“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Like anyone else, I have been hurt by past experiences. Something that someone said, or did, or didn’t do has wounded me deeply. And even when forgiveness is present, sometimes trust is lacking.
These trials that I’ve encountered can sometimes lead me to worry about the future. What if some of those situations repeat themselves? We all know that forgiveness doesn’t make bad habits and choices suddenly disappear and everyone lives happily ever after.
So what do we do with the future?
This question has been plaguing me for the last few weeks, particularly because I have witnessed evidence that suggests that the past may soon repeat itself in certain aspects of my life. My mother or husband would probably tell me “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
But I can’t help but worry.
I should have some peace in knowing that God goes before me, but the logical part of my mind says people have free will and God can’t control what they do.
Yet in all my worrying I forgot to do one simple thing: offer the situation up in prayer. I’ve been so busy wringing my hands, anxiously consumed by things that haven’t even happened yet that I never thought to “let go and let God.”
So this is my challenge: to have Him take my worry. I know very well that my fears will probably come true, but I have to trust that God will see me through them.
I’m going to try and surrender this situation daily to Him, and hope that as I do, with the surrender comes peace.
Do you ever just have one of those days where you sit back and think: Wow, I’m so incredibly blessed.
For the past few years always around this time I start hearing people say something along the lines of “This year was rough. I’m ready for it to end and a new year to begin.”
Now, I’m not trying to downplay the struggles that people go through. But I’ve heard this so many times by so many people, that today as I was driving home from work a thought hit me: What if we measured a year, not by the struggles that fell upon us, by by the miracles we were blessed with?
What if instead of counting our problems we counted our blessings instead?
I wonder if we would view the year differently.
Normally I would say I’m not an optimist or a pessimist, I’m a realist. It’s a cop out answer, I’m well aware. But one thing I can say for certain is that the past few years, though riddled with pain and storms, have been some of the best years of my life. I am eternally blessed.
This weekend has been a reminder of that.
This week has reminded me that even though I don’t have a lot of money, and I certainly am not wealthy by any means (and having married a pastor, I’m pretty sure I will never be!), that I am rich in all the right things.
I have incredible friends; genuine friends who share a love for the Lord and share many of the same values that I do. I am blessed by each and every one of them.
I have a wonderful marriage with an extremely supportive, loving husband who chooses to look past my flaws and for some reason finds me beautiful not only physically, but in my personality as well.
My parents are still happily married and love each other and themselves. They have been great role models in what it’s like to be a Christian, what it’s like to have a good marriage, and for what it’s like to be parents (I need that knowledge for the future).
I have the absolute best family, who all enjoy getting together every week not because we have to, but because we choose to. We’re all different in our own ways, but we accept and love each other.
And I have a God who loves me despite the fact that I mess up time and time again. He seeks me daily and I find that He has been wooing me all my life. My heart is so intricately woven into Him in such a way that I can feel His love and affection.
I am rich in all the right things.
Anyway, I’m sure the reason you’re reading this right now isn’t to hear me get all mushy gushy about life, so here’s my unique Italian chicken recipe.
A Stephanie Wright original. :)
You will only need four ingredients. Chicken and these:
Have you ever marinated chicken in Italian dressing overnight and then threw it on the grill the next day? Well, I don’t have a grill at the moment, but I was craving the zesty flavors of Italy, and thought “what if I marinate the chicken and then just throw it in the oven?”
Didn’t sound like a half-bad idea. But my brain took it to a whole other level: “what if I marinated the chicken, then coated it with Italian style bread crumbs, THEN threw it in the oven?”
Surely Italian on top of Italian could only be a good thing, right?
“AND what if I mix in some Parmesan cheese with those bread crumbs?”
So I did just that. I let the chicken marinate over night in the fridge, mixed about a cup of bread crumbs with about 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of Parmesan, coated the chicken and baked those puppies at 350 for 45 minutes.
And it. Was. Awesome.
My new favorite baked chicken.
It really packs an incredible flavor, and the best part is that it’s “husband approved”. I like making breaded chicken, but I usually use canola oil to make the bread crumbs stick to the chicken. After trying this, I’ll never go back to oil again.
But the best part about it is that it’s incredibly delicious and ridiculously easy.
And I happen to be a fan of easy :)
I found this recipe from Martha Stewart’s website, but I changed it slightly because her directions were to pour it over drumsticks and bake it, whereas I wanted to cook it in a pot and serve over rice.
This is by far my favorite homemade Chinese recipe.
