Standing Tall with Purpose

Standing Tall with Purpose

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

this-post-may-contain-affiliate-links-for-your-convenience-and-at-no-extra-cost-to-you-1

My daughter and I were recently reading The Scarecrow’s Dance by Jane Yolen. In this story a scarecrow gets blown off his post and in his happiness of freedom he takes off dancing from the cornfields. He comes to a window at the farm house, where he looks in on a little boy saying his prayers.

 standing-tall-with-purpose-pin

 

“And bless tonight
Our old scarecrow
Who guards the fields
And each corn row
So that tomorrow,
When we reap,
There will be lots of corn to keep.”

 

Touched by hearing his purpose he danced all the way back to those fields, and feeling proud of his duty to defend the corn leaped back on to his post.

Everyone needs encouragement to stand tall with purpose

From a mother’s perspective I held back tears. For how many times does the job of a mom feel thankless and trapping? I’m so thankful for the times my family have let me known why I’m important to them. Knowing what we mean to our family will give us purpose and joy as we fulfill our maternal duties.

 

But it’s not just moms. Everyone needs words of encouragement and life spoken to them! All of us long for purpose. The single woman who lives away from her family, the widower or the retired couple, the teenager, the parents of the teenager, the young couple couple without children. All of us!
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10:24 

 

let-us-consider-how-to-stir-up-one-another-to-love-and-good-works

Preparing for Thanksgiving

As we are preparing to gather with friends and family for Thanksgiving might I offer a suggestion? Let’s use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to let those we love know why we value them. It doesn’t have to be a formal ceremony! You might make a comment to them about how they are making a difference, or perhaps a short handwritten note to them as they leave. You could publicly share your thoughts at the Thanksgiving table, everyone taking turns to talk about someone.
However it’s done, let’s fill our Thanksgiving guests not only with food but also with purpose so that when the weekend is over and they return to normal life they will know that they matter. If you are the host or not, I encourage you to find a way to speak words of purpose to those you are celebrating Thanksgiving with. Would’t it be wonderful to know they might stand tall like the proud scarecrow on his post, filled with honor for the duties they hold? What do you say? Let’s celebrate Thanksgiving by honoring the precious people God has put in our lives!
standing-tall-with-purpose-social

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Thanking your husband Sacrifice of Praise Letter to my unborn child Embracing God's love

Six Easy Dinners

Six Easy Dinners

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

I’ve been trying to decrease our food budget around here lately.  This past week was dedicated to cooking without going grocery shopping, which meant shopping in our pantry. So here I am, sharing the 6 easy dinners, that could quickly be thrown together while trying to take care of a newborn, whose favorite time to be held seems to be the moment I start to cook.

6-easy-dinners-pin

But isn’t she just adorable!?!  Why wouldn’t I want to cook quickly so I can love on her again?

watching-mommy-cook-is-not-as-fun-as-being-held

Thyme Crusted Baked Potatoes

These spuds are so tasty that you will want to eat the skin. I’ve never been a potato skin eater, until I rubbed this blend of seasoning on them and then my spud eating moments forever.

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wash potatoes & prick them with a form on all sides.
  • Rub olive oil on the potatoes and place them in a glass baking pan.
  • Then sprinkle the Potato Seasoning on both side of the potatoes. The seasoning consists of:
    • Dried Thyme
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Herbamare
      (The amount of seasoning depends on how many potatoes will be baked. Usually, I use 2-3 parts Thyme, 2 parts Herbamare, 1 part salt and 1 part pepper. But season to your liking.)
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the size and quantity of the potatoes you are baking.
  • Add whatever potato fixings you have on hand like cheese, plain yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream, and butter. I almost warmed up a frozen bag of homemade chili I had in the freezer, but decided to save it for another day.

I like to bake a whole bag of potatoes at a time. This allows us to feed more than just our family or use the leftovers to make potato soup later.

Creamy Meaty Pasta

This dish gives a little oomph to a normal spaghetti dish by adding one extra ingredient – cream cheese!

