Wednesday, August 18, 2010

giving it up

Confession: I'm addicted to Mt. Dew.

For those of you who've known me any length of time know that Mt. Dew is my drink of choice.  You normally won't see me without one in my hand.  As of Monday, however, that has changed.

I've gone 2 days without a Mt. Dew.

Granted, 2 days is nothing to cheer about because I've actually gone longer without it.  (The longest was 5 months while in India.  But I drank a lot of Coke & Canada Dry while there.  Oddly enough I was able to lose 40 pounds during those 5 months.  That's another story, though.)

Anyway, I've noticed that I haven't really wanted a Mt. Dew in the last couple of days.  That surprises me because I really thought I would.  My hope is that it will just get easier as time goes by, but life doesn't work that way.  Nothing in life is easy.

The one really bad thing about not drinking Mt. Dew has been the headaches.  By the end of the day, my head is pounding!!  But, I'm trusting the advice of friends and professionals that the lasting results of giving up my Mt. Dew addiction will be well worth it.  Losing weight, gaining energy, and all that.  :)

Did you have an addiction that you've given up?  What advice would you give to those of us who have decided to give up our addiction?

Friday, August 13, 2010

meet honesty

Meet Honesty!

L-R:  Josh, Honesty, me

Honesty - yes, that's her real name - and I have been best friends for what seems like forever!!  In reality, we met sometime during our middle school years and have pretty much been friends ever since.  While I don't remember the exact day we met, I have a lifetime of memories with this girl...the good, the bad, and the ugly.  We've been through it all together, even when we've been apart.

One of my favorite memories is actually one I've shared about before on this blog.  As kids we came up with dance movements to the Audio Adrenaline song "Big House."  To this day, every time the song plays on the radio I remember the dance moves and all the silly times we had together.  What makes me smile even more is that Honesty taught her daughters the dance moves, so our legacy of silliness will go on and on for generations to come (well, maybe)!

Another one of my favorite memories with Honesty is this one particular summer at Kings Island.  We were determined to ride every roller coaster in the front car & front seat.  So we'd wait in line for what seemed like an eternity and then finally it was our turn.  Well, that summer we had watched Encino Man with Pauly Shore over and over and over again.  We had every single line of the movie memorized (and probably still do)!  Anyway, we were riding the Vortex or the Beast, and as we were slowly climbing up the long hill to the first drop we'd say to each other, "I'm a stony crusty dude, did you know that?  And I've got a mop on top!"  and laugh like crazy!  (Yeah, we're weirdos....)

Anyway, yesterday Honesty celebrated her 31st birthday!  She and I spent a couple hours together, and during our time together I really had a chance to witness something special...something I've known all along about her.  She truly loves with an unconditional love and walks in forgiveness.  Those are rare qualities to find in friendships today.  Yet Honesty possesses them.  I'm thankful that God blessed me with such a wonderful best friend, and today I celebrate her life and friendship.

What memories do you share with your best friend?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

setbacks & failures

These Weight-Loss Wednesday posts are harder to write than I thought they would be.  Maybe it's because I'm finally being honest with myself...ouch.  Here's the honest truth:  this week I gained 4 pounds. 

Even more honest than that is I gained all 10 pounds back that I had previously lost.  What?!  Yep.  We didn't weigh-in for a week for whatever reason, so I weighed myself at home and found out that I had gained it all back.  I spent the entire week worrying about losing those 10 pounds.  Fortunately, I lost 6 of them.  But 4 remained.  Talk about failure!

But in all honesty, it's more like a setback.  If I've learned anything in the past 5 weeks it's that my Breaking Point experience is the beginning of a journey of life change.  There are no failures in this journey, just setbacks.  Yes, it's frustrating and disappointing to have gained all the weight back that was lost.  At the same time, it's encouraging because I have a goal in mind and I'm working towards that goal. 

