Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wisdom Wednesday - Leadership

Just a brief recap of the highlights for me from the Global Leadership Summit teachings:

~ Bill freakin' Hybels - God might call you to something that will never succeed, he may just be leading you to humility and leaning on him, like Jeremiah. To be a relentless leader you have to be a relentless learner. Leaders rarely learn anything new without having their world rocked and their bell rung.  Challenging yourself, we are most productive when we are progressing past appropriately challenged, when we are almost dangerously challenged.  You can't solve problems you refuse to name. Don't lose the plot, continually re-examine 5 core principles for your life. Never count yourself out, be determined to make your next five years your best five years ever. How you finish is how you’ll be remembered.

~ Dr. Henry freakin' Cloud - Communicating with 'fools', especially those threatening your vision. "God has called you to be a steward over a vision, a steward over a vision for the specific reason of changing something in a community or a world or a family or a nation." You can't let fear of confrontation threaten your vision.

~ Cory Booker (Mayor of Newark) - Be the kind of person whose light shines long after their a star. Stand up for SOMEthing. Do SOMEthing. Don't waste your life, a lot of people suffered a lot to give you the life you have. "You are the result of a grand conspiracy of love."

~ Seth Godin - People (consumers) are no longer interested in being fed average products for average people, fitting into cookie cutter molds meant for most but not all. We want to belong but we want to be unique, and so society has formed 'tribes' and we consume based on what appeals to our tribe, not the masses. Everyone has something to offer, because everyone is an original, everyone can find a niche and create one-of-a-kind experiences for others, making art out of work.

~ Michelle Rhee - Not on my watch! Be willing to put everything on the line to do what's right.

~ Mamma Maggie - "Silence your body, to listen to your words. Silence your tongue, to listen to your thoughts. Silence your thoughts, to listen to your heart. Silence your heart, to listen to your spirit. And silence your spirit, to listen to His Spirit."

~ Erwin McManus - Christians used to be the best story tellers, tell your story with passion and realism so that other people can see themselves in your story, and they will want what you have. Whoever tells a great story, shapes the culture. Become the cultivators of human talent.We need to be the stewards of human potential. The church needs to reclaim it’s place as the epicenter of creativity.

~John Dickson - Humility is common sense - None of us is an expert in everything. Humility is beautiful -We are more attracted to the great and humble than to the great who know they’re great. Humility is generative - It leads to new ideas. Humility is persuasive -The most persuasive person is the one who has your best interest at heart. Humility is inspiring - If there is someone with greatness but is unavailable, we just admire them, but if someone is humble and open, we feel we can be like them.

~ Patrick Lencioni - Service requires the server to be vulnerable—to embrace uncommon levels of humility, selflessness and transparency for the good of those they are serving. Because we fear rejection, we have terminal kindness - but kindness without truth...which will kill relationships, businesses, etc. As Christians we are called to be rejected. Speak kind truth.  Avoiding vulnerability is denying your humanity. Genuine vulnerability or serving others by purposefully 'lowering' yourself to benefit others actually raises you up, you are more attractive to others.

~ Steve Furtnick - Audacious faith is the difference between daydreaming and being a visionary. Only God can do what God can do, only you can do what you can do, so do what you can do and let God do what he can do. Chances are, if your plans don't intimidate you they are insulting to God.

Wow! My personal take-aways.  I am an original, I am a creative creation made in the image of my creator and only I can do what I am meant to do. I have a responsibility to, and stewardship over, the vision God has planted in me, to use my life to serve others, and I can do it best embracing a spirit of humility not weakness. I have to guard that vision, take a 'not on my watch' stance, not letting anything interfere with it, including having a willingness to sacrifice everything to accomplish that vision, no compromise, even if it means failure, rejection or danger. Only God can produce results, I can only do what he's created me to do.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What's on the Table Tuesday

Here are this week's 5 meals, one of each meat type, with some additional notes to add to what I've already mentioned in my meat breakdown:

Monday - Pork
Quick and Easy Grilled Pork Chops is a terribly easy recipe where it consists mostly of Italian dressing, so easy so yummy, how versatile the good ol' Italian dressing is, no wonder it's a mainstay in our fridge.  Sometimes I add it to potatoes and bake them as a side dish with the pork chops, or a marinated vegi salad with the dressing.