  • Cook the spaghetti like normal.
  • While the spaghetti is cooking, cook the meat. I typically use beef or turkey. Add your favorite seasonings. (Thyme, Salt, Pepper & Herbamare and maybe even some Basil are what I like to add).
  • Once the meat is finished, then add the cream cheese (4 oz – 8 oz depending on how creamy you would like the dish).
  • After draining the spaghetti, then add it to the meat mixture and mix it all together.

creamy-meaty-pasta

Taco Salad

This is my oldest daughter’s favorite dish and the fact that we ate it on Tuesday made the meal even more fun!

We layered the following:

  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Black Beans & Garbanzo Beans
  • Taco Meat
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Plain Yogurt for sour cream usually, but this time we were out.

You can always add extra veggies to this dish – corn, peppers, tomatoes, etc.

taco-salad

Creamy Vegetable Pasta Soup (Non-dairy)

This recipe is one I adapted from the great Toni, who is amazing in the kitchen.

In a large pot, bring the following to a boil:

  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken broth. (I typically use my left over homemade chicken broth.)
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 large sweet potato diced (around 4 cups)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 shredded carrot

After it has been brought to a bowl, add in 2 cups of a fun kind of pasta + 1/2 tsp of dried basil & 1/2 tsp of dried dill. Let this simmer for about 8 minutes then add in the following cashew mixture.

In a food processor or blender, add in:

  • 1 cup cashews + 1 1/2 cup water. (I add all the cashews and 1/2 cup of water, blend it up well, then add the rest of the water.) This week I only had 1/4 a cup of cashews so used peanuts for the other 3/4 cup. It still tasted good. When working from the pantry it’s all about what can I substitute!
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes

After you’ve added in the cashew mixture, bring it back to a boil. Then serve! This is one of our favorite soups.  The night I made it, this pot actually fed 3 adults and 8 kids.

Breakfast Sandwiches

My oldest daughter’s cooking skills are blossoming. She enjoys cooking scrambled eggs and they actually taste fluffier than mine! Add these scrambled eggs to a toasted English muffin, slathered in Vegenaise, teamed up with cheese and bacon and we are in breakfast for dinner heaven!

breakfast-sandwiches

 

Corn Chowder

I found this Corn Chowder recipe online and decided to give it a try. It was quick, easy, and yummy. I did a few substitutions because I didn’t have all the ingredients but it was still yummy!

My substitutions included using:

  • Coconut oil instead of butter or olive oil
  • Milk instead of cream
  • Frozen corn instead of fresh
  • An extra quart of water to make sure there would be plenty to feed our family.
  • Two extra potatoes, a clove of garlic, and of course, herbamare.

 

What I liked about shopping from my pantry is that not only did we save money and use what we had, but we were able to stretch out our dinners so that we could share them with others. So often I step into my pantry or open the fridge and think there is nothing there, but the reality is I have plenty of options to get a little creative and invite others on a taste-bud adventure with us.  Of course, sometimes these edible adventures end up creating memories that make us all laugh later, but it’s worth it. Thankfully, this week we didn’t have any major recipe wrecks but believe me they do happen!

What are some of your quick and easy dinners that you can throw together easily?

 

Loving Your Neighbors During the Holidays (Pumpkin Bread Recipe)

Loving Your Neighbors During the Holidays (Pumpkin Bread Recipe)

Laura P

Laura P

Hello. I grew up traveling the world as a military brat. I ultimately felt God's pull to Oklahoma Christian University where I met my husband. We now have 3 beautiful children and have settled in Mustang, Oklahoma.I am a homeschooling mom and with 3 kiddos it is a full time job! I am daily encouraged by God's great patience and grace in my life. In my free time I enjoy reading and crafting.
Laura P

I have a tough time loving my neighbors.

loving-my-neighbors-pin

For me, this is just not something that comes naturally.  I can say hello and make a bit of small talk here and there, but beyond that I mostly try to ignore my neighbors.  That sounds so mean!  However, I think it’s something that’s true for most of us.  We are comfortable to a certain degree with the strangers that surround our own personal space. But beyond a quick hello or wave, I think most people prefer to tuck away and not be sociable.