And again, the most encouraging thing is to know that I'm not alone!  Each week my friends go with me to work out.  They're praying for me and encourage me to keep going.  My family is there, too, telling me how proud they are of me and helping me along the way. 

What have you learned this week of your life changing journey?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

fake stir fry

One evening a few months ago I came home and found my husband at the stove cooking up something delicious.  His creation is what I have affectionately dubbed "fake stir fry."  It's a mix of rice, veggies, and meat.  It's quick, easy, and delicious!  So much so that I have decided to share this lovely recipe with you.

1 packet of Lipton's Rice Sides (my favorite is the Teriyaki flavored one)
2 cup of water
1 cup of broccoli florets
1/2 cup of chopped carrots
1/4 of chopped onion
1/2 lb of sliced mushrooms
1/2 of bell pepper
1 lb of chopped, cooked meat (we use chicken most of the time)

In a large skillet, mix all of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer for about 10-15 minutes on low until done.

Hope you enjoy!

What's one of your favorite quick & easy recipes??

Friday, August 6, 2010

meet my family, part 2

Meet the Dilley's!

L-R: Lois, Mike, Sarah, Josh, and me at Sarah's graduation from Kent State

Three years ago I married into the most wonderful family!  Many people complain about their in-laws, but my in-laws are truly the best.  From the day Josh and I started dating, they embraced me as one of their own and made me part of the family. 

Mike & Lois (my in-laws) are both generous to a fault, and always think of others needs before their own. They're hardworking, down-to-earth, loving people.  For nearly 20 years, they have owned a grocery store in New Holland, Ohio.  A couple of months ago the Columbus Dispatch wrote an article about them, as well as made a short video that captures the kind of people my in-laws truly are.  (Click here to watch the video!)  They're one-of-a-kind...and I love that I'm apart of this family!

My sister-in-law, Sarah, is an added blessing.  She's super-smart, creative, and adventurous!  She is also extremely kind and thoughtful.  A year ago in March, Sarah married Josh's best friend, Dave.  So now the family has extended to include him and his two children, Cailynn and Christopher. 

God has truly blessed me with my own family and my extended family! 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

breaking point

Oddly enough, this is a hard post for me to write.  But here goes....

Confession:  I weigh 326 pounds.

I'm not sure why that's hard to admit considering it's obvious to anyone looking that I'm overweight.  And I've been this way for the past 20 years of my life.  Throughout the years I've tried many diets and exercise plans.  I even tried out for NBC's The Biggest Loser a year ago. 

Four weeks ago I began a journey of life change.

Four weeks ago myself and many, many others started a 13 week weight loss challenge called Breaking Point.  I set a personal weight loss goal of 30-35 pounds.  This may sound low to some, but I wanted to be realistic and healthy in my weight loss.  Not to mention, my doctor advised that I only lose 1-2 pounds a week. 

My beginning weight was 336.

So, in the past four weeks I've lost 10 pounds.  I am 1/3rd of the way to my weight loss goal.

While I'm excited about my weight loss, I'm more excited about changing my life.  I'm challenging myself and doing things I've never done before (like taking a ZUMBA class!).  And the thing I'm most excited about is that I'm not alone.  I've got the most AMAZING friends who've been right beside me, encouraging me along the way!

There are nine weeks left of the Breaking Point challenge.  However, this is a lifelong journey.  My hope is to share from time to time about my journey not only to continue to challenge myself, but to encourage those of you who want to change your life.  Thanks for joining me along the way!

Friday, July 30, 2010

meet hayleigh

Me & my 'lil sis' Hayleigh

Last summer around this time I met Hayleigh, a 13 year old tomboy that lived next door to my father-in-law's grocery store.  Whenever I was in the store, she seemed to sense that I was there (or maybe she just saw my car & knew I was there....she's smart like that), so she'd come over and visit.  We developed a bond pretty quickly, and to this day people either think she's my little sister or my daughter (I prefer people to think she's my little sister.  I'm not old enough to have a teenager!).

