Thursday, December 27, 2012

Closing this Chapter

As we draw near to the end of 2012, I feel God is leading me in a new direction and it is time for this blog (which at one time meant so much to me)...to come to an end.  Over the last 3 years, God has healed so many broken places in my life.  He has forced me each year to deal with things that I really had no idea were part of what was holding me back from becoming the person that He created me to be.  From the unrealized loss of loved ones.....to old memory flashes from things from my childhood.  Many of the things that I have dealt with, I didn't know were weighing so heavy on my heart.  I didn't realize that they were keeping me from my true destiny.  As God has taken each broken place and worked to heal it, he has even worked to clean all of the junk out some old wounds....so that they can heal properly.  I am so thankful that God wants me to be whole, instead of continuing to put more bandages on these old wounds.  I'm not saying that everything is completely healed, but God has given me some amazing tools and even some amazing relationships that continue to help me heal.

God has shown me over the last 2 months, how important all of the relationships that we have are, whether they are old or new.  Each relationship has a purpose in our lives.  All relationships fall into one of three categories: REASON, SEASON or LIFETIME.  Sometimes, someone is placed in our lives for a specific reason.  Maybe the reason is to help us get through something we are dealing with or maybe it is just to teach us some kind of lesson.  Sometimes, we have friends that are there during a specific season and then the relationship ends.  A season in our life could be our childhood, or our teenage years....  And some friends are friends for a lifetime.  I am finding that many of my old relationships tend to fall under that category...in a way that I didn't expect.  The more that we put into each of our relationships, the more we will get out them.  I have definitely learned what true friends are.

I have come to realize that the person that started this blog in 2009, is no longer me.  Yes, on the outside I am the same person(maybe a few years older).....but my heart is different.  I am a new person.....a different person.  I have a different outlook.  I have a different life.  I have a different view on so many things in life.  Although, this blog will always have a memorable place in my heart....it is time for a new chapter in my life.

Thanks to all of those that have followed my blog and have given me support through the last 3 years.  It means the world to me. Stayed tuned.....because I will be starting a new blog that better represents where I am at this point in my life.  I pray you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Blessings.....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dreams: A Cherished Hope

     Are you who God wants you to be?  One thing that I have realized over the last year is how difficult it can be to be the person God created you to be.  Sometimes, it is because you don't listen for God's direction.  Sometimes it is simply because you don't know what that still small voice even sounds like.  Or maybe it is because what God wants for you just doesn't really seem like what you would want for yourself?  Either the idea is scary, or it just doesn't feel like it would fit with what you are currently doing.  Sometimes things from our past have a way of making us who we are...we listen to the voice that once ruled our every thought.  We believe things that are not really truth, because it is easier than believing that we are important and we can make a difference.  The truth is.......any of these things can lead down the same path, which to me is the path of disobedience.  We ignore God, we pretend that we don't hear Him.....we are really loud and choose to drown out His voice with many things.....some of which may be healthy, but many of which are not....drugs, alcohol, friendships, relationships and even ministry.  When we finally get to the place where we feel forced to listen and give up on our own ideas and decide to embrace what God is telling us, there is God patiently waiting on us.  I am simply no exception to ignoring God. 