To me, it feels funny to be expected to make friends with complete strangers.  After all, my friends are people I’ve CHOSEN.  Neighbors are not chosen.  I choose to surround myself with like-minded people.  Because I like to be comfortable in expressing myself with the people I spend time with, I choose them accordingly.  I also like to surround myself with friends who have similar parenting styles.  Someone I trust my children to.  None of these qualities are things I get to choose in my neighbors.

matthew-5-14-16

light of the world

A Light for Christ Cannot Be Hidden

I do, however, recognize that I cannot possibly shine my light for Christ if I’ve kept it hidden away behind the door to my house. And so each year I try to do something nice for my neighbors.  That sounds pretty lame now that I’m writing it out.  Once a year?  Is that all I can muster?  Perhaps I will have to find other opportunities throughout the year to bless my neighbors. For now, sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my children and I bake pumpkin bread for our neighbors.

The recipe I want to share with you today is from my dear friend Megs.  There is probably someone who needs to be credited with this recipe, but she’s the one who first made it for me so she’ll get the credit here!  This recipe turns out incredibly delicious, so keep that in mind when you’re baking!  You’ll want to be sure and leave some for your family as well.

Pumpkin Bread

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

5 eggs
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 (3oz) packages of instant vanilla pudding
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs well.  Add oil and pumpkin and beat until smooth.  Next, combine all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to mix.  Gradually beat into pumpkin mixture, scraping the bowl between additions.  Pour batter into two well-greased 5×9 loaf pans.  Each pan should be a little over half-full.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a knife can be inserted and removed cleanly.  Let stand 10 minutes to cool.  Remove from pan and serve!

Mini-Loaf Option for More to Share

When I make this for the neighbors, I use a mini loaf pan that holds 12 mini loaves.  I grease the pan generously and fill about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes.  After my mini loaves cool completely, I wrap them in plastic wrap and tie a pretty bow around the loaves.  I try to include a message of well wishes from our family and we hand deliver them to the neighbors.

How does your family like to shine the light of Jesus?

What are some ways that you love your neighbors?

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Poppy seed Chicken Southwest Chicken Soup Control Issues Concentrating on Communion with Kids

 

Put down the Rope and Stretch out Your Hand

Put down the Rope and Stretch out Your Hand

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Have you ever been lassoed?

I have and let me tell you it was not a fun ordeal. Even though the person intended it as a joke, it got out of hand. The rope burn around my neck lasted for weeks. This experience left me with a memory that brought about a spiritual revelation decades later.

When I first became a Christian, I was super excited to share Christ with others–and I still am. Where I look back now with a sad heart is how I felt I needed to “rope” someone around their spiritual neck and drag them Where I look back now with a sad heart is how I felt I needed to -rope- someone around their spiritual neck and drag them up to my current spiritual understanding.up to my current spiritual understanding. I was young and immature in my understanding. I wish I could apologize to all those I left with rope burn.

So if you are reading this today–I’m sorry on behalf of myself and anyone else who has done this to you. They might have had the best of intentions but presented their care for you very poorly.

Thankfully, a wonderful Christ-filled couple willingly mentored my husband and me over the years.  Through them, we realized that our initial way of doing things was not the way Jesus handled things. They held out their hand, walked with us, studied scripture with us, and by grace, patience, and love helped us along our spiritual journey.

put-the-rope-down-reach-out-your-hand-pin

Mentored instead of Roped

Instead of roping us around the neck and dragging us up to their level of spiritual understanding, they were patient with us, and allowed us time to grow and mature.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

2-peter-3-9

It’s important to realize that we are all on our own personal walk with our Lord and Savior. He has patience and grace as each person is walking and growing in their faith. We need to do so as well.  This definitely goes for those who have not accepted Christ as their Savior yet too!  Yes, we want them to have the same hope we do. But trying to drag them into it will not make it happen.

If we feel we are ahead of a friend, we don’t need to rope them and drag them to our level. No! If we try that, then they miss the wonderful opportunity to grow in their relationship with the Lord.

Instead, we need to reach out our hand and encourage them along the journey. That way, when we stumble and fall, we also have a friend holding our hand and helping us along.

