Are you walking in the freedom of Christ? What are we refusing to let go of as a result of someone else’s unhealed brokenness? What did someone say or do to us to make us want to keep hustling for self-worth? Why do we continue to void out the cause of the cross? What are some coping mechanisms/survival strategies/weird behaviors have you found yourself in because you are still trying to prove to your offender/person who hurt you, that you are enough? Would love to hear your comments!
Background Story on “Seasoned Chicken Breast”
I am reading about six books at one time. This is almost always the norm as of the last couple of years. One of the books that I am reading is entitled, “I Thought It Was Just Me (But IT Isn’t) by Brene Brown. I just recently started this book. This particular read hones in on shame and perfectionism, how they work together, and how we can employ shame resilience.
Although I am only at the beginning part of the book, what stuck out to me is the correlation between shame and performance. We have all been guilty of using shame to get the end result of performance. This happens everywhere, including work, home, and in our churches. However, using shame to get this result only damages both side. It damages the shamer and it damages the one being shamed.
No one is left feeling good about themselves. Why is that? Shame reaches into areas of our lives that stirs all kind of unwanted emotions. In order for people to change, we have to have a motivator for ourselves, not from the pressure of other people via shaming or any other form of pressure. Change will not last in this manner. Consequences are not always enough to produce change. Understanding what our behavior does to others will.
Now, on to the recipe. This recipe that I made two weeks ago is a quick recipe for seasoned chicken breasts that can be made in no time and then placed on buns to make a chicken breast sandwich restaurant-style. Hope you enjoy!
Activity: Making Seasoned Chicken Breasts
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- Parsley- 3 teaspoons
- Onion powder-2 teaspoons
- Curry-3 tablespoons
- Chili powder -2 teaspoons
- Black Pepper – 2 teaspoons
- Cumin-2 teaspoons
- 3 large chicken breasts
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- Rinse off three large chicken breasts.
- Cut them up into chunks, season them on one side, and place them in a skillet of oil.
- Turn them over after 13 minutes and season the other side.
- Eat them paired with sides, alone, or in between two pieces of specialty bread.
Are you feeling alone? Do you long to be embraced? Do you know that being embraced by God is the best comfort that we can have? This poem deals with just that.
Embraced by His Love.
Redeemed by His Blood.
Enthralled by His Spirit.
No need to fear it.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Get Out Podcast Outline
- Dissecting Temptation
- When to Get Out
- When did Joseph Get Out?
Temptation is one of those things that can sneak up on you out of nowhere. It helps us to get a bigger sense of the difference between seeing and looking at something. Back in the day when I was caught up in my shopping madness, I would see something in the store after I had purchased everything I had already planned on buying. Then, I had to go over to take a closer look, and then I ended up back at the register, spending way more money than I planned. My time of escape was right after seeing it, getting out of the store quick, fast, and in a hurry. This is often how it is with temptation. We ignore that small window, and then it’s too late.
God’s word gives us example after example of this happening, while we are in our minds going, “No that is not going to happen to me.” Even now, because it was a stronghold in the past, I am constantly having to be on guard when Satan tries to get me over to the looking side. All the feelings that were back then come rushing back as a warning.
1 Corinthians 10:11-14 says:
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (NIV)
Do you have family members that you have been estranged or separated from? Never underestimate the power of God to allow a reunion as God did with Joseph and his brothers. We can let God do the work as we pray for willing and open hearts. “Reunion” is the story of the reunion of Joseph and his brothers. God bless!
They left me for dead,
But sold me instead.
Endured being in chains,
As favor surely reigned.
Became second in command,
Till the wife wanted my hand.
In charge of the prison.
Till the king had his dream.
God revealed all the means.
Gave God all the credit.
My life story took an edit.
Then my brothers showed up in hunger.
Couldn’t take it any longer.
Told all servants to leave the room.
As I cried out deep in gloom.
Hugged them deep and cried out long.
Filled our souls and showed up strong.
The reunion wasn’t expected.
But God’s grace had it protected.
