Just Me. Three Ducks. And Jesus

8.26.2014

I was sitting outside on a park bench, Bible open in my lap, crying like a baby. 

It started when I was on my way to the store. We needed groceries something fierce, and I was leaving all three kids with my husband. I stepped outside where they were playing and made the comment that I wish I could just be outside for a while. 

"Well, why don't you?" my husband asked. 

"Why don't I just stay outside? Cause I have work to do." 

"Yeah, but it will wait. Just take a kid free morning. Go to the park. Do something. Alone." 

I cried. Right there on the spot I just teared up and starred at him like he was crazy. I often get time alone without my kids, but 99% of the time it's FOR something. Like, I need you to take the kids for a while so I can mop the floor, organize the closets, and freeze 25 meals to last us for the next month or so. Please.

The other 1% of the time I find myself alone, I spend it in front of the computer furiously typing whatever jumbled mess I can think of hoping it magically turns into a blog post worth sharing. 

But this time was different. I grabbed my Bible and knew exactly what I wanted to do. I drove 2 minutes away to our local college campus, and set up camp on a bench overlooking a small pond with a few ducks. 

And I opened my Bible. 

Just me. Three ducks. And Jesus. 


I watched the clock. I still had to go get groceries and the baby would need me eventually. I had a limited amount of time, and I wanted to make it count. 

I read 1 John. 
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." {1Jo 2:15-17 KJV}
Recently I've been convicted of just how much I'm engrossed by the world. 

I care too much what the world says, what it thinks, what it does, and so I've made a concentrated effort over the past few weeks to disconnect. 

I've cut back on facebook. I deleted all my social media apps and limit my internet exposure to once a day. 

I stopped following some less than stellar blogs, making sure the things I'm reading are building me up rather than wasting time.

I've also traded in my electronic Bible for a real one, with black and white words and crinkly pages. 

I've started memorizing scripture again. Making an effort to spend more time listening to sermons and less time watching tv online. 

I just long to be disconnected from the world and full of Jesus. 

I read these verses with fresh eyes and ears. They reminded me so much of the words I'd memorized in James earlier in the week. 
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." {Jas 4:4 KJV}
Proverbs 27:17 says, "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." 

Our friends, the people we spend our time with, influence who we are, what we think, and how we act. And if we make friends with the world, pretty soon we're going to start looking like the world. But that's not what God wants for us. He wants us to be different. Set apart. 
"Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." {Tit 2:14 KJV}
I glanced at my phone. It was 10:27 am. I had to leave soon. My 30 minutes was up. I had places to go and people that needed me. 

Back to the world. Back to family and friends and groceries. 

I looked down at the page of scripture open before me. "Just one more thing," I thought to myself. "I want to read one more thing." 

I flipped to a familiar passage. One my heart goes too every time I start to feel crowded and busy and full of distractions. 
"Do not let your adorning be external--the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which in God's sight is very precious." {1 Peter 3:3-4}
Lord, give me a gentle and quiet Spirit. I'm going home to busy, loud, and messy. The temptations of the world are all around me. Put a hedge around my heart, so that no matter what happens out there, I can keep this moment and these words, tied up and hidden away in here. Where I am harsh and judgmental, make me gentle. Where I am loud and prideful, make me quiet. Separate me from the world, and give me such a love for your Word that I breathe the Gospel with every breath, every word, and every action. Thank you Lord for this gift.  Thank you for making me your friend. 

The Day the Wolf Ate My Chickens

8.25.2014


We were going to make a trip to Sonic. My husband has been in work-super-hard mode for the last couple days, and we thought it would be a nice surprise to run to Sonic and get him Chocolate Dr. Pepper (although I can't figure out for the life of my why he likes that stuff!)

I had gotten all the kids dressed, shoes on, sippy cups found, and we were heading through the kitchen out the back door when I just so happened to glance out our back window. 

I saw feathers and a long bushy tail. 

THERE WAS A WOLF IN THE BACKYARD EATING MY CHICKENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT?!?!?!

I grabbed my broom and headed out the back door. I only made it as far as the back steps before my brain kicked in.Was I going to endanger myself in an effort to beat this wild dog away from the chickens? Was a skinny yellow broom really protection enough against this savage beast?  

Probably not. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and called my husband. 

