Weekend Links

Hope you had a lovely weekend, and enjoy the last week of April.

Farm-Fresh Recipes for Spring

first asparagus
source: Calliope via Flickr Creative Commons

In the April issue I (Jessie) wrote an article with some recipes for using up the produce that is popping up this time of year: asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, radishes, turnips, and spinach. I shared recipes for our favorite Tropical Green Smoothie, some biscuits enhanced with beets, roasted radishes, and my mother-in-law’s infamous broccoli salad.  Here are 10 more recipes to try this Spring!

Do your kids eat vegetables? What’s your favorite of these spring veggies?

Weekend Links

Happy weekend! Have a great week.

“Learn from Those Who Have Gone Before You” by Susan Miller {GIVEAWAY}

After the Boxes Are Unpacked

I always like to share Abraham and Sarah’s story with women who have moved or are moving. They are our “moving mentors.” Not only can we identify with Sarah, but by observing Abraham, we can learn valuable lessons that will equip us for any journey. The Lord had said to Abraham, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). “And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).

By faith, Abraham obeyed God and set out on a thousand-mile journey through a hostile environment to an unknown land, with nothing but a promise awaiting him at the end of the trip.

He demonstrated his faith in God by moving.

He experienced detours, disagreements, and discouragement along the way. Through it all, Abraham held on to his faith and the promises of God.

What step of obedience and act of faith is God calling you to take?

Abraham responded to God’s command, and he learned from the experience. God took Abraham on a journey of obedience, faith, trust, and hope.

Obedience. Abraham didn’t react to going; he responded to going. He didn’t react by getting upset, arguing, and being negative. His response was to obey and just do it! Abraham sought to do God’s will, not his own will. When you really don’t want to go, it’s so difficult to respond with a positive attitude and with enthusiasm when the transfer comes or the new job means relocating.

But it is a choice we make—a choice to rebel or obey, to walk with God or walk away from God.

Faith. Abraham’s faith was in the promises of God and in knowing that God would fulfill His promise. It takes a lot of faith to face the unknown. But what a comfort it is to know that God promises not to leave us or forsake us. (See Deuteronomy 31:8.) My faith is wrapped around God’s promises in Scripture. I’ve traveled down many roads reciting my favorite Scripture verses and holding on to nothing more than God’s promises.

Trust for provision. Abraham knew God would cover all the details if he would simply trust Him. When our house in Georgia didn’t sell, I had to trust that God was in control. When nothing went according to plan, I had to trust that God had everything figured out. I had to have faith that God was working through all the details of all my moves.

It’s in that moment of complete surrender and trust, when you truly let go and let God take over, that your life takes a new direction.

Hope for the future. Abraham had great hope for tomorrow and for God’s plan to be fulfilled. With each move, my heart held new hope—hope for our future, our dreams, our plans. That hope became part of my persevering spirit. I know it’s hard to leave everything behind and move to a place that is unknown. But, never lose hope in what God is capable of doing through this transition in your life.

These principles from the lives of Sarah and Abraham are timeless. When they are applied to your own life, they will equip you for any journey you will ever encounter.”

3 Steps to Survive a Move

Maybe you are where I have been: grieving over leaving family and friends, concerned about a broken relationship or the stress on your marriage, worried about your children’s adjustment, confused about knowing which doctor to call, wondering where to find the right church, or simply overwhelmed by all the tasks to be done. It can be mind-boggling.

Over thirteen moves I learned biblical principles and practical actions that not only helped me let go and start over, but also moved me closer to Christ. I’ll be sharing these valuable insights with you in this book, along with the three-step process I had used not only to survive, but thrive through transition. If it helped me, it can help you as well. Those three steps are:

  1. Let go
  2. Start over
  3. Move forward

_______________

This wisdom is captured from Chapters 1 & 2 of After the Boxes are Unpacked, newly revised and expanded, by Susan Miller of Just Moved Ministry.  Susan has blessed thousands of women with stories and lessons from her 14 relocations.  Learn more about Susan’s ministry at www.justmoved.org and get your copy of After the Boxes are Unpacked wherever Christian books are sold.

Want to win a copy of After the Boxes Are Unpacked? We have five copies to give away, courtesy of Tyndale House. Click on the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway to enter!

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Weekend Links

Have a wonderful week!

Planning for Summer

sprinklers
source: jodimichelle via Flickr Creative Commons

In this month’s print issue of ParentLife, writer Emily Pardy urges us to grasp on to “Summer Sanity” by making a list of priorities and plans for the summer. Have you been doing that? I’ve been thinking a lot about how summer will go around our house.

In the fall, my three children will be in second grade, kindergarten, and 3-year-old preschool. I am pregnant, so this will be the last summer for awhile we can take advantage of having all children who know how to hold hands in a parking lot and I’m not too worried about killing each other if we send them outside for half an hour. But because I am pregnant, this also may be a summer where I need more rest than usual. We may or may not be moving apartments. We have a lot of “ifs” up in the air.

So we haven’t really made any firm plans – camps, many trips, etc. Usually we schedule our older two for at least one week of day camp, but we’ve decided to put that on the back burner for now.