Hayleigh is a beautiful, intelligent, funny, caring, artistic girl!  She's always doing something or saying something to make me laugh.  We spend a lot of time laughing together.  She's also very creative and artistic.  Hayleigh loves to draw and write.  Although her creativity has a tendency to get her in trouble (she draws what she feels, which is often anger), she has such talent.  With just a little bit of guidance, her artwork would flourish.  Hayleigh also has a heart to help care for poor, neglected children and animals.  One day she and I brainstormed about what she could do to make a difference in the world.  She wants to go to Africa someday and help kids there.  While she still thinks it's an impossibility, I know that with God all things are possible. 

There is no doubt in my mind that God brought Hayleigh into my world.  I love this kid!  I pray that she will one day realize that God loves her and has great plans for her life.  She's gone through so much in her short life, yet has so much to give.  Without a doubt, she has blessed me and truly enriched my life!

Has God brought a "little sister/brother" into your life??

Thursday, July 29, 2010

stolen line

My hands are
          holding yours

As we gaze upon
          distant shores

A line drawn
          in the sand

Don't let go
          of my hand

Where do we go from here?

Friday, July 23, 2010

family means everything

Meet my family!

Top L-R: Josh (my husband), Matt (holding Noah), and Brandon
Bottom L-R: me, Chrissy (holding Hayden), Ashley (holding Hannah), Daisy, Amber (holding Isaiah), Tonya, and Stephanie
My family is big, crazy, and wonderful!  We're a mixed group, kinda like the Brady bunch.  My mom has three kids - me, Brandon, and Matt.  My step-dad has three kids - Chrissy, Ashley, and Stephanie.  My older brother, Brandon, and his girlfriend, Tonya, have Daisy.  My younger brother, Matt, and his wife, Amber, have two wonderful, wild little boys, Isaiah & Noah.  My oldest stepsister, Chrissy, has one little boy, Hayden, while Ashely, the middle stepsister, has Hannah.  WOW!  What a wild bunch!

Family means everything to me.  My siblings & I are actually friends and enjoy hanging out with each other.  Well, I enjoy hanging out with them...not so sure if they actually enjoy hanging out with me.  :)  But I love them.  And I know that I can call them at any time if I need anything, and they know they can do the same with me. 

My family hasn't always had an easy time of life.  But throughout the journey, we stay close to each other, embracing each other through the hard times.  We help each other out.  Even when it's probably better if we didn't.  That's what family does.  Family is there for it all. 

Now that you've met my family, introduce me to yours!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

peace poem

Yesterday was a rough day.  To release some of what was going on in my head and heart, I wrote a poem.  Poetry is definitely not my thing, so it's not well written.  But I wanted to share it anyway:

Praying for peace in the middle east
And across the street
Will it ever end?
Keep trying to mend
The broken pieces keep slipping through my hand
Maybe I'll go bury my head in the sand

What do you do when you're having an emotionally rough day?

Friday, June 11, 2010

meet the parents

Last week I forgot to post my Friday's "person you should know."  Oopsie.  So this week it's the "people you should know."  :)

Let me introduce you to my mom and stepdad- Marsha and David Mitchell:

My mom is my hero and best friend.  She has always been there for me, teaching me and guiding me as a teenager and young adult.  She always takes time to listen to me and pray for me.  She laughs with me, cries with me, and loves me through it all. 

It is with my mom that I have most of my memories.  She was the one who taught me how to talk, to walk, to read, and tie my shoes (though technically it was my babysitter, Colleen, who taught me how to tie bows on my Raggedy Ann doll!)  She was the one who took me to dance lessons, tumbling classes, and baseball practice.  She was the one who held my hand at the doctor's office and fed me popscicles after getting my tonsils taken out.  She was the one who taught me how to drive, how to cook, and how to balance my checkbook.  She taught me how to be a strong and independent woman.  She taught me that no matter what life brings, life is still worth it.  She taught me about God.  Most importantly, she showed me God's love every day.  She still continues to show me God's love every single day.