Yields two servings (multiply the recipe at your choosing). My changes are in bold:
- 1 T Brown Sugar
- 2 T Honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- Ginger (to taste)
- Garlic salt (to taste)
- 1 T minced Garlic
2 T hot sauceCrushed Red Pepper (careful, this adds a lot of heat!) Salt and pepperFlour for breading (courtesy of my Mom)
- 2 chicken breasts - diced
- 1 T vegetable oil
- Green onions
- Green Peppers
- Green Beans
- 1 cup of cooked Rice
Seriously this stuff is incredible!
hot sauce crushed red peppers in bowl. Lightly salt and pepper place flour in a sealed bag with chicken, shake vigorously to coat all of the chicken. brown all sides cook thoroughly. Pour sauce over chicken, and simmer uncovered till sauce thickens (8-10 min). In a separate pot, heat sauce + vegetables until sauce is hot and veggies are cooked.
Seriously this stuff is incredible!
I may be poor by monetary standards
But I am rich in all the right things
A wonderfully loving and faithful husband
A close-knit and happy family
Truly great friends
A supportive church
And a God who loves me.
I have a plethora of shirts from all sorts of activities I participated in over the years. And when I’m really honest with myself, I don’t wear them all. I’ve kept them neatly folded, thinking some day I might pull them out for some strange reason.
There was this tutorial I’d found once on the internet about making scarves out of shirts, and after reading it I definitely forgot to bookmark it, so when I decided to try it out, I had to do it from memory.
But it’s a fairly simple tutorial.
This works best with a non-fitted shirt, but I made one out of each type and they both turned out pretty cute.
I put two fitted of the same style together (this shirt and a green shirt)
And one that is your typical unisex non-fitted shirt like you’d get at a conference, or from high school, or summer camp.
It works best if the shirt doesn’t have seams, but if it does (like a fitted shirt) you can change up the style a bit and hide the seams easily.
First you’ll want to cut off the seam at the bottom.
You’re basically going to cut strips of the shirt up until you get to the collar, or a graphic, because all you want are strips of fabric with no design on them.
I made my strips about a quarter inch thick.
Continue doing this until you run out of fabric.
You should have a pile that looks like this:
I had two fitted shirts that were the exact same size and style, so I decided to make a scarf with contrasting colors. Once you have all your strips cut out, stretch the loops you have created until the fabric completely curls in on itself.
This makes the fabric look tubular, but it also helps hide your cuts (for the life of me I can’t cut in a straight line!)
In order to hide the seams, take one of your loops, cut it so it becomes one long string, fasten it to your scarf and wind it tightly around all loops so that the stitching disappears.
Since the fitted shirt had two sides with seams, I simply repeated the step of winding a loop around the scarf to hide the stitching.
One hour later…
And that t-shirt has become a fun scarf to wear!
I like the style of the fitted, but the non-fitted also looks great as well, and you only need to do one binding because with most non-fitted there’s no seam anyway.
Don’t mind the silly faces. I was hoping Ryan would take these from the neck down, but he insisted my face be included.
I love the personality of these scarves. It’s so easy to make (after I nailed it down, I think the second scarf took about 30-45 minutes to make) and they add a lot of character to any outfit.
Not only that, but I can honestly say that of the many people I know and encounter, I’ve never seen one wearing something even remotely similar to this.
So there it is! I have tons of non-fitted shirts that I will now have to go through and decide which ones to keep, and which ones to make into trendy scarves.
I received this book for free in exchange with an honest review.
I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I was aware before I read it that it was actually the second book in a series, and having never read the previous book, was happy that this book gave a lot of background information, so I didn’t feel that I missed out on a lot from the book before.
There were a few grammatical errors throughout, but nothing that was entirely too distracting. The plot was intriguing and I had a hard time walking away from it to do important things; like go to work or even take a shower. However, I do feel that the book could have been longer and could have developed some other minor stories and characters to help move the major story along, as well as better explain some events. But perhaps Gerard Webster will write a third book?
There were a few twists in the story, and I can honestly say I didn’t see them coming, which to me is the sign of a good suspense book. If I can predict the major twists, then it isn’t really doing its job as a story to entertain well, in my humble opinion.
Overall, I judge a book – and most entertainment – by whether or not I would refer it to a friend, or read it again. I would definitely refer “The Soul Reader” to my friends. It’s worth the read.
I am so excited to share this DIY with you!
I’ve had this white, v-neck, ribbed sweater that I got from Express hanging in my closet for over two years now, practically unworn.
There are a few reasons for this: 1. after washing this sweater for the very first time, a hole formed in the left shoulder, and 2. It’s kind of plain, simple, and not very fun.
I decided to try and sew the hole up, and to my surprise you can’t really see my handiwork unless you’re really looking for it. That was probably a year ago, and I still haven’t worn the sweater much.
So since the move, both Ryan and I have been putting clothes together to donate or just plain get rid of. I mean, if I haven’t worn it in over a year, I probably never will. Yesterday this was the thought going through my head, until a creative idea forced it’s way in.
