Sunday, April 3, 2011

My little boy is 5!!!!!!!!

I can not believe that 5 precious years have gone by since I officially became a mother! I am so amazed at the graciousness of our Lord. He has blessed me with 3 precious boys and today we celebrated
Josiah's  #5!!!
  • He loves to talk-you can not shut him up!!!!!!
  • He is super smart.
  • He talks big and brave, but most of the time he is really just a timid little boy.
  • He loves spiderman!
  • He love chocolate milk...I mean LOVES IT!!!
  • He is a lover of gifts and loves to give them too!
  • He loves animals, bugs and anything that moves!
  • He has his daddy's memory....all the random things are stuck in his steal trap! 
  • He loves his family and his bird-zhige (pronounced "jig-guh").
So many more special things I could write, but it would take forever to do that, so I will spare you all!    
I can remember when I was a new mom and everyone would tell me that it goes by so does. I can remember everyone always telling me that I will be so sad when they start to grow up...I am, a little. I am excited to see the child he has become. I am LOVING hearing his heart turning more towards the Lord each day. I cannot wait till that day he chooses and understands what it means to follow Christ.
I feel older, because I am, but I feel wiser, because I am growing in the Lord. I love what the Father has taught me through being a mother. He has taught me how to depend on Him and trust Him, because He can and will take better care of them than I ever will. And He has continued to show Himself faithful!
I am excited about the years to come! My prayer is that my sons would become Lovers of Christ and His word. I pray that their hearts would be guarded from the evil one and always be open to the Father.
I pray that the Lord would continue to give me strength and patience to be a mom and raise them to love Him.
My little Jo Jo is a sponge. I am constantly reminded that my every move is being watched and imitated. This humbles me and continues to keep me on my guard with how I live, what I speak and using every opportunity to teach my sons.
I am often reminded of proverbs and how many times we are exhorted to teach our children wisdom.
Prov. 8:32-33 says: "And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it." Here we see that we must know it in order to teach it. 
Do you know the word enough to teach your children it? Do you live it out? Are your actions reflecting the words that come from your lips?
I want to encourage you to seek and know the scriptures.  Use every opportunity to teach your children the truth. 
It is true they grow up so fast, so redeem the time. Fulfill the duty and job that the Lord has given you as a parent. They are our most important disciples. Train them up to be "little Christ's" by living it out in your own life! Know the Word and Live it out!

(Now, I wanted to put up some pics from Josiah's birthday party, but I can't get the photos to upload. So, I will have to make another post!)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Slightly embarrassed!

Ok, so I am slightly embarrassed. I can not believe it has really been 3 weeks since I last updated my blog! Holy moly, I am never gonna be some sort of blogging star that is for sure. But for those of you who care these past 3 weeks have been swamped.
Here is a little glimpse of what we have been doing:
  • My husband and I have shared at numerous churches about our time overseas.
  • Searching for and buying  a new-to-us mini-van.
  • Working on re-finishing furniture. (will post some pics when I am finished)
  • Recovering furniture.
  • Spending time with friends.
  • Ordering homeschooling materials and preparing to teach Josiah.
  • Preparing to move in 2 weeks!
 So, on top of all that raising 3 boys and trying to help my big boy Hubby not to go crazy!

I must just share that I am excited about a lot of things that God is doing in my life. I am loving seeing Him just bring me peace about so many circumstances and seeing Him provide for our family during our transition time! We are continuing to pray that He would be honored in our family and He would guide and provide for us! He will, I know it. He has shown Himself faithful so many times before! I am excited to see what He does!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A few quick recipes...

So today we grilled out....YUM!!! I knew I really missed it! But to go along with our chicken and pork I made a few easy sides. Thought you might like to hear.

Roasted potatoes
  1. cut up any type of potato into chunks
  2. spray the pan with Pam olive oil
  3. put the potatoes on the pan and spay again
  4. salt the potaotes
  5. Put in the oven at 400 F for about 30-40 min until tender
(***You can use any type of seasonings to make these-try Ranch, Season salt or anything you think might be yummy!)

