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Truth and Vulnerability

I read a blog last week about vulnerability . As a read the blog, I was inspired to think deeper about what it truly means to me to be vulnerable. My first thought was that I hate it.If anyone reading this  truly knows me,  they know that I can be a control freak and not knowing the unknown drives me nuts at times. I. HATE. BEING. VULNERABLE!  Being vulnerable allows you to fall head over heels in love, but it also leaves you open to heartache and heart break. Being vulnerable sometimes feels as though you are allowing  other people or other things to have control over you and your actions. Being vulnerable can also feel as though you are being submissive. But submissive to what? Think about it. The TRUTH! The truth in the reality of a situation.  The more that I thought about vulnerability and its meaning, I began to relate the ablility to be honest with being vulnerable. The more honest that we can be with ourselves and others, directly correlates with your comfort level with being vulnerable.  Being vulnerable also allows you to be honest with others and flees from the fear of their reaction. Being vulnerable allows you to succomb to your emotions in their most raw state. I'm not talking about the sugar coated derived emotions that exist after you "should/ shouldn't" your self to death. -- I shouldn't be sad, I should be happy-- I'm talking about the emotions that hit you in the throat and forms a ball of honesty  that makes you feel as though you swallowed a huge rock. I'm talking about the emotions, thoughts and feelings that surface before you can swallow the truth and convince yourself of the "false/derived" emotions that follow are true. (Hope I didn't lose you-- smile)
There aren't many people that can honestly say that they are 100% honest with themselves and others at all times. Think about it. An  example is a spouse who is  caught cheating on the other spouse. One excuse that they may use is that they were afraid to tell the other spouse how they really felt, and that they didn't want to hurt the other person.  ( At least that's what they say on "Cheaters" when Joey Grecko asks them why they did it). But in reality it is not about the sparing the spouse's feelings at all. It is  the lack of comfort with being vulnerable enough to  allow yourself to be honest to admit the 100% raw uncut truth. The truth could be that the cheating spouse is  feeling insecure and by the time they sugar coat their true emotions, they genuinely feel that they are lacking a degree of satisfaction or happiness from their spouse and in turn, they go and seek happiness with someone else. ( I know that this was a long example but I hope you get my point)

My challenge to myself and others is to get "ok" with being vulnerable. Challenge yourself to do things that make you uncomfortable, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Dig deep and explore your emotions. Allow yourself to have that pity party, for a brief moment anyway. Listen to your thoughts and become more conscious of what you are telling yourself all day. Keep track of all the emotions that you talk yourself out of each day. Question those.  Allow you to become vulnerable and transparent to you.


My recipes

Hi folks! I know that I am WAAAAAAAAAAAAY behind on posting the rest of my recipes for dinner on a budget challenge. My apologies, but they are coming. This week I will be posting my recipes for  chicken parmesan and chicken pot pie. Yummy! I had to pat myself on the back for the chicken parmesan, it was delish! I was so proud. :) I can't wait to share. Now speaking of sharing, I wanted to give you all a little insight to my recipes.
  1. Nothing is written down, and it is challenging to write every measurement down. So, there are times when exact measurement aren't provided so please bear with me. I will get better and re-post those recipes.
  2. I believe in seasoning my food so that you don't have to salt or pepper your food when you get it. In fact, there was a time when adding salt and pepper to the food I've prepared offended me. I like to be able to eat my food with out adding anything other than the typical condiments like ketchup, mustard or barbecue sauce. Another rule of thumb that I use when I cook is season once and taste twice, then add seasoning as needed. In my book, you can't subtract salt once you've added it,but you can add it if you need more. So I said all of that to say, when I say season to taste it literally means season to your taste. However, I will start to add a "standard rule of thumb" measurements for seasonings for those who like exact measurements.
  3. I don't cook with onions. My husband is allergic, so I use garlic and other herbs and spices to season.
More tips to come soon.

So what did I have tonight?
Here's a pic ( still using crappy cell phone camera)
Bean and cheese tacos!!
Bean and cheese tacos! YUM! I just wasn't feeling "meaty" tonight, so I made this quick and simple meal.
Here's the quick and easy recipe.

Here are the ingredients that you'll need:

Can of refried beans
cheese ( to taste) :)
Can of rotel tomatoes (you can substitute fresh tomatoes as well)
flour tortillas ( the Kroger by my house has a bakery that makes fresh tortillas Mmmm!)
package of Spanish rice (any brand)

Here are the directions to make the tacos:
  1. Heat the refried beans. I seasoned mine with a little garlic salt.
  2. Prepare the rice according to the package instructions.
  3. Warm the tortilla(if preferred) and layer a heaping spoonful of beans, spoonful of rice, rotel and garnish with cheese
  4. Enjoy, you won't even miss the meat. :)
Well until next time be blessed and make it a great one!


