Lemon Chicken and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner

Lemon Chicken and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner

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

The school year might be upon us, but the weather is still warm and it’s not quite time to simmer a pot of chili on the stove! With routines kicking back into gear we can all use easy dinner recipes. Have you tried any of the popular sheet pan recipes that have been floating around social media? Those are PERFECT for busy nights! You can whip them up quickly and if you line your pan with foil or parchment paper, clean up is a breeze. What makes them perfect for this late summertime is that they utilize all the great veggies you find this time of year at the market.

My mother-in-law recently shared this recipe for chicken thighs with green beans and red potatoes that’s drizzled with a lemon dressing and we gobbled it all up- even the picky preschooler! So I thought I’d share the love with all of my sweet friends at Creating a Great Day in case you are in need a delicious and simple dinner recipe!

this-lemon-chicken-and-veggies-sheet-pan-dinner-fresh-veggies-social

Lemon Chicken and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner:

Ingredients:

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 lb  small red potatoes, quartered

1 lb  fresh green beans

3 TB Olive Oil

2 TB Fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 TB Italian Herb Blend (Or combine a TB of your favorite dried herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme)

Instructions:

  1. Arrange veggies and chicken on sheet pan.
  2. Combine oil, lemon juice, and garlic with herbs, salt, and pepper.
  3. Drizzle oil blend on chicken and veggies and use your hands to coat everything well with the oil.
  4. Roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.
  5. Serve with crusty bread, which you can dip in the oil from your pan. 🙂

 

I hope your family enjoys this sheet pan dinner as much as we have!

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Perfection (or Not)

Perfection (or Not)

Susan
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Susan

Susan York Meyers is the author of several children’s picture books, including The Mystery of the Red Mitten and Grrr…Night,! for which she won the Creative Women of Oklahoma Award. Other books include Shoe Haiku and Two Old Ladies: It’s all in the Attitude. Two Little Old Ladies is a humorous inspirational book combining both fiction and devotionals.

Susan has spoken at Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conferences and has also judged in the juvenile and short story for children contest categories for the Oklahoma City Writers.She lives with her hubby and Kira, the dog that thinks she’s people.

You can find out more about Susan and her books at susanameyers.com
Susan
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Latest posts by Susan (see all)

Proverbs 31 scares me. The Virtuous Woman’s kitchen floor was always perfectly clean, no sticky messes for visitors’ sandals to stick to. She never ran by the bakery fifteen minutes before school for “homemade” cookies because her child forgot to tell her she was homeroom mother that week. And I assure you the Virtuous Woman never said to her husband, “Whoops, I forgot to go to the market. Can you bring a lamb home to roast?” I’d be afraid to let that paragon of virtue into my home. If there’s a checklist for perfection, there are no checks in my boxes. Seriously.

Take cooking. As a newlywed, I’d drag myself out of bed and make a full breakfast for my man. Remember this was over thirty years ago, when wives still did things like that. After a week, he confessed he didn’t like breakfast but ate it so my feelings wouldn’t be hurt. Well, I didn’t need to be told twice. I threw in the spatula and went back to bed. I didn’t make breakfast again until my son came along.

My sewing skills didn’t earn any medals either. Again, hark back to the olden days when schools still taught Home Ec. Knowing how to sew was a top priority for women. However, even my supportive, loving mother couldn’t figure out how to wear the apron I created.

And then there’s cleaning. If God is in the “big upstairs” wearing a white glove, ready to sweep it across the top of my shelves, I might as well give up now.

Fortunately, the lady in Proverbs isn’t a real woman. She’s a combination of virtues for which to strive. And that’s good news for people like me, who find “adequate” a sometimes daunting task. Even though I know God doesn’t expect me to be perfect, there are still nights I snuggle under the covers waiting for sleeping bliss, but instead my mind says, “Let me remind you how you screwed up today.”

It doesn’t help that it seems like everyone but me has their act together.

Is there some domestic secret? Why does everyone else seem to breeze through being a wife and mother, while I barely manage to limp along?

I remember one Sunday morning, between class and worship service, I caught up with a friend and fellow mother of a two-year-old.

She taught as a college professor.

Her house always looked perfect.

All the treats at her son’s birthday party were hand-crafted.

Maybe, just maybe, she could give me some tips on being perfect. Or at least help me achieve average a little more often.

“Sometimes, it just gets overwhelming,” I ventured to say as my son wiggled in my arms.

She laughed. “I know exactly what you mean. This morning my husband had to grab a pair of socks out of the dirty clothes.”

I managed to shut my mouth so it didn’t look like I was angling for someone to drop a worm in it. “The dirty clothes?”

“Yes. That’s just the way it goes some mornings, isn’t it?”

her-secret-wasnt-perfection-it-was-confidence

She helped me that day. Her secret wasn’t perfection. It was confidence in the fact that she didn’t have to be perfect.

So what if the cake isn’t homemade? It’s bought with love.

So what if I read a bedtime story instead of cleaning? I’ll just tell everyone the dust bunnies are pets.

So what if I’m sometimes slow at getting the laundry done? If it doesn’t smell, no one knows the difference.