Tuesday - Turkey
We are having a double date with a couple over for dinner and a movie at our house tonight, so I'm making Sweet Chili Chicken but with turkey tonight. This meal came up in conversation with her before and she thought it sounded good, so I'm going to test run it for her tonight. Plus, I STILL have left over turkey to use up, lol.

Wednesday - Beef
Cheeseburger Stuffed French Bread is a great way to change up the typical burger or sloppy joe, it's a neat combination of them both actually. With pre-cooked ground beef it takes no time at all to whip up these awesome 'burgers'.

Thursday - Chicken
Another wonderful Italian dressing fav recipe, Spaghetti Supreme which I've made before but this time it's chicken instead of shrimp. Throwing in tomatoes and mushrooms is easy to make this a one-dish meal.

Friday - Seafood
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp is a treat for my hubby, his two favs all in one meal, and I'm just glad it's pretty easy to make, especially in muffin tins ;) I wrap the bacon around the edge of each muffin cup then sit the jumbo shrimp in the middle, it's all contained and easy to hold the sauce around each 'wrap' perfectly. This is great over rice.

Here is the host blog of Titus 2sdays, a great place for house-wifery and godly woman(wife)hood!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Highlight Reel

Here's some of the photo's highlighting the last few weeks :)

529 Wellington...a gift from Muki's mum.

Zoo date, although kitties were all sleeping, lions opened their eyes for one pic each :) couldn't barely even make out tiger cubs so didn't bother with pics.

Triple B's for Sean's (belated) birthday.

Thanksgiving Dinner in Altona.

Bomber Game against Montreal.

Life is good.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What's on the Table Tuesday

Here are this week's 5 meals, one of each meat type, with some additional notes to add to what I've already mentioned in my meat breakdown:

Monday - Turkey
Well, I really did my best not to do anything on vacation last week, including meal prep, so one of my easy meals is going to be on Monday night this week. I'm making Sweet Asian Chicken Salad Sandwiches with leftover turkey on croissants, yum!! I'm into my second week of turkey leftovers, but I ain't complainin', I love turkey!

Tuesday - Pork
Apple Onion Pork Chops is one of my easier recipes, but I think this will be the last time I'm making it, well making it this easy anyway. I'm more conscious of the processed food I'm using, so there are far too many ingredients on apple sauce and onion soup mix than I care for these days, I'll likely make my own apple sauce and herb/onion mix to use next time. Plus I'm trying to almost eliminate pork from my diet, so I think I may switch out pork for lamb, which I think I've found a place to buy it locally at not too hefty a price.

Wednesday - Beef
Another variation of this casserole, Homemade Mac & Cheesy Burger Bake, with a 'hamburger helper' spin on it. With ground beef I add mushrooms and extra cheeses to this casserole, combining it all the night before and then just needing to bake it before we run out the door for our Wednesday nights out. I'm also trying to find a substitute for 'condensed soups' that so many casseroles call for, I think I might have found something...I'll let ya'll know if it succeeds!

Thursday - Chicken
I've been craving Chinese lately so I'm excited a stir-fry falls into my recipe plan this week ;) Spicy Peanut Spring Stir-Fry is my indulgence this week, and it doesn't even take a lot of time, not that I have to save it tonight. 

Friday - Pork
Yes, we're having pork again. Which, yes, I did just say in this very blog I'm cutting back on pork, but due to an elimination diet/cleanse I'll be starting Nov. 1st, I had to shuffle pork out of those few weeks all together, and replace it with other meals that would fit into the restrictions, so I'm having double pork this week. Well, partial pork, it's mixed with ground turkey for this recipe, The Italian Job. A one dish meal, this time I'm going to try stuffing the recipe into extra-large pasta seashells, we'll see how that turns out.
Here is the host blog of Titus 2sdays, a great place for house-wifery and godly woman(wife)hood!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

~ well, I haven't done a 'catch up' Miscellany Monday for awhile again, like a whole month!