     Many young girls have dreams of careers and jobs and marriage and kids.  God placed dreams in me as a young girl, but the ideas seemed simply ridiculous and too far out of my reach....that I ignored God for 30 some years.  I couldn't see how I could possibly ever achieve or reach either one of my dreams.  So, I did everything that I could to drown out anything that had to do with my dreams.  My two dreams as a little girl were something that I thought would go away over time, but that hasn't happened.  If anything my dreams have grown and have become my passion.  The first dream was to have a horse, which I will someday accomplish....because not only do I still dream of owning a horse, but I have a daughter that has the same love of horses that I do.  My second dream was to sing.  I just want to clarify what I mean.  I didn't want to be a rockstar by any means....but I just wanted to sing.  My first love was country music, but my heart has changed so much.  I was only introduced to Christian music shortly before I went back to college.  I now love Christian music as much if not more than I ever did country music.  After going back to college a few years back and having a completely different major and then God pretty much hitting me over the head to stop ignoring him.  I began a degree for music.  After going through nearly 2 years at college, God called me home to be with my children to homeschool them.  I had homeschooled previous to going to college...and I loved it, but I didn't have much support where we lived, so we chose to put the kids back in the school system.  Where we were living now, we had a great deal more support, so this once again became a good option.  After not being able to come up with another solution, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God wanted me to withdraw from college.  So that is exactly what I did. This was one of the hardest things that I have ever done.  I was very confused, because I knew I was finally doing what God wanted....so to drop school...didn't make any sense, but I did.  It wasn't until sometime later that the opportunity came for me to be part of a new worship service at our church.  Although, I initially agreed to take the lead, leading in front of a congregation was one of the most frightening things and it was really difficult at first.  I put everyone out there that I could, so that I didn't have to talk.  As time went on, I began to feel God prompting me to stand up and do what He had called me to do.  I was really freaked out about it, initially.  But, God continued to change me into the person that He wanted me to be.  After some time, I became the worship leader and was leading many of the songs and even sharing personal stories and bible verses with the congregation.  I have never felt my heart so full of God's love, as I did what God asked me to do.  Nearly 2 months ago, I felt God's prompting again as God asked me to step down from my position.  This was the 2nd hardest thing that God has asked me to do...my heart which once felt so full....was now broken and shattered.  But, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that being obedient to God was the only way.  I really don't have a clue what God is doing....I wish I did.  What I do know, is that God has mighty plans for His people and this world....and sometimes the best thing that we can do.....is just move out of the way!

If there is something difficult that you are going through, you must know that God loves us and is always with us.  Sometimes, God uses our struggles to bring us to the place that He wants us to be.  He wants us to draw near to Him.  In James 4:8-10 it says, "Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."  Every step in obedience to God, is a step in the right direction.  If you are still fighting God and what He is asking you to do....stop fighting and give up your will to be led by Him.  The blessings and the rewards of obedience...no matter how painful it may be.....the end results will be beautiful!  It is worth every tear and every sorrow.  Psalm 126:5-6 "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him."  May the God who brought you to this place, bring you forth out of the darkness and into His marvelous light.  May your joy be complete in Him.   

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." (John 15:9-12)  God wants us to love others with the same love that He has for us.  This type of love is called Agape love.  Dictionary.com defines agape love in a couple different ways.     1The love of God or Christ for humankind. 2The love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind. 3Unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.  "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."(1 John 4:8)  In 1 John 4:16b, it says, "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."  We are called to love, because that is what shows others that God is in us.  In the book of John shortly before Jesus predicts Peter's denial of Him, Jesus gives us a new command, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."(John 13:34)  I don't know about you, but there is nothing more powerful than sharing Christ's agape love with one another.  If you are protecting yourself from the pain and hurt, by not loving....you are also denying yourself the joy and hope that you can gain by sharing Christ's love.  Do you know someone that is hurting and needs God?  The best thing that you could do is show them love, like that which you have from God.  As you love others and draw near to the Lord, you will feel a peace that you can't have without God.  Only in His presence will you experience the peace that passes all understanding.  The Lord has a plan for each of our lives.  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."(Jeremiah 29:11)  As we choose to be obedient, He will shows us the path to take.  He will guide our steps, if we allow Him to.  Every step in obedience, is a step in the right direction.  Choose to be obedient today and move out of God's way!   

"You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence."(Acts 2:28)                          

Thursday, May 24, 2012

ALONE by Jenielle(written 9-20-92)

As I wallow in that which is so unfamiliar, I realize that I am alone. There is not one soul, who is here with me. I am a foreigner in a place that is not to be called my own. I have a heart, which is lost in this place that is so different. As I am alone, I feel no peace with myself. But my heart feels hope, although it continues to feel hurt. I see a road, full of new beginnings, of light in a place which is so dark. I hear the soft melody playing as the flowers begin to dance in the brightness. I smell the roses, which perk my nostrils, as the aroma lightens my day. From one extreme to another, it is difficult to see the light which is up ahead. The pain which burns my heart, is yet so strong, but the love which is inside, will help me hold on. To each day, I see happiness, and the eve, I see joy, for without the hope of freedom, my heart would be destroyed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oaks of Righteousness(part 2)

As I was reading through my previous posts today, I came across this post.  Something about it screamed at me....that it needed to be continued.  It is truly amazing to me the chains that I have been able to break through, since the original post nearly two years ago.  God has changed me and healed me from things that I never dreamed possible, even from things that I didn't know were keeping me in bondage.  The beginning of this year, marks another time of struggle for me....as God has laid before me things that He wants me to deal with from my past.  I have come to realize that running from things only makes them bigger and more painful when you deal with them.   