Super easy right. No excuses!

Yummy Biscuits

Ok, my bread love is back, but these are just so good and you can make a big batch like this and flash freeze them (put them in the freezer, on a cookie sheet, before they are cooked. Once they are frozen transfer to a freezer bag. Pull out however many you need and just cook a little longer b/c the are frozen)
and have them for another meal or breakfast sometime!

4 cups All purpose flour
1 tsp salt
7 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 2/3 cup milk

Mix the dry ingredients. Then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork or your hands or I like to use the food processor for it all.  When all the butter is mixed in (looks crumbly) mix the milk in and make the dough.  Cut into biscuits. Depending on the size you should get about 20 or so.  Bake in the oven at 400 F for 12-15 min until they are golden brown.

Chinese Peas

I know these sound strange, but this is now my favorite way to eat peas and it is super easy! I found it even easier now that there are the steam fresh veggies

1 pack steam fresh peas (cooked for 5 min in the microwave)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic chopped or sliced (or you can used the minced)
soy sauce

Just stir-fry it on a high heat all together until the garlic is cooked. Stir it constantly to avoid scorching it. Add enough salt to make it good and then add a little soy for flavoring.
I love it!!!

I hope you enjoy these!!!! Be a blessing to your family and cook them good food! Happy cooking!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sing unto the Lord a new song.

Do you ever just sit back and listen to your children?

I love to hear my sons make up their heart songs to the Lord!

I remember when I was young, a child, I would do the same thing. Sing my heart out to the Lord, just thoughts and praise to Him about what He was doing and how He impacted my life. But that was along time ago. It has just been a long time.

The other day, I was just getting overwhelmed with life. Frustrated by God not being fast enough for me and annoyed at myself for not truly trusting God as I should. That night I read in Psalm 40:3, "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD."

The Lord really convicted me that I needed a new song, one that was not focused on myself and my problems. Because when your singing a song, when you are praising the Father,  your not worrying about yourself, your heart and your mind are focused on what is Truth.  That night before sleeping I prayed that He would give me a new song in my heart. 

On Monday night I was able to go out and meet a friend for coffee, ALONE! It has been a long time since I have been alone in a car for any length of time. What a blessing to spend time praying and just singing. Singing from my heart, praises to my God! 

I think that God really knows what He is talking about that when we sing and praise Him. We trust Him: He changes our hearts and our focus. What a blessing to have a God who knows us and knows what we need: HIM! I pray that it would not be so long before I sing out my heart to the Lord. I should learn from my children, and praise Him with the songs from my heart!

Do you need a new song? What song has he placed in your heart?
I pray that your heart would praise the Father today.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


So I must admit, I have a passion for bread! I love to eat it! I love to make it! I love to try new recipes and then make them my own. It is just fun, and the family has a fun time (usually) trying my new found experiments...oh, I mean recipes.
A while back a good friend gave me a recipe for bagels. Since I live in Asia, bread is hard to come by and I am always looking for new things to make for breakfast. I have made these a few times and they have turned out ok. I have not perfected them yet, but I must say they are edible. And Josiah really likes them! So today I decided I would try and modify the regular recipe. What me and the boys came up with were cinnamon raisin bagels. We had lots of fun making them and spinning bagels on our hands. They didn't quite turn out as planned, but none they less I think about 1/2 of them are worth eating!
I never promise to be the best cook, but I always try! I am going to continue my quest to make bagels. I think I will do some reading up on the subject and see what I am doing wrong (like here or maybe here).
Here are some pics from my experiment, but I think before I give out a recipe I will try and fix all my problems.
They started off looking good. I think I added too much yeast!

 I boiled them.

The first few turned out ok, but the rest rose too long and became mush!