My mom is my hero and my best friend.

David, my stepdad, has been one of the most wonderful additions to the family.  He and my mom met and married 12 years ago and our family hasn't been the same since!  Dave is a quiet, funny guy.  He loves Nascar, John Deere, his family, and Jesus.  He is the one person I know that I can call at any time of day with a need, and he'll be right there to help.  If I need prayer, he's just one phone call away.  He has a servant's heart like no other.  He has endured suffering and sickness, and yet still has joy.  He has been the one to show me the Father heart of God in ways that no one else has.

My parents are wonderful, and I thank God for them every day!!  My prayer is that I will one day be able to be the same kind of parent that these two have been for me.  May my life honor them, and bring joy to their hearts!

Friday, June 4, 2010

it just takes one

In John 4, Jesus and his disciples travel through Samaria in order to return to Galilee.  At the village of Sychar, Jesus and company stop to rest at the historic well built by Jacob and given to his son Joseph.

As his disciples venture off to find food, Jesus took a seat close to the well and watched as a Samaritan woman came to draw water.  Against the social norm of the time, Jesus strikes up a conversation with the woman.  He tells her things about her past and present that only she would know, revealing himself to be the Liberating King.  In that instant, her life was changed. 

But, the story doesn't end here.  The woman goes back to the village and tells people that she has met Jesus, the Liberating King.  Verse 39 tells us the impact this woman had: "...because one woman shared with her neighbors how Jesus exposed her past and present, the village of Sychar was transformed..."

It only takes one person to change things.  Because of the Samaritan woman an entire village was transformed.  Think about that.  It's an incredible, challenging thought.

YOU have the power to change things.

What kind of changes do you want to see take place in your life, in society, in the world?  What are you doing to see these changes come to pass?

Friday, May 28, 2010

joshua m. dilley

Last week, Matthew Paul Turner (aka @jesusneedsnewpr), started a new blog post series called "Friday's Person You Should Know."  The idea was to create a positive series to celebrate the people in our lives. I thought this sounded like a great idea, so it's my new thing for Friday's!

Please meet my husband, Joshua M. Dilley:

Josh and I met my senior year of high school in photography class and became fast friends.  There are many things that attracted me to him back then - he's cute, intelligent, and funny - that still attract me now.  But there is much MUCH more to Josh than that.  He's loyal to a fault.  Even when friends take advantage of him, he sticks by them.  He's generous and giving to those in need.  He loves, honors, and respects his parents, and would do anything for family.  He loves Jesus and prays continuously!  He has supported me in all my endeavors even when they've taken me away from him for long periods of time.  He stays with me through all the good and especially the bad, lifting me up, and sometimes putting me in my place when needed.  And he loves me - unconditionally and without question. 

I thank God for creating Josh and bringing him into my life!!! 

Who do you thank God for bringing into your life?

Friday, May 21, 2010

friday's person you should know

Matthew Paul Turner, aka @JesusNeedsNewPR, began a new blog series today titled "Friday's Person You Should Know."  The idea behind this new series is to create a positive series to celebrate the people in our lives.  I thought this sounded like a great idea, so it's going to be my new thing for Fridays.  Since I just found out about it today, I'll wait to start this series until next Friday!

What person in your life do you want to celebrate?

Monday, May 17, 2010

homeless in ohio

My hometown is pretty small and homelessness isn't something we come across every day.  Occasionally there will be an old guy holding up a "will work for food" sign by the exit ramp or at one of the shopping centers.  But we don't see them sleeping on the side of the street or on a park bench.  Just because we don't see them, however, doesn't mean they're not there.  Even in the small city of Chillicothe, homelessness exists.  It is real.