I learned from the Beth Moore Breaking Free bible study, that she truly believes that in order for us to move forward, we must have courage.  We must be ready to fight and stand up and change the future, by not repeating the past.  We must be willing to 'break free' of unhealthy habits and make choices by 'love and not loyalty'.  After I did this bible study, I was able to realize that it is possible to rebuild the ancient ruins.  Isaiah 61:4 reads, "They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."  I feel like this verse actually gives me the permission to make the choices that are necessary to protect my family from the devastation and guide them to a healthier life.  I don't want to remain in the bondage that I have been in all these years.  Nor do I want to pass down these things to future generations.  I want us to be free to be exceptional, just as God has called each of us to be according to Jeremiah 18:11b.  "So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions."  

Once again, I continued to be amazed at how God continues to reveal specific places in my life, where I remain in bondage.  This is something God has been working on with me for at least a few years now.  Experience after experience, he opens doors that were closed or places that were stored away that I was truly unaware of.  There is nothing more precious to me than my freedom, from the things that have held me captive all of my life.  Even memories from my life(bad & good) have caused me to live in bondage, for reasons that I couldn't understand, until recently.  God continues to give me the courage and strength to push forward and heal, even when the pain is more than I can bear.  God wants each of us to be free! 




I recently painted this oak tree on my office wall and added the following verse. In Isaiah 61:3b it says, "They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."   God wants us to be free so that he can enjoy us.  He doesn't want us to be captive.  I don't know about you, but I would love to be viewed as a beautiful tree.  I believe this is the way that God views us.  He views all of us as beautiful, even when we can't see it.  As we struggle to be free from things that hold us captive, we can choose to build firm roots by leaning on our family, friends and the word of God. Our relationship with God will help to give us the strength and courage to break free.  We must take time to be still and listen and not be anxious.  1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 

All trees are beautiful, but old oak trees have a special place in my heart.  I find old oak trees amazingly beautiful.  I believe that each of us can be compared with an oak tree.  God made each of us so different, just as each old oak is completely different.  Yet, we were each created for a specific purpose.  God loves us and gave each of us unique gifts & talents, that fit with the individual plan that he has for each of our lives.  In Jeremiah 29:11 it says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Believe it or not, God really does have an amazing plan for all of us.  I have been blessed to have small glimpses of this plan over the last few years.  But, I have also learned that being obedient is the only way to receive what God's best is for you.  You can't get to God's best on your own.  You must be obedient to what He asks you to do....even if it means giving up dreams or things that you love and feel called to do.  I am going to cling to this verse as I choose to follow God's request to step away from things.  In John 14:27 it says,  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." God's reward will be better than what you could imagine giving up....believe me, I know!       


God wants each of us to be planted by truth, so that we can grow and be beautiful.  This is not our own truth, but the truth of his word, the Bible.  We can't believe the lies that we have always believed.  You are worthless.  You don't deserve to be happy.  You will never amount to anything.  You won't have a long healthy life.  You will never change.  You will continue to hurt people.  You will never be loved the way you want to be.  These are just some of the lies, that Satan tells us.  We can't fall into the same unhealthy traps.  We must be firmly planted in his truth.  "Then.......the truth will set you free."  John 8:32 

We must stand up for what we believe in, and not be persuaded by loyalty, but by LOVE!  We must NOT doubt the love that God has for us!  We must trust and know that we are forgiven, even when we aren't ready to forgive ourselves.  Nobody is perfect....we are ALL, only perfect sinners!  We must move forward knowing that we have the ability to do things differently with the strength of God.  

God has a specific purpose for YOU in this lifetime!  If you never seek to figure out what that purpose is, then you will never know, the amazing blessings that God has for you!  Don't let history, be the deciding factor for your future!  My desire is that everyone would strive to be become the beautiful oak tree that God desires us to be.  My prayer is that each of you would be able to experience what God's best is for YOU!  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Gift for You!

It has been a long time, since I really blogged about something other than food.  God has really been working in my life and on my heart!  In the last year, God has opened and healed more wounds than I even realized that I had.  I have felt God's love from amazing friends, family, and even from those that I barely know.  I have never felt so blessed in my entire life.....as I do right now!  It may be hard for many to understand what I am talking about, but I once felt so lost and abandoned.  And probably many of you had no idea or no clue that I ever felt that way.....but the cold hard truth is that, I did!  God has done something miraculous in my life and I want to share with each and every one of you the same opportunity that I have been given.    