Praying During Desperate Times Podcast Outline
- What Happened to Hannah
- My Situation
- Podcast Transcript
How many of you have had times like myself, where you’ve carried around a heavy load, done all that you can do in a certain situation, prayed several times over the situation, and yet you still feel like you’re not sure of how to proceed. You end up being stuck in between a rock and a hard place. We know that the bottom line is that God is in control. Even with that, sometimes our hearts still remain heavy.
This was pretty much what Hannah had to go through. Hannah was barren, and every year when she went to give worship and sacrifice to the Lord, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, would taunt her to the point of fear because God had shut up her womb. We all know that fear is from Satan himself.
And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore, Hannah wept and would not eat. (I Samuel 1: 6-7, ESV)
Hannah’s heart was so heavy, that she went before God’s throne of grace, pleading to God to open her womb: “And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son,
then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. (I Samuel 1: 11-12, ESV)
Hannah was so intentional with her prayers, that her mouth moved, but her prayers were submitted to God through her heart and her spirit. She was on a mission. Eli the priest thought that she was drunk:
Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” (I Samuel 1: 13-16, ESV)
It was at this point that God gave Hannah a sign through Eli that he had heard her cry, and her prayers would be answered:
Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. (I Samuel 1: 17, ESV)
And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am
the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
(I Samuel 1: 24-28, ESV)
About six years ago, when I was at the peak of my valley, everything in my home was in an uproar. I had done everything that I could possibly do, been taken advantage of, and with a heavy heart, I went to the Lord for help in a prostrate position. I felt led to write out the prayer that King Jehoshaphat prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:
“O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” (KJV)
God laid it upon my heart to pray this prayer for the next forty days. As the days went on, spiritual warfare hit from every corner. I was on a mission, and I continued to pray. My friend and I decided to get together to pray on one accord with this same prayer New Year’s Eve night.
Our kids were upstairs hanging out, and we were downstairs praying. The kids came downstairs a few times to grab food and were looking at us as if we were crazy. But just like Hannah, we kept praying. We prayed this prayer so hard and so long till our mouths dried out, and we could no longer talk.
Like Hannah, we needed an answer. We joked around about whose prayer God would answer first. And as in Hannah’s situation, God answered our requests. My prayer was answered thirteen days later. I don’t remember how quickly God answered hers. It was soon after. God split the Red Sea so that I could leave the Egypt of a toxic marriage. Praise God for his word and his promises!
Thank you for your word and your promises. Thank you that when our hearts are heavy with grief, you are still there. You never change. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Please comfort our hearts when we just don’t know what to do, knowing that you are in control, and will give us instructions when the time is right.
In your precious name we pray,
Plants bring so many benefits to our lives: 1) They give us oxygen and clear the carbon dioxide from the air. 2) Like pictures, they bring life and promote creativity to one’s home. 3) They bring the outside in by causing a de-stressing effect, and 4) For the most part, they are simple and low-maintenance.
A few months ago, one of my friends blessed me with two plants. I decided to add them to my bedroom so that I could feel refreshed upon waking up in the morning. I am all about aesthetics, and especially having spaces that are light and airy. I decided to place one in the corner of my bedroom in front of a wall mirror. The second one was placed on top of my storage trunk, along with another faux plant.
My son was given two plants recently for his birthday. One of them is a bamboo plant. He placed them in chairs by the living room window so that they could get proper sunlight. At first, I was questioning the location. Now, I have decided that I like them there. The greenery against the natural colors of the chairs and the curtain makes you feel so relaxed.
What simple, functional, grace-filled plants do you own? What places are you keeping them? Send in some comments and pictures below.
Have a grace-filled weekend!
Surprised by Provision Podcast Outline
- Naomi’s Disappointment
- Naomi’s Surprise
- My Disappointment
- My Surprise
- Podcast Transcript
Surprised by Provision
There are a lot of things that happen in life that we are just not prepared for handling. As a matter of fact, if God revealed to us what was on the way, we’d take off running in the other direction. Sometimes one thing happens, and that one thing ends up changing your entire world for what you know it to be.
That is what happened to Naomi. She was surprised by disappointment, and then surprised by provision.