You can see the ones that became mush and don't look anything like bagels.

I tried them again with the new recipe and they turned out better. A little dry, but better!  They are still a work in progress, but I love the thought of making my own bagels!

So here is the new recipe!

4 cups  flour
1 Tbls sugar
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 Tbls vegetable oil
2 tsps instant yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water
(1/2 cup of raisins, 1 tsps cinnamon) optional or you can just add toppings or nuts/seeds.

Pre-heat oven to 425.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The dough should be kinda stiff, but you can add the extra water until the flour is all incorporated. Knead for about 10 min. or until the dough is smooth.
Cut the dough into 8-10 equal pieces and let them rest for 10-20 min.
There are two methods for making your bagels.
First, you can roll your dough into a snake long enough to wrap around your hand. Take the two ends and join them in your palm. Roll the ends together so that you can no longer see the ends.
The other option, my favorite and Josiah's, is to make a ball out of the dough. To make a uniformed ball you can take the dough in the palm of your right hand (or left if you are a lefty) and make a circle out of your thumb and pointer fingers. Push the dough through the hole a few times to make it a smooth circle. When you have your circles, poke one of your fingers in to make a hole. Then, here comes the best part, put the bagel on your finger and swing it around until the hole is large enough.

See him whirling it around with a mouth full of popcorn!

Easy enough for a 4 year old to do!
Let the bagels rise for about 20 min.
While you are waiting, now is the time to get a great big pot of water boiling. After the 20 min place the puffy bagels in the boiling water a few at a time being careful not to let them touch. 1 min on each side is about all it takes. Drain them on a towel for just a min. to drain the water and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
If you want to add different toppings to plain bagels, now is the time. Just after they have come out of the water, place the sticky bagel onto a plate of whatever you want stuck on there. Rock salt, sesame seeds, cinnamon and sugar (use coarse sugar), sunflower seeds, ect. Whatever you can come up with! 
Bake the bagels for about 10 min on one side and then flip them over for another 10 min or so.
Then they are done! so Yummy!!!! I haven't done the math, but they have to be cheaper than buying them. I am sure that they will freeze too.
I hope you enjoy them and have lots of fun making them! i know they are kinda time consuming, but what better way to spend time with your family! I know my boys love helping me bake! And these times are such good teachable times.  Capture those moments and enjoy the blessings God has given you!
Let me know if you try them!  I would love to hear about it!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What is your calling? pt. 2

As we have recently moved back home from the mission field I have been thinking about my calling in life as a Christian and how I can truly live it out in my life. In moving back into a new culture where things are much different than I have lived over the past 3 years I have tried to think about how will my ministry be different. And how my role will change once again.
For the past three years my life has I have been very intentional with my life. Not something that was completely new to me or strange in my life before we moved. Before we were intentional in our lives, but never this much or this often. Intentionality is something we have had to learn and practice and put forth and effort to do. Being intentional about witnessing. Intentional about discipling and challenging others and making the most of the time we had with people. It was hard, it stretched us and brought us out of our comfort zones, but it became easier. Each day we forced ourselves to think how we could arrange our day to make it intentional. Our desire is to live and interact with the world in such a way, we pray, to draw people to the Lord. In Asia we planned our days around meetings with people or eating at restaurants so that we could share the gospel.  And now moving back I wonder how can my life be that intentional, how can I fulfill the calling the Father has placed on every believer, of making disciples of all nations?
The call of disciple making in my life has not changed just because I moved back across the ocean. My role has, my methods will have to. The place, the people and my circumstances have changed, but what I am doing has not.  I am not just called to follow Christ if I live overseas or I am paid by an organization to do so.  It is a call, a mandate for every believer to make disciples.
So what do I want to bring back to my life here in America and what do I want to challenge you today with? Intentionality.  Intentionality to be a disciple maker.  Look at Jesus. I think he was pretty intentional about his teaching and training of His disciples.  He walked with them, ate with them and spent his life with them. In Asia we used a term called life on life discipleship.  Using our life and our time to pour into others.  I believe it is key to the health and growth of the church and of believers.
So, how can we, as the called in Christ Jesus, be intentional in our lives? How can we let our life rub off on another to bring God glory? Which leads you to think is your life one that you really want rubbing off on someone else?
Are you being intentional by:
·      By intentionally spending time with the Father.
·      By spending time with people, Believers and Non.
·      Share the Gospel!
·      Thinking about it. Planning time to do so.
·      Looking for others to pour into us and to pour into ourselves.
·      Look at our roles, If you are a mother or father, taking every opportunity to pour into your children. Duet. 6:6-9 When you are eating, walking sitting standing…make the effort to teach your children, disciple your children and share the gospel with your children.
My desire is to see God glorified. My heart is to see the lost come to know Him and the saved to draw closer to Him. It is my prayer that we as Christians would not be lazy and neglect our responsibility to God and His commands and the call in our life. I pray that believers would take serious the Call upon their lives when they became a Christian. Not to just ride free and easy, or to be lazy and comfortable, but to DIE to ourselves and obey God. It is not someone else’s responsibility to answer the call to GO. It is everyone’s!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What is your calling? pt. 1