According to statistics, there are about 12,000 homeless men, women, and children in the state of Ohio.  On any given day, 1500 of those go unsheltered.  Some of those who go unsheltered are living under bridges, down by the river, in cars, anywhere they can find a place to lay their head. 

The question is, what are we doing to help?  I came across a blog today written by a lady named Sandy.  She is using her creative talents to help the homeless in her Ohio hometown by knitting scarves, hats, mittens, and socks.  Read about her efforts to help the homeless here

In Chillicothe, one of the ways in which we can help the homeless is through a ministry called Homes of Hope.  In the near future, I will have more details to share on how to be more involved in serving this wonderful ministry.  But, in the meantime, please watch this video and share it with your family and friends.  Together we can make a difference and impact the homeless community where we live!

How are you reaching out to the homeless community in your hometown?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

random blogs

This afternoon has been a lazy day, which is a rare occurrence in my life these days.  Most of the afternoon I spent online clicking one random blog link to another.  Here are a few I'd like to share with you:

Joshua Dilley - my wonderful husband now has a blog (but he hasn't written anything yet!) 
Kate McRae - a 5 year old little girl battling brain cancer
Beauty Unveiled - written by a mom with an autistic child
Footprints...My Walk
The Church of No People
The Sex Cafe - an article about sex trafficking in Moldova

Saturday, May 8, 2010

care & clean

This morning myself and several others participated in a community outreach event called Care & Clean.  The purpose behind this outreach was to join together as the church to help the city of Chillicothe with a few projects it couldn't afford to complete on its own.  For example, painting benches throughout the downtown area and in the parks, picking up debris and trash in the alleyways, and painting over graffiti throughout the city.

In the three short hours that our small group spent in the city, I realized a couple of things.  First, small things done with great love really can change the world.  Ok, we might not have changed the world, but we changed our small part of the world.  Our group cleaned the alleys, removed debris from University Drive, and painted over some graffiti on a family's garage.  Our efforts made an impact, and the people we came into contact with today noticed. 

Second, it's easier to "talk the talk" than "walk the walk."  For myself, it was hard to get out of bed this morning.  I've been battling health issues and really didn't feel like getting up this morning.  Despite my selfish desires to stay in bed, I got out of bed and went to work.  You're probably thinking to yourself, "you love doing this kinda stuff....I'm sure it wasn't that hard for you."  But really it was.  I waited til the very last possible minute to get out of bed to go.  In the end, however, I'm SO glad that my selfish nature didn't win the battle because it was so much fun working together to clean the city! 

Finally, our job as the church isn't finished in this community.  There's a lot of work yet to do in Chillicothe, physically and otherwise.  My hope that this summer the church of Chillicothe will rise up and work together to make a change in our city!

What small things are you doing with great love to change your world?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

summer reading list

Instead of doing research for the paper that's due at the end of the week, I've been thinking about what I'm going to read this summer.  For those of you who love to read, is there anything not on my list that you suggest I read?  I love trying new authors and genres, so no suggestion is too wild or crazy!  Also, if any of you out there have these books and would like to loan them to me, please let me know!!  Here's my list so far:

Monday, May 3, 2010

summer dreams

A couple of days ago I began to dream about things I was going to do after I graduate in 2 weeks. Those dreams include reading anything and everything that peaks my interest, watching movies that I haven't had time to watch, as well as do a little traveling (I hope!). Another dream is to actually keep up on my blog. If you haven't noticed, I only posted once during the month of April. What's the point of having a blog if you're only going to post once a month?!

So, in 2 weeks this blog of mine is going to be updated more frequently! It's going to contain posts about books, movies, and music. It's also going to include posts about apologetics and theology. I love to "argue" about the tough stuff of the Christian faith, like God and the problem of evil. Last, but definitely not least, I want to blog about perhaps my biggest passion in life - serving the local and global community. The summer will be full of wonderful opportunities for me to serve, and I can't wait to share my experiences with all of you!

What are your dreams for the summer?