~ as I've said previously, September to mid-October is usually my busyest season, this year especially with my part-time volunteer job that takes about 8 hours weekly, 5 of which are on Fridays. this year we also decided to volunteer at the Global Leadership Summit that our Church hosts each year, which took most of our Sept.28-30th, but it was such an awesome experience! I'll have to have a full post in the near future to include even just some of the great insights I was blessed with being able to sit in each session. I was lucky enough to be our Pastor's gopher, so I had to be wherever he was, which was in every session :) it was SO amazing, anyone who has a chance should go. and of course, volunteering I met even more Riverwooders, it was great getting to know so many cool people.

~ our recovery program has just passed it's fourth week and I feel really good about our start, although we do hope to continue building, we're a fairly small group so far.  I'm thinking I'll be opening a blog and/or FB page for it soon, so stay tuned, I'll share that link with you when the time comes.

~ we had two Thanksgiving dinners, one at our place, one in Altona, both were super filling and great time with the to come.

~ we had a week off last week, a great time to just let our minds and bodies relax and rejuvenate, individually and as a couple:
~ as a couple, we enjoyed an elegant lunch at 529 Wellington, courtesy of a gift card from Muki's mom, our last thank you present (I hope!), but it was a real treat! we took a trip to the zoo, but everyone was really quiet, especially the sleeping tiger cubs we really wanted to see, they were too busy snuggled right into momma to see anything but a few stray paws sticking in the air. we went out for a game of pool, and while I am getting better, even my allowed flukes are no match for Sean. we shared some great conversation time, especially on our road trip to and from Altona.
~ individually, I caught up on some reading, played around with some new digital software on my phone, created a blurb book/scrapbook on our dating years, and made a nutrition/health stewardship plan for myself that I need to impliment and get back on track now that I'm not so busy.

~ caught up on some cleaning and Fly Lady tactics, plus some deep 'puppy removal' cleaning. kinda did 'spring cleaning', sorting and disgarding clothes, books, craft supplies, etc. that no longer need space in our home. I'm hoping to do more of that with my craft supplies so I can sell a bunch sometime this winter.

~ also started a financial course through our Church, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.  not even a full week later I like some of the changes we're making fiscally and I look forward to 12 more weeks of great insights. it just started last week, and I think 9 spots were open, so anyone free on Wednesday nights (7-9 pm)who wants to join the course, just let me know and I'll see if I can get you in one of those last spots. there is a cost, but you receive his book, a workbook, audio CDs of the whole series, access to a bunch of online tools, and more.

~ oh, and now that we know that Mr. Muki won't be returning, we talked about a plan for a dog for us. like children, this is a responsible, well thought out process for us, so we're going to wait until Spring when we can take some vacation and have a snow-less backyard, and then we'll start looking for the specific dog we have in mind. we're open to the dog that wants to adopt us, we just have a few criteria to make this a life-long (puppy life that is) decision. and we have some friends who may just be puppy-shopping at the same time...this is going to be fun!

~so, that's been our last month, well some of the highlights anyway :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I should have stated at the beginning of the week, I'm on vacation! Well, stay-cation :) And while I have a bunch of blogs rattling around this brain of mine, I first have to get in some much needed R&R and hubby time while I can.
Just wanted to let you know so you didn't think I fell off the face of the earth :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hope or Presumption

Awhile ago I wrote about 'expecting miracles' and how even though I know and have complete faith God is very capable of giving me a miracle child, I have had trouble expecting that for myself. I wasn't sure I should expect the miracle I wanted, so I expected a miracle in general.

Where do you draw the line between being hopeful and being presumptuous?

Like with healing, I know miraculous healings can and do still happen today, and I faithfully pray for those miracles when I pray for people who need healing. Yet I get this urge to always end that prayer in, 'but your will be done.'