The conversation was short and went exactly like this: 

Hello
THERE IS A WOLF DOG IN THE BACKYARD EATING THE CHICKENS!
Oh no! Are there any left? 
Two maybe three. She's eating the white one RIGHT NOW! 
Well, be careful. Don't make her angry. I'm not sure what to tell you to do. 
Me? YOU SHOULD STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND COME HOME!!!
You're right. I'll see you in a few minutes. 

I hung up the phone and went back inside to my loud and very angry toddlers. Except that as soon as I was inside, the wolf dog went right back to scratching and clawing her way under the wire of the chicken coop. 

I stepped outside again, and she grabbed her dead chicken and hid behind a bush. 

I stepped inside, and she once again went immediately for the other chickens. 

So I set up camp on the back steps and watched while the wolf dog laid behind a bush eating his prey.  I noticed a few things while I was outside. First, we actually had two dead chickens, but there were only a few black and speckled feathers left from the first one. Secondly, the wolf dog had a collar on which means she actually belonged to someone, and she was less than savage. She didn't seem aggressive and really just wanted to be left alone to enjoy her chicken. 

I was happy to oblige. I stood outside for about 10 minutes listening to the toddlers alternate between singing, crying, and banging on the back door. They did not like being left inside when all the fun was outside with mom... and the wolf dog...and the dead chickens. 

Then in what's starting to seem all too familiar, my husband pulled into the driveway in a borrowed vehicle to once again save the day. 

He stormed into the backyard, grabbed the wolf dog by the scruff of the neck, and pulled her away from our chicken coop. The dog came submissively enough, whining after the unfinished lunch that fell from her mouth.

He tied her up in the front yard with a spare leash he keeps in the shed. She laid in the grass with a penitent look on her face. I brought the toddlers outside to see the dog while my husband picked up the feathers and spare chicken parts scattered all over our back yard. 

Within 10 minutes of coming home, my husband was off to work again, and the kids and I were finally on our way to Sonic. 

When we came home an hour later, the dog was gone. She'd slipped out of her collar and was off roaming the neighborhood again. I kept an eye toward the back yard all day expecting her to come after the other two chickens. She did show up again that evening but hid behind the trash can in our drive way, finishing off the remains of the white bird my husband had stashed as proof of her misbehavior.

We were lucky that we were out in the yard when the wolf dog's owner came looking for her. The owner willingly paid for our chickens once he saw the pile of white and black feathers and the smug look of triumph on his dog's face. 

He even made the comment that he was glad the dog was finally eating again after having a litter of pups. I guess they hadn't tried live chickens yet...

As for the two remaining chickens, I'm not sure how long it will take them to return to normal. They have stopped laying and hide in their roost anytime the toddlers are outside. I guess my two year old with all his barking and biting reminds them too much of the wolf dog for them to feel safe quite yet.

We haven't decided yet if we want to replace the chickens we lost or just give up on our hens for awhile. Either way I think I'll be investing in a bigger broom You never know when you might need one around here. 

The Easiest Homemade Enchilada Sauce Ever {Recipe}

8.11.2014

I know! Three recipes in a row is way out of the norm for me. Food blogging obviously isn't my forte, but mommy blogging is right up my ally and it just so happens that a big part of being mom is also cooking. But I do promise this is the last recipe for a while! 

So for years I've trying to make homemade enchilada sauce, and until now I had no success. Everything was too tart, or too complicated, or just too much work be worth it. 


Until now. I stumbled across this recipe looking for some grain-free enchilada ideas. The enchiladas were so-so. The sauce was outstanding and super easy! I am hooked. This sauce is thicker than most canned enchilada sauce. I like it that way, but you can easily adjust the amount of beef broth to thin in out if you prefer. It's just the right about of spicy for us (which is not a lot), but I think a couple pinches of red pepper wouldn't do any harm if you prefer to hot stuff.  So here you go. The easiest and tastiest enchilada sauce ever. You're welcome. 




Homemade Enchilada Sauce

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 cup beef broth
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and whisk with a fork. 

2. Done

See told it was easy. I use this sauce to top enchiladas, but also as base for "throw everything in a pan night". I add whatever steamed vegetables are handy, ground meat of some kind, and rice. Drizzle some enchilada sauce over it, and you have "taco rice". Love it! 


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