I have this fabric glue called “Sew No More” that I bought a few weeks ago to fix a shirt that needed a patch, but would look weird if I used a needle and thread. It needed to be as incognito as possible.
I’m pretty sure I paid 1.99 for it. The great thing is, all you have to do is apply it and wait 24 hours before washing it, and it’s permanent so after that period you are free to wash the fabric.
Last night I went on a hunt to find something to spice up my sweater, and remembered these little guys from Michael’s:
They’re 100% polyester, but they are supposed to attach to necklaces, so they have metal backings like this:
Fortunately, the backings were only attached to the flower with hot glue, and after about 15 minutes of wrestling to free the flower from the metal, I was successful.
Now to attach them to my sweater. I applied glue to the fabric backing of each flower and carefully placed them where I wanted them on my sweater. To make sure that the flowers would stay well, I placed the sweater on my table (you can use any hard surface) and then stacked three books on top of the sweaters for weight and pressure, to keep the flowers firmly placed against the shirt.
After 10 hours, the final product looks great.
It is somewhat of a small change, but it makes a big difference to this once boring sweater. And the best part is how easy and cheap it was to do!
Seriously, you can do this too. With my already purchased sweater, 1.99 glue and 4.99 flowers, I only paid seven bucks to make this something that I actually want to wear! However, this is still possible to do using a needle and thread, which will save you a couple of dollars. I used the glue for myself personally, because it takes less time to put together and so that I don’t have to worry about the thread coming undone.
There are all sorts of flowers out there that you can use. Hobby Lobby has a section where they recommend using the flowers for headbands, and those same flowers they sell you could use for this craft. If you’re feeling really crafty, you can make your own fabric flowers. The great thing about this DIY, is that you can really customize it to your own unique style, using various colors and sizes of flowers, and various articles of clothing too!
Those metal backings left over from the flowers? I’m thinking that’s a craft for next time… maybe make some fun earrings out of those and something inspired from book page crafts. :)
It’s been a while. Sorry! We have been swamped with work and our move, but I’ve definitely been anxious to share another craft with you.
I can’t remember where I first found this craft idea, but there are tutorials for this all over the internet.
It’s a simple, cheap craft that you can get kids involved in making, or you can make for your kids. All you’ll need are:
- A Muffin Pan
- An Oven
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and while you’re waiting peel the paper coating off of your crayons. This is pretty easy for kids to do, and then break the crayons so that they’ll fit better in your muffin tins.
If you’re doing this with the kids, let the kids choose which colors they want to go together. Since I don’t have any kids right now, I just put similar colors together. But the more contrast in colors, the more fun this craft can become.
You don’t need to fill the muffin tins all the way to the top, but once you are satisfied with the amount of crayons you’ve combined, pop it in the oven for 7 minutes or so (this was enough time for me, but watch it to see if it needs more time). Obviously this is a part where the kids can’t really help.
Once the crayons are well melted, set them out on a hot pad and let the pan cool for a considerable time. After it’s cooled down, throw it in the freezer for about 20 minutes, which should be enough time to freeze the crayons so they come out of the muffin pan easily.
Not only are these a new and creative way for kids to use crayons, but they are easier to hold for younger children who tend to grip regular crayons to the point of breaking them. You can use all sorts of shapes too; I’ve seen stars, snowmen and much more. And the great thing is - if you enlist the kids to help, they can take pride in their creation as well as reap the benefits.
Well, I don’t have kids, and my niece isn’t quite old enough yet to use these, but I will admit that the child in me enjoyed making these. :)
Last year I was perusing the internet for craft ideas when I stumbled upon this little gem: (You can see her whole tutorial on how to make the roses there)
I’ve been wanting to try this wreath for a while, but never really pushed myself to do it until this summer. I was determined to make one, and to have it finished by the time we moved into the new apartment.
So I went to a local thrift store and bought 3 paperback books at .49 cents each -all three being similar in text size and page color - unsure of just how much paper I would need.
Then I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a wreath for 40% off at a whopping $2.73.
Stephanie Lynn’s tutorial says to spray paint the wreath white so that if you see between the flowers you see white, not green, but I decided to cover the wreath in book pages so if you see through the flowers, you just see more words :)
FIFTEEN HOURS and over 900 book pages later….
The finished product. I am absolutely thrilled with how this turned out! It’s a unique greeter to put on your front door. I actually plan on putting in the house somewhere though :)
The only thing left to do is buy the ribbon to hang it, and unlike Stephanie Lynn, I think I will buy a colored ribbon of some sort to give it a bit more character.
My flowers came out in completely different sizes, and I like that because it gives the wreath a lot of personality as opposed to being uniform.
Would I make another one? Did you see the part where I said it took FIFTEEN HOURS to make it? However, I think I will experiment around with other crafts that deal with paper roses.
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to hang this one up in our apartment when we move in this weekend!