As much as I believe miracles are completely possible, I also know that God has a perfect plan, and sometimes that perfect plan does not include miracles. Not the kind we are asking for anyway.

I think there is a different kind of miracle he does in those circumstances.  When all our plans and control fail, we naturally succumb to helplessness....and in that place we can surrender our heart, soul, mind and body to him, he fills the emptiness and heals the brokenness in his perfect way, and anything we thought we desperately wanted, we would gladly forfeit for that relationship we have now. This is the miracle I am content to have received.

Just look at the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations.  Even after a life of obedience that resulted in no external success, even at the end of writing a book all about lamenting his life he said he wouldn't change a thing because of his relationship with God.

YET. Jeremiah has one of the most hopeful verses in all of the Bible, used by many people, including myself, to give themselves/maintain hope. "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.

I finally feel like I'm at a place where he knows I trust his plans completely, I know he has plans to give me hope, not harm. I would completely forfeit my dreams of children if he asked me to, because I want to have that perfect purpose he created me for....not my own. And I want to be in right relationship with him, by being obedient to his will for me.  Not that I expect that will be easy.  What I expect is that he'll continue to give me the miracle of peace in choosing him.


I don't feel he's asked me to forfeit my own dreams yet. I only feel that way sometimes because of lack of 'results'. But I haven't yet discovered that dream doesn't walk hand-in-hand with my purpose.

And that is why I don't feel presumptuous believing that my miracle could still be mine one day.

So, for now, I am full of hope again.

And expecting miracles that look like children to call my own.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What's on the Table Tuesday

Here are this week's 5 meals, one of each meat type, with some additional notes to add to what I've already mentioned in my meat breakdown:

Monday - Turkey
The pace slows down a little this week, a nice change! Today we're having turkey so we're not sick of it by Sunday when we have our first Thanksgiving dinner :) Decided to forgo my original plan for this turkey, which was to have it 'traditional style', the potatoes, the gravy, the veggies. Originally I didn't realize this week would match up with Thanksgiving! So instead, we had turkey melts on rye bread....with some bacon of course.

Tuesday - Chicken
Honey Glazed Chicken is a real favorite chicken recipe, the honey just makes it divine! And it's so simple. I already froze the chicken in the sauce, so all I have to do is cook and add a side.  I might try some honey-glazed carrots for the side.

Wednesday - Pork
For a change we're having our pork as Farmer Sausage (50% beef actually...trying to cut back on pork). I have an old family favorite recipe that usually calls for weiners but I am going to use sausage instead. We serve this over white rice and often a side of carrot sticks because we make the sauce really tangy, it neutralizes that a bit. This is another easy must be easy, my mom made it all the time when she worked and was raising us :) We'll make it out the door in plenty of time.

Thursday - Seafood
Chicken & Shrimp Almond Guy Ding, which I already made a few weeks ago with chicken, now I'm making it with Shrimp....because I love this stirfry a lot! Stirfrys are so easy, and include almost all food groups. This time I'll be throwing in some fried shanghai noodles (the fat ones).
Friday - Beef
So, for our busy Friday, where we're going to be trying to leave even earlier now, as we've kindof lost our setup team, I'm re-heating Meatballs I already cooked and then froze, serving them over spagetti, then topped with tomato and mushroom sauce, and of course sprinkled with cheese. I really don't know how I would have managed these nights if I hadn't started freezing pre-cooked meat....McDonalds and I might be on a first name basis by now!
Here is the host blog of Titus 2sdays, a great place for house-wifery and godly woman(wife)hood!

