Chicken Stir Fry
4 boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
2 c. chopped broccoli
2 c. sliced mushrooms
2 c. yellow squash
2 c. chopped carrots
1 red pepper, cut into small pieces
1 small red onion sliced
Cook chicken in one tablespoon of oil until cooked. Add vegetables and cook until tender.
Combine and whisk in small bowl –
1/2 c. water
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/4 tsp. red pepper
1 tsp. hot sesame oil
Simmer approximately 10-15 minutes
Serve over rice
Calm in the Storm
“ You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you”
I boarded an airplane heading into Florida as hurricane Dorian was set to possibly collide with the state. The man helping me with my luggage asked where I was going and when I responded Orlando he gave me an odd smile and said “ Your brave.” I was joined by three of our MOPS staff and together we set off for MOMcon!
For those of you who don’t know what MOMcon is … it is an incredible conference for moms and MOPS leaders and it is like nothing else you have ever experienced. Nearly 3,000 women gather to be inspired by incredible speakers, worship, laugh, be entertained and hang out with other moms from around the world. Needless to say, a lot was riding on us being able to do this despite the weather and travel advisory.
By the evening of the first day , more staff joined us. We made a quick visit to the local Walmart for supplies and then we waited. The weather updates looked grim and the airport closed. We began to meet and to look at our options. We prayed and waited and then prayed and waited some more. My emotions were up and down and I wavered at times in what I thought was the best decision. I felt a huge burden knowing so many moms were heading our way and I wanted to make sure they were safe. Our decision making team was prayerful and thoughtful and ultimately the decision was made to go. Honestly we weren’t sure how many people were going to make it.
I am happy to say MOMcon was a huge success and over 92% of those registered were able to make it. The atmosphere was electric and everyone was thankful and grace filled.
I am home and processing what a crazy week I just spent in Florida. My reflections…
- You can’t calm the storm so stop trying. How often do I try and control circumstances that are far beyond my control.
- I chose Proverbs 3:5,6 for my life verse for a reason. “ Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” So often I want to lean on my own understanding.
- A shared experience during a stressful time is really an amazing bonding experience for all involved – ask anyone who just attended this MOMcon.
- The women involved in the MOPS organization are amazing – yes, I knew this, but spending time again with our leaders and meeting so many moms from around the world was truly such a gift and inspiration for the work we do everyday at the office.
- God is doing amazing things around the globe through the MOPS ministry and I am beyond grateful to be a part of it.
I would love to hear what you learned during this MOMcon as well and how you can apply it in your life moving forward.
We will move forward and continue with our schedules and planning has already begun for next year in Denver. I just needed to push pause and thank God and all of YOU for showing up and making this one of the most amazing MOMcon experiences I have ever been a part of.
Keep doing great things in the world – share the love of Jesus and help moms thrive!!
It is a Monday morning, not even 10 am, and I am finding myself in need of a pep talk.
I woke up early today to go for a walk before work. Ear buds in place and music turned up I began my walk on the trail. Preoccupied with my thoughts of my youngest son starting his senior year of college and my daughter starting her senior year of high school. My heart burdened by the senseless shootings that took place this past weekend in my country. I began to pray and walk. I thought I heard a voice and as the cyclist was approaching my side, I quickly moved over to accommodate him. Much to my surprise, he hopped off his bike and began screaming at me to MOVE OVER. He berated me and cussed at me before jumping back on his bike an pedaled away as he was nodding his head in disgust that I would be walking closer to his side of the trail than mine.
I then decide on my way to work to stop at the grocery store and pick up some items for my lunch. There is road construction so I inadvertently turn and drive against the arrow pointing us to park. My mistake as well as the car in front of me and the three others behind me. We all encounter the wrath of a very frustrated driver who honks her horn, rolls down her window and proceeds to scream at all of us for being idiots.
I decide a large coffee is in order at this point and stand in line to order when the young mom in front of me who is juggling 2 little kids spills her iced coffee macchiato all over my sandals and feet. I then have a choice don’t I? I chose to laugh and to tell her it was no big deal as we both worked together to clean up the mess. This prompted the man behind us to pay for both of our drinks and thank me for not treating her like I was treated in the parking lot. He was part of the wrong way driving escapade too. We all had a good laugh and wished each other a great day.
Choices… Sometimes we are aggravated by what others do and sometimes we are the one who is aggravating. Today I am determined to choose grace and gratitude. All the minor issues I described for you are nothing compared to others in the world who would love the freedom to walk without fear in their neighborhoods, to have a working automobile and to have the funds to purchase coffee. I spend my days working for a global ministry so I am well aware of the fact that these are minor in the macro of our world. Even with that lens I found myself sad and a bit annoyed.
My encouragement to you and to me today is this – choose the joy and choose the grace. It is always worth it even when it is hard and who knows, maybe sometimes you might even be treated to a cup of coffee.
8 oz. of baby spinach
8 oz of red leaf lettuce
1 c. sliced strawberries
1/2 c. blueberries
1/2 c. mandarin oranges
1/2 c. pecans or 1/2 c. almonds
3 oz. goat cheese crumbled
1 bunch green onions
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. paprika
salt and pepper to taste
I love to feel sunshine on my face and living in Colorado I get to experience that a lot as we like to boast that we have 300 days of sunshine a year. Blue skies create a sunny disposition so they say. As our summer days feel longer and the sun shines until late in the night, I settle into my summer rhythm of walks after work, watering the garden, watching baseball and talks with my husband sitting on the back porch staring at the magnificent sunsets chatting about life and many nights eating a popsicle. There is something about summertime that brings out my ten year old self. The rhythm of life seems to change with the arrival of fresh cut grass and ice cold lemonade.
A few summer ago, I participated in a Bible study that focused on the Psalms. Right away Psalm 1: 3 caught my attention –
“ That person is like a tree, planted by streams of water, which yields it fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” NIV
That particular summer arrived after an intense time of ministry and quite frankly a time where I felt unlike the tree above, my leaves were withered. I was worn out, my joy was gone. This passage caught my attention because it promises that this tree gives its fruit in season, while its leaves do not wither. My expectations of myself, and the expectations I often see those around me putting on themselves, are that we are to be productive and fruitful all the time. Our rhythm to include rest has disappeared.
No wonder we feel tired.
We were created for rhythms. All of God’s created world was created with rhythms. God created night and day. God created and then God rested. The leaves fall in autumn and return with buds of promise in the spring – rhythm.
Modern life gives few reminders, but we humans used to go to sleep and get up with the sun. Life followed the rhythms of the agricultural seasons. There was a time to plant and a time to harvest. With the arrival of the summer fruits in the produce aisle and farmers market, I am reminded that fruit grows in seasons, not constantly or instantaneously.
Life today can be a constant barrage of noise and information that is accessible at our fingertips. We can be plugged in all the time, and we are expected to be fruitful year-round. The arrival of summer reminds me we can change that rhythm.
My challenge to myself and to you is to find our rhythm of summer. Find ways to slow down. Extra time with our families, extra time outside and maybe a little extra ice cream too. Rhythm is a simple concept, let’s find ours and let’s not over complicate it…