Recipe #2 04-12-2011

Ok folks, here is my second recipe of my series of recipes for this week.
Last night we had BBQ Chicken Sandwiches w/ Baked Potatoes. I am keeping the recipes short and simple this week, in the future I will add more challenging recipes.

This recipes is rated EASY SMEASY... :)

** Quick tip, I prepared the chicken on Sunday. I knew that this would be a hectic week and I wanted a head start on dinner for this week. I actually used the same chicken for our meal for tonight.
Here are the ingredients that you'll need:

  • 2 chicken breasts  -boneless and skinless
  • bbq sauce ( I used a mixture of Sweet Baby Rays Honey Chipotle, and Brown Sugar, I used about 1/2 a bottle)
  • hamburger buns
Cooking Instructions

BBQ Chicken

  • Rinse chicken well
  • Fill pot with at least 3/4 full with water. Make sure you have enough water to allow the chicken to cook thoroughly.
  • Add apx 1 tsp of salt and place chicken in water to boil slowly on med  to med-high heat. When cooked thoroughly remove chicken from pot to cool. ( If you are cooking in advance, allow chicken to cool and place in refrigerator if you are using within 2 days or freezer if you'll be using it later)
  • Once chicken has cooled shred the chicken and place it in a pot.
  • Add your favorite barbecue sauce until the chicken is covered.
  • Baked Potatoes
    1. Poke holes in 2 baking potatoes. Wrap the potatoes in foil and bake at 400 degrees until done. (Potatoes should be soft to touch)
    2. Top baked potato with butter cheese
    Here is the breakdown of the cost of the meal:
  • Chicken $1.67 ( purchased a pkg of chicken breast for $6, only used 2 of the 5, so I figure that each breast was about 0.83 each)
  • Buns free (I had them on hand, but you can purchase them for about 1 -2 free)
  • Bbq Sauce free (same as the bread)
  • Potatoes free (given to me by my grandmother in law) :) SCORE!!
  • Cheese and other condiments - (already on hand)
This meal cost me less than $2 , but if you had to purchase all of the items on this list I would estimate that you could spend $8 - $10 on this meal.

Here is the final product: YUM!!

MWT 04-12-2011

MWT = My Waking Thoughts

I ocassionally share my waking thoughts via a post on Facebook, however, I am going to start blogging about those as well.

So as I woke up at 4:30 am,  Psalms 34:1 came to me.

"I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."

I laid for a little while and recited this scripture over and over again in my heart. As I meditated I felt more and more joy and my spirit felt uplifted. I know that I should have obeyed and wrote about this when the scripture came to me at 4:30, but I went back to sleep.

I feel as though God sent this scripture to me because I was in a real "funk" yesterday. And as I  thought about what the scripture means to me , I focused on the word praise and what it truly means. I was in a funk yesterday because I was feeling resentful about the fact that I didn't  feel that I was being appreciated enough. I wanted praise and recognition for the hard work for that I do each day at work and home.  
I know that I shouldn't look for praise and appreciation from others, and that everything that I do should be done with love and joy and not for the  recognition. Wordly recognition won't matter when my eternal works are being judged.  But the funk wouldn't leave so I allowed myself to have a 15 minute pity party. My fifteen minute pity party turned into an entire day unfortunately. But, I did pray several times about the feelings that I felt.

So when I woke up with Psalms 34:1 in my mind, I realized a few things. That God deserves so much more praise for His works on a day to day basis, yet there are those that don't give Him the praise that he's due.  God deserves our praise every second of every minute of every day. He is truly amazing. But yet, when we don't take the time to give him his "props" or praise, He isn't resentful or angry with us in fact he is quite the opposite He loves us anyway. He shows us favor anyway. So why should I be angry or resentful? Instead I should be filled with joy and smile anyway. It doesn't matter if I get recognition from other people, as long as I doing what I should be to please God, my recognition will come soon enough.

Smile and be blessed!


Recipe # 1 - Lemon Pepper Chicken

Hey guys! Here is the first recipe for my week of dinners. See my " Coming to a screen near you" post for  the details of this challenge.

So what was on the menu last night?

LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN, broccoli, and rice.. mmmm

Here is what you'll need:

Chicken Legs ( 2 - 3 legs per serving; I prepared 12 legs) 
1- bag of frozen broccoli
1 packet of Knorrs Rice Sides Chicken Flavor ( or any flavor you please) - brown or white rice may also be used as a substitute
Lemon pepper seasoning
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
3 1/2 tablespoons of butter

Cooking Instructions :

Lemon Pepper Chicken
  1.  Rinse chicken well and season with lemon pepper seasoning and salt.
  2. Heat electric skillet or skillet and saute butter and garlic for one minute
  3. Place chicken in the skillet and add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water and cook on med to med-high until chicken is thoroughly cooked. (Keep an eye on the skillet and add water as necessary to avoid the chicken sticking to the bottom)

Step 1

  1. Place 1/2 tablespoon of butter in skillet and 1/2 cup of water.
  2. Drop the contents of broccoli package in the skillet and sprinkle with salt 
  3. Sorry about the angle.
  4. Cook for 5 - 7 minutes until you reach the desired tenderness.

Rice - prepare according to the package directions.

Finished rice

So how much did this meal cost?

Chicken - $4
Rice      - $1
Broccoli - $0.88
Grand Total = apx $6

Thanks for reading until the next post, be blessed. Feel free to share your thoughts!


10 Tips for Organizing or Reorganizing

I actually wrote this list earlier this year, but my bad case of procrastination and excuses prevented me from actually sharing this list.

I don't claim to be the most organized person,actually I am quite the opposite. However,in the midst of me organizing my home I narrowed down the reasons for my disorganization and brainstormed solutions/tips.

So here goes:

  1. Face reality
    • I realize that there are those that live in denial, myself included. Sometimes people just need to fess up and realize that there is a problem. Especially those that have lived in clutter for awhile now, who often times develop tunnel vision for their clutter. So take the time to just be 100% honest with yourself. Think about how and why the clutter exists.
  2. Think about what will work for YOU.
    • There is not point in reorganizing your home if it won't work for you. Find a method and system that works for you.
  3. Research and create a vision/inspiration board.
    • Google and check out organization magazines that display organization ideas. Cut out or print out ideas that appeal to you. Create an inspiration board and make shopping list if necessary. ( I love Ikea, Container Store and Bed Bath and Beyond) Don't forget to look for great DIY alternatives and sales coupons.
  1. Make a plan. ( It isn't just about cleaning).
    • I've learned by experience that spending a whole day cleaning doesn't solve organization issues. If you don't make a maintenance plan, you run the risk of facing the same chaos a week or month later. Make a list; often times being able to check things off as you complete them makes you feel accomplished.
  2. Pick a starting point.
    • Preferably something that isn't too draining or strenuous. Starting with a small project may motivate you to continue when you get to the bigger projects. Like it is often quoted , the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Starting with a project that requires a lot of energy may zap your energy and motivation. Plus being able to  see the  physical progress of a small project will serve as an energy booster and motivator on tough days.
  3. Everything must have a place.
    • There shouldn't be a junk drawer . Make a designated place for EVERYTHING, if you are like me and a majority of your clutter consists of mail and other miscellaneous papers, create a filing and discarding process. Establish 1 designated place to sort and dispose of mail or other paperwork.
  4. Take your time and be patient with yourself.
    • Don't get frustrated or discouraged. Don't beat yourself up. Focus on the goal and not the past.
  5. Don't make excuses.
    • There is no valid excuse for procrastinating. Life happens and it is expected that there are various situations that may prevent you from organizing/cleaning but make yourself your priority. When your home is cluttered, your life can become cluttered.
  6. Execute
    • Although a good plan is necessary, make sure you execute. Don't overplan. Take action.
  7. Get help if you can.
    • Get help from family and/or friend if possible. There are also professional organizers that will help you with your journey.
All in all, the lack of organization and cleanliness affects your life on various levels. In my opinion it can have a domino affect. If your kitchen is cluttered you probably won't  have the energy or desire to cook, which causes you to eat fast food or take-out, which ultimately  affects your health and your wallet. You'll be surprised how much more smoother life will go with organization.
In future posts, I will post pics and projects that I complete as I strive to reach my goal of turning my house into a home, an organized home.

Thanks and be blessed until the next post!


Questioning God

Are you sure God?

Soo.. I woke up at 3:37 this morning and these are my thoughts.