What's on the Table Tuesday

Well this was supposed to have been published last Tuesday....better late than never :)
These next 2 weeks I am kick starting some serious (yes...again) weightloss. I am eating an elimination diet, no dairy, only certain oils and meats, no carbs, no sugar, no starchy veggies, no stuff I can't pronounce, so if you notice any of that in my recipes I have substituted or it's in their just for hubby and I've removed it in my portion. I love that I found so many of my recipes that cooperated with this cleanse!!
Here are this week's 5 meals, one of each meat type, with some additional notes to add to what I've already mentioned in my meat breakdown:

Monday - Turkey
A good ol' Granny's turkey roasted to perfection....this is not still leftovers from Thanksgiving, this is from my turkey I cooked back in summer, and no I'm not tired of it yet! For myself I'm serving it with Sensational But Simple Salad minus the dressing, which I'm not sure yet what I'll sub with , but for hubs I'm making it 'Sean style', mixed with a condensed soup mix and noodles with mushrooms. That was his formula when baching it, meat+condensed soup+pasta/rice+canned mushrooms, alternate poultry, pork beef, and alternate cream of chicken, tomato, and cheese soup. Yikes! But he loves it.

Tuesday - Seafood
Nothing like a stirfy to get in LOTS of veggies in your meal :) With this stirfry Curry Seafood Steamer I can pack in a lot of flavor with curry without a lot of condiments/sauces full of chemicals and/or fat. I won't be eating the potatoes in it, but that's ok, I'm also adding carrots and snap peas, so I'm sure it will be filling. And I'm going to make it in my Actifry, it does stirfry with only 1 tbsp oil!! Coconut oil at that....yum!
Wednesday - Beef
Spanish Rice with Beef with lean beef tenderloin strips instead of ground beef is another meal that can be low on fat, especially with just spices and not sauces, with a great mix of a lot of veggies. I'll be removing the corn for me, and will be serving with brown rice for Sean and lentils for myself.
Thursday - Chicken
I mentioned last week how much I love Italian dressing, and Lemon Dill Chicken is another reason why, especially because this sauce is great for baking potatoes in as well.  That will be for Sean though, I will be enjoying this with just a side of asparagus.
Friday - Seafood
Yes, we're having seafood again, this time fish. I've been excited to try this Creamy Pesto Fish , I love Pesto, it's such a yummy and natural 'sauce', never thought to try it with fish...anything to make fish yummy :) And did you know mayonnaise actually has no dairy? Go figure...I can eat it! YAY! Sean will be having this over rice but I'm just going to have it with peas salted with sea salt.

Here is the host blog of Titus 2sdays, a great place for house-wifery and godly woman(wife)hood!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


it was a really challenging week...

getting 5 days of work done in 2.

dealing with a doggy with poop issues too disgusting to get into.

trying to squeeze in personal appts. before the volunteering started on Wed. afternoon, a fast food lunch was the best solution for sustenance, until I chose a McDonald's across from a highschool at 12 noon. never.again. never.

some physical labor to get the many, many, many boxes of resources for the Global Leadership Summit from our Church to the GLS site.

some fun setting up the 'book store' at the GLS site, working with Sean at this was a glimpse at our dream of opening a bookstore/coffee shop. and browsing the books I wanted ahead of time....dangerous :)

in the hour we were home between setup and our busy Wed. evening we had supper and said good-bye to Mr. Muki puppy, as his momma could take him back indefinitely. we're not sure if she'll need us to take care of him again, but he is gone for at least a few weeks. it was hard to say good-bye to the little guy, even with that issues that morning and yellow stains I now have to pay to get out of my carpet. it was hardly his fault we know, can't be easy being away from your home and mum for so long.

then all Wed. evening prepping for Friday night, a new weekly schedule that will continue as of this week.

Thursday started out earlier than work, being at the GLS for 7 am. right away, my reputation for responsibility with my leader on Friday nights led to becoming our Lead Pastor's runner in addition to being a greeter. that was great because I had to be in the sessions with him to do whatever he needed, so I got to listen to every single session,  how awesome was that!

Thursday night, a bit of relaxing after a quick supper, then to bed early for another early morning of 7:15 Friday morning. Another day of running around and smiling pretty, bought some great books, heard some great sessions. Then leaving a bit early because our Friday night was just a few hours away and needed setup as well.

Sean had been able to get away from the GLS to setup most of the physical stuff, but we still needed to spend from 5-7pm preparing, then our evening ran until 10 pm. 

A long, challenging, emotional, tiring, but mostly awesome week.
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