Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Potato Soup...the New Fashioned Way

If you're looking for something yummy this New Year's Eve....this is an easy, delicious, throw in the crockpot soup. A friend told me about it before Christmas and I made it for my family....I doubled the recipe and it turned out just right to have enough for 2 meals and share with friends. 

1 30oz. bag of frozen diced hash browns
1 32 oz box of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup (10 oz)
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz, not fat free)
3 oz bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Put the potatoes in the crockpot. Add in the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and half of the bacon bits. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until potatoes are tender.
An hour before serving, cut the cream cheese into small cubes. Place the cubes in the crock pot. Mix a few times throughout the hour before serving.
Once the cream cheese is completely mixed in, it's ready to serve.
Top with cheddar cheese and some additional bacon bits.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in the Rear View Mirror

The best far..this year...

Wasn't the day we moved into our new house...although that was amazing.

It wasn't the day we got our puppy...although seeing the kids so happy was pretty great.

It wasn't the day I got to spend with friends in Tyler...although after two years apart...that was so special.

It wasn't the day I got to spend with my mom on the quaint historical square of our town....although that was memorable.

It wasn't the breathtaking view of the ocean in Maine...although my eyes could barely take in the site.

It wasn't watching the church minister in our community...but that made my heart swell. 

No...those were awesome days...some of the best I've lived so far. God granted me many pleasurable moments...But this year they didn't beat out what Jesus has done in my heart.

I started the year feeling defeated, torn and perhaps, at best, empty. I had bought into the lies of the enemy. The stupid, pathetic, arrogant lies.

But.. I am not defeated...I am victorious. I am not torn....his Son made me whole. And I am filled to overflowing with His spirit working in me. But I had lost sight. I had allowed circumstances, my own thoughts and even the words and actions of others to grab hold of my heart. I believed lies because understanding the truth didn't FEEL honest. Because feelings lie. The enemy lies. 

I lie to myself. Sometimes.

And I hate it. I hate when satan's lies sound more believable that God's truth. I hate when my mind accepts his lies and embraces a jaded and ugly lie because believing God is just too good to be true. 

But when you lose hope. That's what happens. When you forget who is in control. That's what happens. When you let the enemy climb to a place of authority in your life...that's what happens. When you let people tell you your worth...that's what happens.

I knew what I needed to do. Most of the time we know what needs to be done. We know what is right, what is good for our soul and where we need to go. And so I sat in the lap of the Father a lot this year. Crying, hurt, angry, disappointed and I let Him heal those places that no one else can...not my husband, not my friends, not an apology, not my mom or my kids. We all have those places...that we hide from everyone else. Those hidden places where we don't let people in for fear of what will be revealed. But God sheds light on those dark places. He has his own way of exposing them, cleansing them and healing them. And over the last few months, I've been walking a little more confidently knowing He can be trusted with all those thoughts, doubts, fact He's the only one that can be trusted completely.

So maybe you're struggling as we start a new year. Maybe you've had a rough one. Maybe your heart just isn't in whatever God's called you to do. Maybe you feel defeated, torn and empty. Maybe it's time for a climb into the Father's lap. Maybe it's time for His comforting embrace. Maybe you need a reminder that you are His. Maybe your heart can slowly heal too.

I'm looking forward to this next year...staying close to the Father so that I can climb back up anytime I start being tempted to believe the lies. A little more prepared to fight the good fight. Joyful about the future. Anticipating good things and things that aren't so good but that will draw me nearer...and deeper to Jesus....because that is the safest place to be...any day of the year.

If you're struggling, I'd love the privilege to pray for you. Leave me a comment below.

Looking forward to blogging much more in 2015! So stay tuned!