Here are my priorities for the summer:

  • Take our third annual beach vacation to Tybee Island. We all enjoy this; it’s relaxing, and we have fun.
  • Go swimming. If needed, get swim lessons for my 7-year-old to be fully competent as a swimmer.
  • Send kids to “Nana Camp” and “Grandma Camp.” We are so blessed to have both sets of our parents within driving distance, and they LOVE having the kids come to stay for a couple days during the summer. The kids love getting one-on-one time. We get to spend a little more one-on-one time with the kids left at home, too. It’s nice to mix things up.
  • Help my 7-year-old daughter become proficient in the kitchen – and get my 5-year-old son started, too. They both love cooking and have been inspired by MasterChef, Jr. I can be a little too territorial about my kitchen space, but I want all my kids to learn to cook.
  • Playground hop in Chattanooga.
  • Spend time with great friends.
  • Encourage reading.

I also intend to let the kids make a little bucket list of things they want to do or places to go. I won’t promise to do everything, but I want to let them play a role there.

Have you started planning for summer? As Pardy writes, summer can be the right time for “structure, sunshine, skill-building, and sleep.” Sleep. There is a summer plan I can get behind!

When Can My Baby Eat Yogurt?

yogurt

 

Most babies start eating solids around 6 months. When is it OK to start adding yogurt into their diet?

While cow’s milk is off-limits until after the first birthday, yogurt can be included as a first food. Why? There are no worries about yogurt replacing breastmilk or formula as the primary source of nutrition in a baby’s diet. Drinking cow’s milk can send too many different minerals to a child’s undeveloped kidney and may cause problems with calcium absorption. Plain yogurt, however, is great for the immune system and makes a perfect first food, as long as there is no family or child history of dairy allergies.

Plain, whole-milk yogurt may not sound good to you, but it is the right food for a baby. Kids should not be given low-fat dairy until after age 2; they need the fat in their diet. Almost all yogurts, even “fruit” varieties, have sugar or artificial sweeteners, so find a simple whole-milk, unflavored yogurt or make your own in a yogurt maker.

Make sure never to sweeten yogurt with honey until after age 1, especially.

Most pediatricians agree that it is OK to start this type of yogurt with babies at 6-8 months, but please consult with your pediatrician before starting anything new. Always add only one new food at a time with babies, with a 3-day wait period, to monitor for any allergic reactions.

Weekend Links

Hope you had the happiest of Easter celebrations this weekend!

Miracles from Heaven: An Interview with Christy Beam, Part 2

Read Part 1 on ParentLife here, if you haven’t yet.

miraclesfromheaven

Kelly Wilson Mize: I’m so excited to see the movie! Was your family happy with the actors who were cast to play you?

Christy Beam: Yes! We were all so delighted and grateful. I just feel like they couldn’t have done a better job handpicking for each of us who they chose. In fact, when Anna and I went and met Kylie Rogers [the girl who played her in the movie] for the first time, she and Kylie clicked right away. Annabel said, “Mom, I was so worried that Kylie wouldn’t ‘get’ me or understand who I am, or ‘be like’ me.” And I had no idea she was worrying about that. But she said, “Kylie was perfect. I couldn’t have picked someone better for me.” And that just gave me so much peace. I knew Jennifer Garner would be amazing, but Annabel didn’t know Kylie Rogers would be amazing. Every one of us was just very pleased with the choices, the product, the result of what they all did.

KWM: Do you think the movie stuck closely with the true story?

CB: It did. There are some parts that are painfully accurate, and there are some parts that were very hard to watch. There were other parts that are definitely an adaptation of our story. There were some people morphed into one person. They were trying to take this long story and condense it down, but we were all very pleased with the outcome and how well they did it.

KWM: Do you have any plans to write future books?

CB: I would love to write a children’s book about this experience to help reach out to children who are struggling with chronic illness, or just struggling with challenges in general. I feel like all children could use that encouragement.

KWM: How have you and your family been changed as a result of this experience?

CB: We’ve been given the opportunity to be the people who tell other people, in times of crisis and in challenge, to look up. Because when we were in times of crisis, my head was down, and I was putting one foot in front of the other just plugging along. I wasn’t noticing all those little miracles daily going on around me. But whenever I stepped out of it, it was amazing how many miracles were happening around me; not big ones, but small ones that I was taking for granted. I have been able to be that person to say, “Look up! Look all around you, there are so many things God is doing. Don’t miss the small miracles while you’re waiting on the big ones.”

Miracles from Heaven opened in theaters nationwide on March 16th.

Sony Pictures’ Miracles from Heaven is launching a website to let moviegoers share who their everyday miracles in life. Users can visit ShareYourMiracle.com to create a customized digital image of someone who is a miracle in their life, whether it is an encouraging family member, a loving spouse or partner, motivating teacher, or best friend. On the site, users can upload a photo, personalize it, and share it easily on their social channels or the website’s gallery.

Will you go see Miracles from Heaven? 

Weekend Links

Hope you’ve have a wonderful weekend and Palm Sunday!