rambling…keep watching for operation “no sweets” updates, and oh yea, 20 days til Disney!!

Me, like desserts?…No!

Well, if you know me at all, you know I love anything sweet (everything from chocolate to sweet potatoes). It has come to my attention that I am not really a healthy eater and that I eat way too many sweets! People tell me that it won’t hurt me now, but I don’t want to feel (or see) the hurt later. So I have made a goal.

“No sweets from now until the day we leave for Disney.”

That is approximately 22 days. I can do that right? Let’s keep our fingers crossed! Now, when I say sweets, I mean the bad sweets (like ice cream, candy, chocolate, cake, pies, etc.) I’m not taking out my fruit or sweet potatoes…I wouldn’t last if I did that! I guess you could call this the “No Desserts Pact” or whatever you want to say. I will have updates on how I’m doing and if I maybe sneaked a few marshmallows in or something 🙂 Until then, desserts = bad.

Thank You IKEA

Ever since IKEA opened a couple of weeks ago, Adam and I have been every chance we could get. Shhhhh…I have a secret…Adam likes going and picking out things for our house just as much as I do, and I have to say that he is pretty good at it! Everything has definately been a joint effort! Thanks Adam for the “interior designer” in you! I’ll leave you with a few pics of our recent purchases…

Here is our desk

Here is our little couch & table

And our office…

PS: 29 days til Disney!

The Countdown has begun!

In T-minus 31 days, Adam and I will be heading to Orlando, FL for spring break! Adam’s parents invited us to go with them and we can’t wait! I mean, how can you turn down a trip to Disney World (a place where all your dreams come true)??? Disney World is not just for kids people, it’s for the kids at heart too! (I will always be a kid at heart, so I guess that means I can go for the rest of my life)! Adam and I are so excited and today I started my countdown (well I started it a couple of weeks ago, but it really begins now since it’s so close). So, in 31 days, we will be at the place where only magical things happen!

Mickey, you better hold on to your ears…the Hamilton’s will be there soon! (OK, that was a little Corney, forgive me!)