Naomi and her husband Elimelech, and their two sons decided to leave Bethlehem and reside in Moab because of the famine. Instead of life getting better at this point, it got worse. Elimelech died. Their two sons found wives and got married. Then their two sons died.
Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem, since she heard that they had bread again. She figured that this might be a small sign of God’s provision. Naomi told her two daughters-in-law to head back to their homelands so that they could find husbands, since she didn’t have any more sons. Orpah left, but Ruth decided to stay:
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16, KJV)
When they returned to Bethlehem, it was evident that Naomi was surprised by God’s provision:
So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest. (Ruth 1: 19-22, KJV)
Neither Ruth nor Naomi had a clue that going back to Bethlehem would bring surprise provision itself. They went back for bread. God had a little bit more than bread waiting for them. He slowly began to reveal his plan.
Ruth went out to glean corn, and she met a man named Boaz. They had a conversation, and Boaz let on to Ruth that God was recompensing her work for her full diligence:
And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
(Ruth 2: 11-12, KJV)
When Ruth arrived back home, Naomi questioned her about the food. Ruth told her that she had met a man by the name of Boaz. Naomi knew this was good news:
And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. (Ruth 2: 20, KJV )
According to the law, a kinsmen could be the redeemer if a relative died. In this case, since Boaz was a kinsmen, he could redeem the land that belonged to Elimelech and his two sons. However, there was a kinsmen even closer than Boaz. This meant that he had first pick. This relative didn’t want to forfeit his own inheritance. Therefore, Boaz became the kinsmen redeemer.
And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.
Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. (Ruth 4: 9-10, KJV)
What a surprise! The women encouraged Naomi, telling her that God hadn’t forgotten about her:
And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. (Ruth 4: 14-15, KJV)
My Surprise Disappointment
At the age of 25, I had my surprise disappointment as well. I was pregnant with my first child, and I worked all the way up to the day before delivery. At the time, I was the breadwinner for the household, and I had all of the family health insurance in my name. My son had his days and nights mixed up, and so for almost six weeks, I had between two to three hours of consecutive sleep during the night. I was at the point of extreme exhaustion, and I could tell that my blood pressure was up.
This was confirmed when the home nurse came out to check on me. As soon as she checked my blood pressure, she knew that it was from lack of sleep. Four days before my six weeks was up, my son started sleeping through the night for four consecutive
hours. However, I knew that I would need two extra weeks of this before returning to work, or else my health would plummet.
I called my job and requested an additional two weeks off. I was informed that if I didn’t come back right away, it would be considered job abandonment. With $50 left to my name, and no emergency money, this was a hard call. I hung up the phone, and then wrestled with what to do. However, I also knew that if they were like this about my health, then they would be like this about my son’s health as well. I decided not to go back, not sure of how I would make it.
My Surprise Provision
My son was almost three months old when I took him to his three-month checkup. After the appointment, I decided to visit my old job, which was five minutes away. I got caught up with everyone, and my old boss asked me when I would return to work. I told my old boss what happened, and he said,” Just like that?”. I replied,” Yes, just like that. End of story.” We laughed, and he asked me what I thought of working for him again. I thought he was joking, but he was dead serious. What a surprise!
Within two weeks, I was back to working again. In the beginning, I worked a five-day week, then a 10 hour four-day week while my son was little, before moving on to a different job. I didn’t know, but God knew that his divine providence was waiting for me at this place. Like Naomi, All I had to do was to go back and get it.
Thank you for helping us to step out on faith, even when we are not sure what you have in store for us. In your name,
My weekend discussion on this topic: How have you allowed yourself to be led by emotions? (i.e., tightening up control with the kids, yelling, saying things that you later regret?) What was the background story? What patterns of behavior do you notice makes you want to ride the wave? What patterns of behavior helps you to jump off of this surfboard? How could you have reacted better than you did? How did you heal the relationships that were damaged as a result of you being led by your emotions instead of responding to life’s issues?
Would love to hear your comments down below.
Other posts: Episode 31: Giving the Best Gift