I wanted to share what the father has laid on my heart recently. I was able to share at a local church recently and thought others might like to read it as well.
There were many times in Asia that I had to remember my calling. Through the rough times I needed God to remind me that He indeed did call me there and he was going to give me strength.  He had called me to a different role that what I had been doing previously and even though some days it was hard, I knew it was where I needed to be and what I needed to be doing.
Sometimes as Christians we use the word calling to mean something special for just certain people.  I think in some instances it does, because there were many people who were called out to do special service in the Bible. Paul and Barnabas, John the Baptist.  So does that exclude the rest of the people who are not in the ministry from serving or from being called to do God’s work?
As a Christian, what is our calling? In Eph. 4:1 the Bible tells us to walk worthy of the calling by which we are called. God has called us out of darkness into salvation.  In Luke 9:23-26 Jesus commanded his disciples in order to truly follow Him to “Take up your cross and follow me…” “Sell all you have and follow me….” To “die so that we may truly live…” God has called all believers to give up of themselves to follow Him. I don’t think the calling that God has given us is all that easy sometimes.
But during those difficult times where we can remember, Romans 8: 28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purposes.”
Well, what are God’s purposes?  Jesus commands us in the Great Commission, to (Matt. 28:19, 20 ) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.” His purposes are to make disciples of all nations.
Who do these verses apply to? Is it just a few believers? Just the select few that have been truly called and sent overseas to live and follow this command? Is it just the job of a pastor or the responsibility of someone we feel is truly qualified to obey God’s commands of discipleship? I believe not.  Like we mentioned previously, God has called all Christians to walk worthy of their salvation. I believe the scripture teaches that all believers are commanded go and to be disciple makers.  It is our responsibility to take the Truth to the lost and then to help them grow up in the Lord.
It is easy for us to hold fast to the promises of Romans 8:28 that God is going to take all of our circumstances and use them for our good, but it is sometimes hard for us to live these verses in Matthew out as truth. Those who are called according to his purposes should be involved in his purposes. Who is that again? Everyone! What are His purposes? Making Disciples.We believe that it is truth and accept it as truth, but living it out in our lives is not always seen.  I pray that this will change.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's been awhile!

