Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New blog address

I have decided to move this blog to Wordpress. You can follow me at https://missionsmarriageandmotherhood.wordpress.com/. Thanks for joining me on this journey! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Recipe Review: Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew

Another one of my goals for this year is to use my crockpot more often. This not only saves time, but it also saves money! A couple of weeks ago, Aldi had chicken breasts on sale for $1.49/lb (and I think they are on sale again this week starting tomorrow for the same price). I decided to take advantage of the sale and throw a bunch of crockpot meals into the freezer.

Last night, we tried out Stockpiling Moms' Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew. I was a little nervous about this recipe since my husband isn't a huge fan of sweet potatoes. However, since we had a bunch of sweet potatoes on hand before I made JoJo's first batch of baby food, I decided I would give it a try. Since the recipe didn't seem to be overloaded with sweet potatoes, I thought it might have a fighting chance.

Now, the prep for this meal was super easy, especially since I prepared several freezer meals all at once. I labeled my ziploc freezer bag with the name of the recipe and noted that an extra cup of chicken broth would need to be added when it comes time to cook.

Although it is suggested to serve this meal over rice, I forgot to include this note on my freezer bag. I decided to make fresh bread in my breadmaker to go along with it, which turned out to be just fine. I may try serving it over rice next time just to see if we like it better.

However, I made the mistake of adding 1/4 cup dried basil instead of fresh basil! Oops!!! I realized my mistake right after dumping the basil in my freezer bag. Although I did my best to remove as much as I could, it still had a pretty strong basil presence. Thankfully, it was still tasty!

The best news of all: my husband didn't even notice the sweet potatoes! Of course, I had to make a confession after dinner, only after I had verified a couple of different times that he really thought the recipe would be a keeper. So, I guess JoJo isn't the only sweet potato convert in our house now. :)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sweet (Potato) Success

Johanna has started eating solids and her doctor recommended starting with sweet potatoes first. Although she wasn't quite sure what to think of them at first, she has quickly grown fond of them.

While I was pregnant, I had decided that I wanted to try to make our baby food from scratch. Last week, I finally took the plunge and made our little JoJo some sweet potatoes (thanks to my phone tutorial with Jana as well as her post at Granted Grace)!

I was most excited to find that the process was very simple and not nearly as time-intensive as I thought it might be:
1) wash and scrub the sweet potatoes
2) place on the stove in a nice big pot of water (the best part: no need to remove the skin!); boil, then simmer until fork tender
3) allow to cool (do not discard the water the veggies were boiled in)
4) slide skin off and place the veggies in a bowl with tall sides
5) put your immersion blender to work and add boiled water as needed to achieve desired consistency
6) place in ice cube trays & freeze for 24 hours
7) remove from trays and place in Ziploc bags labeled with the date and contents

To dethaw: place cubes in the microwave and defrost for 2 minutes (may need to repeat this once or twice, depending on how many cubes you have)

Five pounds of sweet potatoes and seven ice cube trays later, we are now stocked up!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Reflection: Flossing, Jan Karon, & Prayer Partners

January 2016 has come and gone. Already.

I'm pleased to report that I'm making progress on some of my goals for 2016!

As silly as it may sound, I'm excited that I've finally developed the habit of flossing regularly! It seems that nearly every year, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to start flossing. For the first time, I feel like I've actually made some progress with this habit! My husband helped me achieve this goal in two ways:

1) He suggested starting small, alternating the upper and lower gums each night. This helped me to realize it really does not take much time AT ALL!
2) He introduced me to the Rewire app, which gave me reminders each night right as I was getting ready for bed.

For the month of February, I'm using the Rewire app to help me develop the habit of walking on the treadmill with JoJo four times each week.

David and I both decided that we wanted to try to read one book per month this year. We both love to read, but aren't always so great about making the time for it. My book for January was a fun read: These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon. This book is the third in the Mitford series, which a dear friend introduced to me last summer. I find I savor each page, one of my favorite feelings when reading a good book! I'll probably hold off on book four, the last in this series because I'm not ready to be done with Mitford quite yet.

Prayer Partners
Upon graduating from college, my mentor encouraged me to find a prayer partner. Although it has been quite some time since my college graduation, one of my friends and I have begun to pray twice each month over the phone for each other's families. Already, we've seen some encouraging answers to prayer. I'm excited to see how God continues to work in our lives through our time of praying together this year.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Even Unto Death

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Revelation 12:11

I've had the privilege of participating in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) for the past several months. We are in the midst of studying the book of Revelation. It has been quite a ride, to say the least! At times, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty of what is to come. However, we already know the end of the story. Jesus wins! In fact, the battle has already been won.

I guess I don't worry so much about the end of the story. My fears are related to how we will get to the end. More accurately, I worry about how I will do when my end comes. Ever since sitting under the preaching of Pastor Eddie Byun at Onnuri English Ministry in Seoul, Korea, I've been challenged to pray this simple, yet powerful prayer:

Lord, let me finish well. Let me die faithfully, no matter what.

This has become a recurring prayer of mine.

When I first heard Audrey Assad's Even Unto Death, it struck a chord in my heart. I've listened to it countless times and find it so encouraging and inspiring each time.

We have no control over when our time will come. Lottie Moon summed it up well when she said, "I am immortal until God calls me home." It is comforting to rest in God's foreknowledge and sovereignty. Although I doubt my own ability to remain faithful to the Faithful One, I can only trust that HE will give me what it takes when the times comes to remain faithfully His (whatever that may look like). My prayer is the same for you.

Be faithful unto death... Revelation 2:10

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Three Things

Missions. Marriage. Motherhood. Three things that I am passionate about. Three things that I have poured a lot of dreams, prayers, and time into. Three things that I plan to devote a lot more time to on this blog.

There was a time when I had absolutely NO interest in missions whatsoever. However, through a series of events, God took a simple prayer of surrender and completely transformed my heart. Since then, I've had the privilege of going on several short-term mission trips, as well as living overseas for two years. For a season, I thought that the Lord might call me to be overseas long-term and was actually somewhat disappointed when He led me back to the States. I've since learned that His call to return home was not an end to my involvement with missions. Rather, it was the beginning of another chapter in the journey. Currently, I have the privilege of working with international students on a regular basis and my husband and I serve on the missions committee at our church.

Speaking of my husband, I am so thankful for God's design for marriage! I vividly remember beginning to pray for my future husband in the fourth grade. Marriage was a desire of my heart for many years. Although it took longer than I thought for those prayers to come to fruition, the wait was well worth it! My husband, David, and I got married on June 22, 2013. I am so thankful to have such a godly man to share this journey with.

On July 10, 2015, David and I welcomed our little Johanna Lynn into the world and my dreams of becoming a momma came true. As the oldest of five kids, I always had a bit of "mothering" in me (my siblings would probably describe it more accurately as "bossing"). Being Johanna's momma has definitely changed me. Being a mother is one of the greatest joys, but also brings a fair number of challenges. Daily, I am reminded of how much I need the Lord to give me wisdom. Daily, I'm reminded of how much of a treasure and a blessing our precious little girl is.

Although I blogged quite a bit in the past, I've been away for several years. I'm excited to start writing again and have so many things that I am eager to share regarding missions, marriage, and motherhood. Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you!