Monday, April 12, 2010

butter pecan bars

Butter pecan bars are one of my most favorite desserts! My mother-in-law makes them, and they are absolutely delicious! However, I'm not very good at making them quite like she does. I've tried and failed. But, I did make them the other day and they actually turned out pretty good. :)

A few of you have asked for the recipe, so here it is, thanks to Betty Crocker:

1 box of Betty Crocker Butter Pecan cake mix
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I don't use the nuts, but you can if you want)

Heat over to 375. Grease and flour 13x9 pan. Mix about half of the cake mix (dry), the butter, brown sugar, water, and eggs in large bowl until smooth. Stir in remaining cake mix and nuts. Spread evenly in pan (mixture will be thick). Bake until top feels firm when touched, about 25-30 minutes (in my oven, about 20-25 minutes). Cool completely and top with vanilla glaze.

Vanilla Glaze:
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water

Mix all ingredients together. Stir in additional hot water, if needed.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

march for babies

My church, Centerpoint, is very excited to be a part of the March for Babies this year! Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick. We've created a team because we want to do something about this. The money we raise will support March of Dimes research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. Also, it will be used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care.

Our team goal is to raise $500 by April 18th. If you would like to donate to our team, please visit the team web page:

Thank you for helping give all babies a healthy start!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

becoming selfless

For the past couple of weeks my Conversations group has been talking about becoming selfless. We've been examing scriptures such as Philippians 2:3 which says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." We've also considered the ultimate example of selflessness found in Jesus.

I've got a confession to make: I am selfish. I think about me, myself, and I way too much. My biggest complaint to God is, "why me?" and "what about me?"

Admitting that I am selfish is one step in the journey of becoming selfless. The next step in the journey is to actually practice selflessness. At the end of last week I tried to do one selfless act. I say "tried" because by the time I finished the act, I was mad at the person I was trying to do the act for. This week, however, I tried again...and succeeded! :)

The journey doesn't end with one selfless act. Rather, this is just the beginning of the journey. The challenge for me is to continue to practice selflessness. For now, the goal is to committ to at least one selfless act each week.

All of us struggle with selfishness. How do you deal with the selfishness in your life? What does your journey to becoming selfless look like?

Monday, March 1, 2010

big house

Ok, so today I was listening to the radio and one of my favorite songs from when I was a kid came on the radio - "Big House" by Audio Adrenaline. For those of you who don't know, Audio Adrenaline used to be a pretty popular Christian band, back in the day. :)

When I was a kid, my best friend, Honesty, and I came up with a little dance that went along with this song. To this day, whenever the song comes on the radio I smile and remember that silly little dance. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I even do the dance! (Don't get any bright ideas....I'm NOT going to do the dance for you!)

But more than remembering the dance, I remember my friend and the times we shared together. I think of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Friendships are so important and necessary in life. Friends challenge us, help us to see the world in a different way, and are there for us when things fall apart. Life was not meant to be done alone; God made us to live life in community, with friends. I, for one, am forever thankful for the friendships God has placed in my life, both now and in the past.

What kind of memories do you and your best friend share?

memories of my dad

A few of my favorite memories as a child include my dad. My dad liked a lot of things - trains, fish, baseball - but one of the passions we shared together was a love of astronomy. My dad would read books and record tv shows about the stars, constellations, and comets. He would even write about the stuff in his journals! Needless to say, he was a big fan. :)

When I was in the third grade, my dad came to my class and gave a presentation about the solar system. He taught us how to memorize the names of the 9 planets by teaching us this funny little phrase: "My very educated mother just served us nine pickles." He pulled out a map and showed us how to locate some of the popular constellations - the Big & Little Dipper, Orion's Belt, the Seven Sisters.