Sorry, I know it has been like a month since I last wrote anything! For that I apologize, but let me explain myself. It is kinda like I fell off the face of the earth, or at least just one side of it. Over the past month my family and I have sold all we had and moved back across the ocean to America. Our time in Asia has come to an end and the Father has brought us back to the US for a new chapter in our lives!
Throughout this process of moving home, my heart has been full of such contrasting emotions, but that is for another day! A day when I can just have a few minutes to really sit down and process what has happened to us all. Hopefully that will come soon!
In the past two weeks we have said goodbye to our to our new old friends and met back up with our old new friends. I have gained a sister-in-law, a new niece, reacquainted ourselves with the West, become homeless, driven more than I care to remember, had to rely on God more than ever and really enjoyed constantly seeing Him provide. I am truthfully excited about the new chapter in our lives. It is a new adventure and new call upon us, and I feel we are up for the challenge. Although, it is not completely clear as to what it is yet.
All of this to say, I am excited to be back in America, I am ready to get back to sharing my heart and what the Father is doing and I hope to be more regular in doing so here!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

a challenge!

I am not a big fan of goals for myself.  I think it is mainly because I hate pressure and hate to fail.I know they are good and needed, but sometimes they make me crazy. Maybe I am just lazy? I don't want to be lazy! I want to have the discipline to do this. I lack discipline in so many areas!  I make goals and forget them. I make goals and don't like them. But this is gonna be different!
Something I want to instill in my boys is a since of Spiritual discipline. Memorizing scripture, reading the Word daily and praying are some of the most foundational disciplines that I believe even at 3 and 4 they can begin to make a habit out of! 
This year I am setting one important goal. I heard about this cool challenge for memorizing Colossians in a year at Ann Voskamp's blog. So me and my hubby are taking the challenge and gonna memorize it (but we are doing the ESV )!!! It is only 2 verses a week with some built in review weeks. What an important practice I need to get back into! I am excited about it and hope other people will join us and so many other believers around who will be hiding God's work in our hearts!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

One word.

Happy New Years.  As, the old year passes and a new one arrives I am filled with gratitude and love for a Father who has blessed me so much! I am reminded that His mercies are new every morning. This has been an amazing year and it seems to have gone by so quickly. I reflect over the past year and try to remember some of the great moments and I love to see how the Father's hands were moving through out our lives.
I wanted to try and think of a goal or maybe a theme for this upcoming year. I have seen a few places where people are trying to think of just one word. I thought to myself that it would be a good idea to try. So the past few days I have been trying to pray and think about what one word that could sum up what my desire is for the upcoming year!
I must say that it has been a real challenge to sum up what I feel God has for me in the upcoming year, so I have decided that I can have a few different words to describe what I feel God has for me to be and do over the next year. I think I have narrowed it down to 3 main words.

Why these three words?
Pray. Because I want this word to reflect and permeate my life.  I know that the more I spend time with the Father in prayer, the more I grow towards Him. The more I am at His feet, the longer I want to be there. The more I listen to His voice, the better I can hear Him! And the closer I walk with Him, the better I will be at living the life He has called me to be. A mom. A wife. A discipler of my boys and other sisters in Christ.

Family. Because I believe that this is my ministry and what God has called me to do. I believe that being a mom and a wife are such important roles. I count it a privilege to be both. These are high callings from the Father and I feel like so many woman today do not take it seriously or understand the importance of these roles. My desire is that this year I would be able to model and exemplify what the Bible says is a godly mother and wife is to look like so I can be a blessing to my family.

Gospel.  Because I believe it is so important for both the believer and the non-believer.  My husband and I have lived overseas for about 3 years working with believers and non-believers in Asia. We have really come to the realization that we all need the Gospel. We all need to live in the light of the Grace of Jesus Christ. That with out it, people are lost and dying and going to Hell. An eternity with out Jesus. An eternity of torment. With His Grace, we need to continue to everyday be grateful and understand the Power that comes through a life with Christ. He desires us to live in Him, walk with Him and live for Him. He wants our lives to reflect Him. He wants the truth to be apart of us and not just a Sunday thing! I pray that this year my life would reflect the Grace of Jesus and that others would not only see Him in me, but hear the Truth from me!

Deuteronomy 6:6-9
 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 

What are your thoughts for the new year?

May the Father's glory be made greater this year by my life!