Why do we question God as though we have all of the answers? I am guilty of this myself. I would consider myself to be pretty obedient, however I am very stubborn. So stubborn that I get in my own way. Especially when it comes down to apologizing or admitting when I am wrong at times. Generally, I have no problem saying that I messed up or even that I am sorry, but there are situations when it would almost take God himself to come down and force me to apologize. I am not sure even sure that this will make sense to everyone, but people that really know me know that to be true about me. Now, having said that I recognize one of my imperfections but yet when God puts it on my heart to rectify my behavior I question Him. It similar to how a child beckons and pleads with their parents over something that they don't want to do.

Why should I have to  say sorry? They were wrong to you know, besides I just don't FEEL as though I should say anything. Well right now anyway. Its is sad and disturbing to air these feelings aloud, but when I go against what my heart is convicted to do, this is exactly what I am telling Him.  I know it sounds  horrible right? What would you do if your child told you that they did not FEEL like cleaning up the room or taking out the trash? There are other situations in which I question God when I shouldn't.   In fact the next reason is my original thought for this post, God just led me to discuss the other situation.
You have probably read before in my blog that God has laid a very unique ( to me) task for me to complete.  The way in which he revealed this task to me was very loud and clear and I know it was no one but God at that moment. In retrospect, I am thankful and honored that He took the time to speak to me.  His love for us is awesome. :) You never have to  ask for it, and He is never too busy for you. But, how often is it that we are too busy for Him? In fact, I learned in bible study a few weeks ago that God also wants us to tithe our time as well. 10% of each day. Which I figure to be about 2.4 hours. Initially to some it may sound like a lot but it really isn't considering all of the other things in life that we find  time  for. So that I don't sway to another topic, I will save my thoughts on this for another time.

So back to my epiphany revealed by God. Even after my experience, I still procrastinate and unfortunately question and bargain with Him. I am about to share with you are my real thoughts and conversations that I have had with Him and although it scares me to share my intimate thoughts with you, I am feeling a conviction to do so.

I want you to write... 
Are you sure? I am not the best writer. People may not like my writing.I WILL run out of things to write about. I could be made fun of or people may question my intelligence. Besides,  I may run out of things to write about and ultimately fail. I am not sure that I will be a successful writer. After all there are thousands of writers and I am not sure that I will make enough money to support myself doing that. Maybe I'll focus on the job that provides for me now.. and I'll squeeze writing in when I can. 
I want you to mentor.. 
How could I possibly mentor and my life is not together? I am not whole yet. People may question my credibility and my ability to mentor. So now not yet. Plus I could never be organized or committed enough to do it. Plus, my favorite show comes on these days.. and I want time to relax and unwind from the stressful job that I have now.

I want you to teach
I don't know everything.

I want you to inspire women
Are you sure, that seem like a huge task. I am not sure that I am the one that should be doing that. I am not confident enough in my ablilites, yes I know that I have been told that I light up when I present and when speak, but there are people far more talented than myself. .. when I get I feel comfortable with my financial situation, I will focus on what you want me to do.

What if I fail?I have absolutely no faith in you.  What if I fail?I have no faith in you .What if I fail?I have a little faith in you. What if I fail? I have more faith in you.What if I fail? I have a little more faith in you. What if I fail? I have more of my FAITH in you. What if I fail? I  SHOULD HAVE ALL OF MY FAITH IN YOU!  
The above demonstrates the cycle that my heart goes through each time I question God. It is almost like you see in the cartoons when you have a devil on one of your shoulders and an angel on the other. I go back and forth. I would love to say that the fear of failing does get smaller and my Faith indeed grows more all of the time , but I am not there yet. In fact I know that FEAR is not something that comes from God. II Timothy 1:7  states "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.". So why should I be afraid? The bible clearly states that he did not give us the spirit of FEAR.
So essentially I should be saying,

Although I feel as though I've failed or failing in my own eyes, in His eyes I am not ; for I am following the instructions and remaining obedient to my Father.

Renew your faith in yourself and in God. Don't allow self doubt and fear, both traits of the enemy to steal your blessings.If God tells you to let something go, do it. If He tells you to do something do it. Without question or hesitation. Don't rely on how you feel either.  Remember we only have one life to live, which ultimately affects where we spend our eternity.  There is a quote that asks What would you do in life if you knew that you could not fail? I challenge you now by asking this question. What more could you accomplish in life with God knowing that He will not fail ?

I thank you for reading my blog. Feel free to comment and /or ask questions.
I pray that this message touched someone somewhere! :)

Be Blessed and Make the decision to make it a GREAT one!