So, if the rope is still in your hand, will you agree to put down the rope and reach out your hand?

Have you ever roped someone or has someone roped you?

How did that affect your relationship with that person and the Lord?

2-peter-3-9-pin

 Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Mission Field in Your Church Fall Activities October Family Acitivities Change that Lasts

Create a Fall to Remember!

Create a Fall to Remember!

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Each season brings it’s own cravings and fun activities.  It also brings many opportunities to do some soul searching, encourage each other and reach out to others!  You’ll love these ideas to use either in your own family or gift them to others. We’ve gathered a great list of activities, crafts, recipes, printables, decor and more for you to create a fall to remember!

creating-a-fall-to-remember-pinterest

creating-a-fall-to-remember-pinterestSoul Food

Let’s start by feeding our soul with a little of God’s fall flavor. McKenzie’s way of digging into Scripture through Bible Journaling is inspiring and definitely brings a new perspective to God’s word.

theletteredlight

Sharing God’s love with others is a wonderful way to kick off the fall! Go on a Scavenger Hunt with friends, family or church group. Head out to your neighborhood or one that could use some tender loving care and love on the people there by doing different mini-service projects.

september-service-scavenger-hunt

As we look forward to the changes of fall and all the things that we can create, we can pray for the Lord to create a pure heart in us as well!

psalm-51-10-pinterest

Food

Kick the Morning off Right!

The first thing you reach for in the morning is coffee, right?  Well, that’s my husband. I prefer hot chocolate or a protein drink.  But as soon as I saw this deliciously, healthy version of a pumpkin spice coffee creamer I thought of him.

do-it-yourself-healthy-pumpkin-spice-coffee-creamer

These gluten-free apple cinnamon protein pancakes are so good you won’t even need to drown them in syrup!

apple-cinnamon-protein-pancakes

These Apple Harvest Muffins are perfect for mornings on the go.

appleharvestmuffins

Fall Inspired Desserts

Ever since I was a child, desserts were what I enjoyed creating in the kitchen the most. As an adult, I still enjoy them but so enjoy finding recipes like this healthier apple crisp that chooses to not use refined white sugar, but instead adds an wonderful fall flavor by using maple syrup.

a-healthier-apple-crisp-www-justasimplehome-com_

These frosted maple cookies have me licking my lips.  I can’t believe I’ve never had these before.  Have you?

frosted-maple-cookies-4

It truly wouldn’t be fall unless homemade pumpkin pie is included!

pumpkin-pie

Fashion & Home Decor

I’m not one that enjoys shopping for clothes.  I do, however, enjoy shopping with friends who enjoy shopping and finding cute things for me to wear.  Now that I’ve moved into a warmer climate, I found this post about dressing for fall in a warmer climate to be helpful.

how-to-dress-in-fall-fashion-while-living-in-warmer-locations

Weclome guest with fall before they even enter your home with this adorable Hoop Fall Wreath.

fall-wreath

There are several fall themed signs for welcoming fall into your house.

give-thanks-gray-etsy-white-background

If you prefer to just add subtle hints that fall has arrived consider adding these 3 accessories

add-fall-to-home-2

 

Arts & Crafts

It would not be truly fall without crafts!  Craft fairs and festivals are some of my favorite places to visit in the fall.  I love seeing all the creativity and finding pieces that are draw in the season!

Engage all the senses with the most amazing apple cinnamon no cook playdough.

apple-cinnamon-playdough-recipe-pin-561x1024

This Autumn Hand Print Tree is such a cute way to capture our children’s hand prints and this could totally be made into a card to send off to the first person that pops to mind.

autumnhandprinttree28629

Get the modge podge out and create a peppier fall look by mixing up the bright colors with your pumpkins!

happy-fall-yall

Get inspired by nature to create fun art like this digi-leaf art project!

digileaf-225x300

Activities

There are so many wonderful activities to do during the fall.  Visiting pumpkin patches is probably the first thing that pops to mind but don’t miss enjoying these other activities:

Visiting an apple orchard and picking your own apples!

apple-orchard-1

Interact with our feathered friends by creating an apple bird feeder for them!

apple-birdseed-homemade-bird-feeders-pin-5t-683x1024

 

Fall & football go hand in hand.  Find budget friendly ways to decorate when you cheer on your favorite team.

how-to-plan-a-spirited-football-party-1

Explore nature with the fun fall scavenger hunt.

printable-fall-scavenger-hunt

Make art out of pressed leaves and flowers by making your own DIY Nature Press!

how-to-make-a-press

Winding Down

There is something about fall that makes me want to gather with friends around my favorite drinks. Of course, Hot Chocolate will always be my favorite but since this is a fall round up post, I’ll share some others that are tempting me as well.