Sometime that same year he took my class on a "field trip." We didn't go far, just to a dark field early in the morning with a couple of telescopes set up. You see, it was the same time that the famous Haley's comet was making it's way around again, and he wanted us to see it. Unfortunately, we never could get a clear view of the comet. BUT, we were able to see the rings of Saturn, which was very cool! And we got to go to McDonald's for breakfast, which was also very cool!

I miss my dad today. But, I'm grateful for the memories that we made together and the fun times we shared. I'm thankful that I could share the first 10 years of my life with him, and even more thankful that one day I'll be able to spend eternity with him!

Monday, February 15, 2010

broccoli casserole

My mother-in-law gave me a Paula Deen cookbook a few years ago for Christmas. The past couple of weeks I've been looking through it and trying out a few of the yummy recipes in it. One of my favorites so far has to be the broccoli casserole, so I thought I'd share it with all of you. Since I didn't have all the ingredients the recipe asked for, I had to tweek the recipe just a bit. So this is the "tweeked" version, but still just as yummy!

Bunch of broccoli, chopped
1/2 can of cream of chicken soup
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 stick butter
4-5 crushed Club crackers
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
French's friend onions

Pre-heat oven to 350. Chop the broccoli and steam it for 5 minutes or until tender. In the meantime, saute the onion in the butter. In a small casserole dish, combine the broccoli, sauteed onions, cream of chicken soup, cheddar cheese, and crushed crackers. Mix well. Top with the French's friend onions. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, February 8, 2010

ratatouille (not the movie!)

This recipe is one I recently discovered while looking for some healthy alternatives to what I normally eat. It's full of yummy veggies, is low-cal, and low-fat. I've also tweeked the recipe just a bit and turned it into a more Indian-style dish rather than the Mediterranean/French cuisine it is supposed to be. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 eggplant, peeled & cubed
1 zucchini, halved length-wise & sliced
1 container of sliced mushrooms
1 can of diced tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger

In a large skillet, saute the onion & garlic in olive oil on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spices. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated. Serve with rice.

a couple of my favorite super bowl 44 commercials

Thursday, February 4, 2010


"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1

As a winter storm is fast approaching central Ohio, most Ohioans are anticipating spring's arrival. Not me. I love winter. Actually, I don't love winter as much as I love SNOW! There's something about snow that simply makes my heart happy. Maybe it's the way it sparkles like diamonds under the night sky. Or maybe it's because it is so white, so pure. Or maybe it's because of all the great memories I have of building snow forts with my brothers as a kid. Either way, snow is wonderful, and I hope that we get a ton of it tomorrow!

Even as I think about all the snow that we may get tomorrow, I can't help but think that spring is right around the corner. Not long after spring arrives, summer will follow, then fall. Before you know it, winter will be here all over again. Seasons.

Not only do we experience seasonal weather patterns, we also experience seasons of life. We experience seasons in our careers, families, friendships, etc. For me, I am going through of season of change in my friendships. To be honest, for the last several years I haven't had any close friendships. I have two best friends, but I don't talk to them on a regular basis. I haven't actually hung out with either of them in years. And to be honest, I've been lonely and longing for true friendships these past couple of years. But that is slowly changing. It's been hard, but I am putting myself out there and risking rejection in order to make new friends. There is a group of girls that I am developing friendships with, and I truly believe God has placed them in my life at just the right time!

What season of life are you experiencing right now? How are you responding to that season?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

when it rains, it pours

Most of you have probably heard the saying, "when it rains, it pours." This saying pretty much sums up my life this week. First, my mom falls resulting in several broken ribs and a fractured knee. Second, my husband, Josh, gets sick and spends most of the night and morning in the bathroom. It's only Wednesday, and I can either anticipate something else bad happening or hope that it is going to get better.

Either way, I have a choice as to how I'm going to respond to the events in my life. Today, I choose to hope that things will get better by the end of the week. I also choose to praise God despite my circumstances. In all circumstances, I want to respond with praise. Just as Mercy Me sings:

"Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain

How is your life going today? What has your response been to your circumstances?