Posted in For My Book, Inspiration

Dear Young Christian Girls

I really wish that I could travel the world talking to young girls about relationships and their future husbands. I actually pray that God will open doors to allow me to share with His daughters how they have each been specially created for one man. It is my heart’s desire to see young ladies make commitments to their future husbands. And, it is my prayer that my daughters will never give away a piece of their heart before saying “I do”. 

With this being said, I want to take a moment to share with Christian girls and women alike.

I know that you are searching for love. Stop searching. It’s hard. Our society tells us from a young age that we need a boyfriend. It really makes my blood boil when I hear people ask my little girls (ages 3 & 4) if they have a boyfriend. I don’t even want them to know about boyfriends!

You think you have found love. Ask yourself this question – “does he possess the qualities I want in my future husband?” I know it sounds crazy if you are 14 years old, but it will protect you, I promise. I am so thankful that this question was given to me as a young girl from a friend’s grandmother. Never date a guy that you would not consider marrying. Don’t waste your time!!

This doesn’t mean that the next guy you date will be your future husband. Don’t play like you are married. I dated a guy in high school that did have a lot of the qualities that I desired in my future husband. We prayed together. We worshiped together. We fasted together. We read scripture together. But, he did not treat me like his future wife. He was a nice guy. He taught me a lot. But, I regret that I stayed in our relationship for so long. I regret that I let myself get so serious. I regret that I neglected my friendships to be with him. I regret that I neglected my family to be with him. But, I don’t regret the relationship. The relationship taught me what I truly wanted in my future husband and made me so very thankful when I began dating Nathan. From the moment he picked me up for our first date, gift in tow, I knew he was pretty darn special!

Make a decision now to guard your heart and save yourself for marriage. Make a decision to remain abstinent until your wedding day. That will truly be the greatest gift you can give your husband and your family. I am so thankful that Nathan & I had protected this gift for one another. A decision I made at the mere age of 13 partnered with a desire to live fully for God (coupled with an out of this world fear of my earthly father) has truly blessed me and our marriage. It is a blessing that I want every bride to experience.

Posted in Recipes

Baked Spaghetti

This recipe has been a favorite of mine since it was first introduced to me by an amazing lady that became second family to Nathan & I during our tenure in Fulton, Missouri. I will forever remember the first time I had the fabulous dish – we were moving into our first home when Donna stopped by with the special delivery. I never think about sending dinner during moving time, but it was a great treat.

I love sharing this dish with friends when they bring home a new baby, so I recently shared it with Cory & Aleshia Edwards. I felt really super cool when Aleisha said that Cory would love to have the Baked Spaghetti that I made for them when their first son, Cole was born. There are very few people in this world that actually request a dish from me, so that must mean that this recipe is fabulous.

 

Actually, I can only think of one other thing that ever gets requested – Chex Mix (a request from dad and the only thing that I can actually make better than mom).

Baked Spaghetti

1 medium chopped onion (I only use 1/4 to 1/2)         ½ teaspoon pepper

2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained                     ½ teaspoon garlic salt

2 Tablespoons butter                                                   12 oz angel hair spaghetti, cooked and drained

1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes                                    2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 (8oz) can drained sliced mushrooms                        2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

1 can drained sliced ripe olives (black)                        1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

2 teaspoons dried oregano                                           ¼ cup water

1 teaspoon salt                                                              ½ cup parmesan cheese (I use fresh)

1 large chopped green pepper (I only use 1/4 to 1/2)

In a large skillet, sauté onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Add cooked beef. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Place half the spaghetti in a buttered 9×13 (or larger is better) baking dish. Top with half of the beef/veggie mixture. Sprinkle with half of chesse mixtures. Repeat layers. Of course, the more cheese, the better. This last time, I actually used the nacho taco mix of cheese instead of just monterey jack.

Mix soup and water until smooth. Pour over the casserole. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes or until bubble around the edges. It makes A LOT, so it would be a great idea to bake half and freeze the rest for another day.

Freezes great! Just bake for 1 hour instead of 45 min! Enjoy! =)

Special thanks to Amanda Roselius for sending me this recipe!