My Mother’s Quick and Delicious Apple Cider is one people always as about when they come over. It also makes a perfect gift for your neighbors!

apple-cider-pinterest
One of my favorite fall treats is a caramel covered apple and this Caramel Apple Cider recipe seems to be the drinkable version of that treat!

caramel-apple-cider-1

And if you still need more ideas to dive into fall, check out these posts:

5-summer-activities-you-should-be-doing-in-the-fall-1-683x1024

50-ideas-best-fall-ever-1024x691

fall-bucket-list-activities

101-things-to-do-in-the-fall-2-600x900

 

What are some of your favorite fall activities?  

What is a new fall activity you are looking forward to enjoying? 

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Spiritual Bucket List Favorite Soups Confessions of a Homemaker Shine on Halloween

Broke Down: What Car Trouble Taught Me About God

Broke Down: What Car Trouble Taught Me About God

Toni D

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

Latest posts by Toni D (see all)

Let me start by saying that in my younger years I drove a few clunkers.  From this experience I learned a lot about cars.  I can fix several minor to moderate issues with my car, and many times I can diagnose the problem myself.  I very often surprise people with my knowledge of cars.

Recently, my husband had surgery and was not available to help. Because I did not want to worry him, I did not tell him my work van was not acting quite right.  I had been driving it and noticed it was hesitating to start.  Figuring I needed a new battery, I decided to wait a couple of days until I got through with farmers market for the week.  Then I planned to purchase and install the new battery.  This is relatively simple, just heavy lifting.

Well, things do not always go according to our plans.  When I arrived at market, I did not park quite straight.  But when I tried restarting my van, it would not start.  I figured that I could wait until it was time to leave and get a jump start.

Nahum 1:7

When the time came, I connected the jumper cables to a friend’s vehicle. My van started but when I let off the gas, it died.  I kept trying with the same results, which led me to believe the problem might be the alternator.  My friend called her husband to get his advice as the security guard came up to help us.  He was concerned that it was the alternator, too.  He was looking things over; my friend was on the phone to her husband, and I called my mechanic, who was sixty miles away.  We all finally decided that I could drive with my right foot on the gas at all times and my left foot on the brake when needed and my friend would follow me.  The parts store was 1.2 miles away and they could check my battery and alternator, and could change the battery if necessary.

After a stressful 1.2 miles through downtown rush hour traffic, we arrived.  The employee checked the battery, replaced it, and then checked the alternator, which was fine.  Finally, I was on my way home.

The entire day could have been stressful knowing that I had this to deal with. I didn’t want to call my husband because it would upset him that he could not help.  Due to his recent surgery, he could not even drive to come get me.

I say “could have been” stressful because I spent that day in prayer.  I prayed that we could get the van started.  Next, I prayed that I could get to the parts store without problems.  I prayed that it was just the battery and that I could continue my drive home.  Mostly, I prayed thanking God for bringing me through this trial and showing me that I was not alone even though it seemed like it.  A friend stayed with me through the ordeal, and her husband that stayed on the phone as well.  Most of all, God was there and kept me calm with his presence.

Of course, I told my husband, twenty-four hours after the fact.  He was not happy with me but was grateful that I had gotten through it.  He likes to worry about me and often forgets that I can take care of myself.  But this time I had a lot of help from friends and from God.

Matthew 28:20

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Lift up your eyes Forgiveness Dealing with Anxiety as a Christian Praying James

broke-down-what-car-trouble-taught-me-about-god-pinterest

Pin It on Pinterest