When To Take A Break

You might have noticed my less-than-consistent posting over the past couple of weeks. My brain was crispy to the point of not being excited about the things I was doing. I was cooking for the sake of having something to write about. My craft projects were done just enough to get pictures of them. And I was writing about Scripture that was on my heart ages ago but I felt like I was just putting words on the screen without devotion to them.

It was at that point that I knew I had to take a break. I was no longer blogging to give God the glory for how He has been working in my life, but trying to keep up with a self-imposed goal. It was trying to do this under my own power that sucked out my energy and left me empty.

How do you know when it's time to stop a project, passion or idea?

1. You're not doing it with all your heart.
2. You're doing it because you told yourself you would.
3. You're trying to keep up appearances.
4. You've lost sight of why you started doing i…

Trying Your Faith And Working Your Patience

Troubles and afflictions come to all of us, in varying degrees, at different times in our lives. Some seem small and can be handled in a short amount of time. Others are life-altering, traumatic and designed to stretch us to our limits.

Sufferings are not a strange occurrence. We are well aware that trials come when we least expect them, but we also know that no one is immune and no one will ever have smooth sailing through their time on earth. It isn't something that should destroy our faith, just something that we know will come our way.

The devil, however, will use these trying times to draw us away from God and toward sin. If he can lie to us and make us think that we are unloved, unwanted and unappreciated, he can talk us into thoughts and actions we wouldn't normally entertain. It's been his battle plan from the beginning (reread Genesis 3 and you'll see exactly what I mean), and it's the one he'll continue to use because he has no new tricks up his slee…

A Week Of Scar Prevention

I have a scar under my chin almost two inches long. During my junior year of high school, I wasn't feeling well and asked if I could go to the nurse's office. Unfortunately, I didn't make it that far. I passed out as I was trying to get the classroom door open, cracking my chin open on the glass door. It was easily one of the most embarrassing moments of my teenage years, and I have the deep scar to prove my story.
When I saw my prayer bench after a recent string of storms, I felt that it could tell some stories about scars, too. Once-smooth planks now have dents and dings all over. Even the overhanging trees couldn't keep my bench from getting pummeled by anything and everything flying through the wind.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rul…

Outside With Molly

This is the look I get when Molly's ready to go outside. If you have a dog, or have ever had a dog, known a dog or seen a dog, you're probably familiar with this face. It's not subtle and it's easily recognizable. So outside we go.

Molly spends much of our time outside like this. If you can't see what she's doing, it's because she has her face planted in the dirt. Somewhere right under there is a mole. She can see the ground moving and hear him digging. She'll tilt her head in that cute way, listen very closely and then pound her nose into the dirt. She hasn't caught one yet, thank goodness, but there's still time.

If anything changes outside, like a few weeks ago when one of ours trees fell down, she has to investigate. If nothing has changed, she still has to investigate. If curiosity killed the cat, who knows what it would do to a Great Dane?

It's very rare to see this end of Molly when we're out for a walk. Normally she's blazin…

Five Things NOT To Waste Your Money On This Weekend

The weekend is almost here, and I'm sure you already have your plans all laid out. Maybe you're getting out of town with the family, doing some much-needed work around the house or just catching up in errands chores. Sounds like we're all int he same boat.

But as you're out and about, think about these ways that you can NOT spend money, setting aside trivial little things so you have some extra cash. A penny saved is a penny you'll have saved up for when you need it most.

So, here are five things NOT to waste your money on this weekend.

* Fancy coffee - you know you have a bunch at home. Grab one of those 27 travel mugs you have in your kitchen cabinet and make some up before you go out.

* Trips to the thrift shop - I'm talking to myself on this one. I don't need new books, clothes or baking pans, which are what I usually go in there for. One weekend of not knowing if someone donated a book or skirt I just have to have isn't going to kill me.

* Expensi…

Cheeseburger Pizza Stuffed Pepper Rings

Show off your favorite meatloaf recipe by serving it inside a pepper ring. This edible bowl makes adorable presentation while keeping your meat mixture contained for baking.

I've included a great meatloaf mix here, but you can always trade it out for yours. I'd love to hear what amazing combination you come up with.

1 large green pepper
1 large red pepper
1 pound ground beef
Italian seasoning to taste
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
2 Tbsp minced garlic

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice the top and bottom off each pepper and dice them. Cut the pepper itself into three rings.

3. Mix all of the ingredients, including the diced peppers, in a large bowl.

4. Divide the mixture between the six pepper rings. They'll probably be over-filled, but they'll reduce a little while cooking.

5. Bake pepper rings on a baking sheet for 40-45 minutes, until the meat is cooked through all the way. At the 40-minute mark, …