Posted in For My Book, The Crazy Life

What Matters Most from Kelly’s Korner Blog

My best friend, Monique, shared an encouraging blog entry with me this morning . . . right after she called to ask me if we could get together one night this week to pray. (Wow, I have truly been blessed with the greatest friend in the world!)

You should definitely read Kelly’s Blog entry because what truly matters most is that our children love God with “all of their hearts, their souls, their strength and their minds” (Luke 10:27). Because of this love relationship with our Heavenly Father, our children will also “love their neighbors.”

Nathan & I always talk about the fact that we truly do not have any desire to see our children reach genius status, and I hope and pray that my friends do not see my as a bragging mother because I work hard to share our craziness and expose our faults of raising 3 kids in 3 years. For some reason, God has blessed us with 3 tremendously bright children, though!

All of my rambling to say, read Kelly’s Blog. I believe it will encourage you and comfort you on this journey of parenthood. There is no need for us to compare our children. In those times that we feel like we need to keep up with the kid down the street, let us drop to our knees in prayer that God will mold the hearts of our children to imitate His way. I also spend many moments praying for the friends that my children will have along the way and for their future spouses. As the girls begin to be in awe of being a bride one day, we have spent time in the car praying together for the men that God is preparing for them.

Posted in Proverbs 31 Wife

Share His Interests

One of the top needs for husbands – sharing his interests with his wife.

Rather than convincing your husband to be enthusiastic about your activities, why not take an interest in what he already likes? If he enjoys basketball or football games, surprise him with tickets for you two to attend an upcoming game.

Does your husband hunt? Head out together, snuggle by your campsite and bond.

When we share in the joys of their lives, it means the world to our husbands! They just want to be first in our lives and share their passions with us.

But, while we share these experiences with our husbands, let’s also not forget that they need their guy time. Don’t interfere!!

Posted in Proverbs 31 Wife

A Post for the Hubby

I am usually talking to us ladies, but I thought I would take a moment to give the men in our lives a tip on how to encourage us and strengthen us to be mighty women of God in our homes and our marriages. 

I am stealing this from a Facebook friend as he celebrates his 7th wedding anniversary. His status today reads to his wife, 

“Hopefully, I’ve hugged like I mean it, kissed as if life is short and led like a man with passion.”

Husbands, this is the man we need you to be. We love to be hugged and kissed (with no expectations and for no reason), and we love to be led by a man that is passionate for us! These are the things that make you so very handsome in our eyes.

I don’t know about you gals, but I personally just melt when my husband grabs me tight or kisses my forehead in public for all the world to know that I am his bride! And, let’s not forget, to hear your husband pray for you and the kiddos, WOW – that is a moment that will really get us! These are the times that I’m ready to be everything that God calls me to be as a wife.

Share this with your husband, your future husband and your sons!

Posted in Advice to "Love" By, Proverbs 31 Wife

Tip #2 Challenge to Respect & Trust

There must be mutual respect and trust! Loving to laugh together helps too! (Sharrie Jean Oliver Thompson)

A great deal of the respect from a Proverbs 31 Wife means that we strive to respect our husband’s decisions with a genuine trust. Respecting our husbands means that we let him make decisions. All too often, I find myself trying to be the leader in our home. This is a definite struggle for me . . . I often think my decisions are the right ones even when they may not be (shhhh, don’t tell my husband that I have actually admitted this). Sometimes, I make it hard for my husband to lead me and our children because I am always stepping in with the solutions, the plans, the “right” way to do things. If this happens continually, our husbands will begin to think that if we don’t respect them and their decisions, then there is no reason to even make decisions that guide our family.

If this is a struggle for you, I challenge you to start with the little things. Respect your husband enough to trust his clothing choices for the kiddos tomorrow morning. Respect your husband by trusting him to tag your extra money this month in the budget. Respect your husband by sending him to his upcoming physical alone, without a list of written questions and trust that he will still ask those necessary questions without multiple phone calls, text and emails to serve as reminders.

As you take this challenge (if necessary), leave a comment as to how you have shown respect. Our husbands will walk a little bit taller when they know we are respecting them enough to place our trust in them.