God is constantly changing our path.  Once you think you finally have it figured out....watch out....it will change again.  Over the past year, I have come to realize that God's plans can go way beyond what you could imagine or dream.  The key to living a full life(from my eyes).....when you let go of what YOU want and put God in front of everyone and everything.  Amazing and crazy things happen.....sometimes, even things that seem totally not possible.  God has the ability to heal ALL wounds, fix ALL bad choices and completely turn your life around into something that is totally not imaginable.  I have watched God do this so many times in so many peoples lives.  My heart continues to believe without a shadow of doubt...that it is truly possible in ALL situations.

If you are reading this and wondering what in the world that I am talking about, well....it seems you have come to the right place.  God put each of us on this earth for a specific purpose.  We were each individually created to do something totally different than our friends and even other members of our family.  God has a specific plan for each person's life.  The goal for each of us should be to discover and uncover what that plan is.  "How in the world do we do this?"  Well, it isn't quite as complicated as it may seem.  When each of us were born, in our mind and our heart God puts things inside of us that we are passionate about.  This may seem trivial....but in reality....it really is a very important part of figuring out what that "Plan" is that God has for us.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  God doesn't want us to be miserable, he wants us to have an amazing future.  The very next verse(12) says, "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."  Why is it important that we pray for things, when God knows us and what we want and need?  Well, it is important to pray, because God wants to hear from us and the only way to begin having a relationship with God is to pray(or talk) with God about your needs and desires.  In order to be blessed, YOU must seek God.  In the following verse(13), "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." When you seek God, you will desire to be obedient and listen to what He wants you to do.  Sometimes, in the beginning it may be difficult to discern what God is telling you.  Over time as you listen and are diligent to obey God, each step will lead you closer to the future that God has planned for you.  God does have amazing plans for each and every one of us.....but we have do our part by praying and seeking God in order to get to the plans that God has for us!

It is NEVER too late for anyone to come to Jesus and have a different life!  If you have made bad choices, or just really don't think that you deserve amazing happiness......well, think again.....every single person deserves and is offered God's love.....if only they are willing to accept and make the choice to change.  I have never met a perfect Christian.....we are all sinners in one way or another and we are all offered forgiveness!

Christmas is not a time to celebrate with gifts, but a time to reflect on the AMAZING gift that we were given on Christmas day...with the birth of our Lord and Savior....Jesus Christ!  Can you imagine a baby coming to this world and saving all of us from the terrible mistakes that we make?  It is true.  It really happened.  Jesus came to save each and EVERYONE of us!!!  Will you accept this gift today?  Or will you let another year go by believing that you don't deserve this type of happiness?  The time is now......don't let another day go by.....accept Jesus into your heart!  Start today.....

May the gift of Jesus be your heart's delight for 2012!!!

Merry Christmas!!!   

Sunday, November 13, 2011

GF Drop Biscuits

This was my first attempt at changing a regular recipe into a GF recipe.  I think it worked out rather well.  My kids all agreed that they turned out yummy too!



Here is the Recipe:

3 Cups flour(I used my pre-mixed GF bread flour-stored in my frig)
2 Tb + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder(corn free)
1 Tb honey
3 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 C olive oil
1 1/4 C milk(used plain coconut milk)

Preheat oven to 450*F.  In a large bown combine the flour, baking powder, honey, salt, and cream of tartar.  I used my mixer to blend the olive oil until it was somewhat crumbly.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.  Add milk all at once.  I used the mixer to combine the milk with the flour mixture.

I used two spoons to drop the dough into 16 mounds onto a greased baking sheet.  Makes 16 biscuits.

My bread flour mixture:

1 1/2 Cups millet flour
1 1/2 Cups sorghum flour
2 C tapioca starch
1 C potato starch

Makes 6 cups.  This mixture comes from Cybele Pascal's recipe book 'The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook.'  I love this book!  This is the only gluten free cookbook that we own.  I have found many recipes online...but there is a wealth of great recipes for basic things in this book.  I love both her bread flour and basic flour mixture. We use both of these mixtures for a variety of things.

I am so excited about these biscuits!  I have been neglecting trying to adjust my own recipe in hopes that something else would turn out similar....but it just hadn't happened yet.  This recipe above was adjusted from the "Biscuits Supreme" recipe in the Better Homes and Garden's new Cook Book.

Enjoy! 

Friday, September 30, 2011