No one is perfect. We tend to cut everyone else some slack while holding ourselves up to impossible standards we can never meet. So, my challenge for myself is to start treating myself like I’m my best friend. When I look in the mirror every morning, I give my best friend a compliment. When I screw up, I cut my best friend some slack.

God loves me imperfections and all.

As for the Virtuous Woman, although there are days I like to imagine her cowering beside the washer, eating chocolate and hiding from her kids, I still strive to emulate her. I’ve just learned to give myself a break when I fail.

I am a woman formed by God’s hands, shaped by His love, and saved by His sacrifice.

And that’s perfect enough for me!

ephesians-2-8-9

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8 Reasons Not to Stress Over Dirty Dishes

8 Reasons Not to Stress Over Dirty Dishes

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

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heavenEcclesiastes 3_127

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

 

I know very few people who enjoy chores. It’s not often I hear someone say, “Cleaning toilets relaxes me,” or “I spend my ‘me time’ mopping the floors”! Every now and then I meet people who actually enjoy chores, and I admit for a short season in my life I didn’t mind them, but that season is long over! I’ve tried making chore charts time and time again. I try to hold myself accountable but I stick with them for about a week and then fall behind!

I constantly felt guilty about this until one day I realized that what kept me from my chores was usually more important than a spic-and-span home! Scripture tells us that there is a time and season for every activity under heaven. For me, the time for a clean home does not come as often as the times for other things!

So this is for all the women, wives and mommas out there who are feeling guilty for their less-than-spotless home! It’s OK!!! I give you permission to forgive yourself and be at peace.

 

8 REASONS NOT TO STRESS OVER DIRTY DISHES
1. You are having quiet time with the Lord.

Be it thoughtful meditation, time in your prayer journal, reading inspirational articles, or a full on bible story–this is more important. 

 

2. You are playing with your children.

Oh, the time to play with our kids is short. Don’t feel guilty about one single chore undone when you are playing with your kids. This is more important. 

 

3. You are serving others. 

Have you ever had someone drop everything they were doing to come and help you? It a beautiful way to show Christ’s love. Who cares if the breakfast skillet has to wait until the next day? This is more important.

 

4. You are going to church or a church activity. 

Hmm…chores or worshiping God?? If you need help with this one I encourage you to look up the story of Mary and Martha. Church gatherings are a wonderful blessing. This is more important. 

 

5. You are earning money for your family. 

I grew up with a hard-working mom and I know how difficult it can be to juggle work among all the other aspects of life. You are providing for your family–don’t feel guilty if the laundry is piling up. This is more important. 

 

6. You are staying home to take care of or homeschool your kids. 

This sort of goes with #2. Some might think that because you stay home all day it would be easy to keep a clean home. They are very wrong. Cleaning your home with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. It just doesn’t happen very easily. Not to worry though, you are doing important work. This is more important. 

 

7. You are having time with family or friends. 

When I’m ninety years old, I want my mind to be full of memories spent with the people I love. I honestly don’t think I’ll care if my house was kept perfectly. So chores can wait–go and make happy memories! This is more important. 

 

8. You are having personal time. 

Everyone needs time to decompress. If mopping the floor and doing the dishes relaxes you then go for it! But for the rest of us: don’t feel guilty for taking a moment to read, check Facebook, exercise, or hop in a long bubble bath. You will feel happier doing your chores if you are also making time for yourself. Now, I know it’s easier to relax in a clean house. So try to keep one area clear of clutter where you go to escape and the other chores can wait. This is more important! 

I constantly felt guilty until one day I realized that what kept me from my chores was usually more important than a spick and span home!

I know this isn’t for everyone, however, if you feel yourself stressed over chores I hope you will go over this list and find room for grace. I’ve found that it helps me to prioritize the chores that are most important to me. Focus on those and save the other stuff until it’s noticeably needed or company is coming. I spend my days caring for my toddler, finding time with Jesus, having fun with my husband, and serving my church family. I don’t mind if there are crumbs on my floor or if the dishes have piled up because I am living a happy and full life. There is a time for everything, my friends!

What are your favorite ways to spend your time? 

8 Reasons to Not Stress Over Dirty Dishes

 

 

Confessions of an Imperfect Homemaker

Confessions of an Imperfect Homemaker

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

Tonight I mopped our kitchen floor.

I know, I know. My post is titled “Confessions of an Imperfect Homemaker” and here I am bragging about accomplishing the hardest chore ever. 😉

 

Would it help if I told you that I can’t recall the last time I mopped our floors?

 

I’m definitely an imperfect homemaker.

 

I’ve printed and laminated chore charts, and I’ve read all kinds of blog posts trying to work up the inspiration and motivation to keep better house. It’s just hard!

 

I used to really beat myself up over my lack of pristine cleaning skills, especially after my daughter was born. The words of someone dear to me were a great encouragement.

 

(I’m going to paraphrase here because it was many years ago, and I can’t remember her words exactly.)

 

“Some people are just naturally good at keeping things clean, and others like things clean, but it doesn’t come naturally.”

 

Can you guess which category I fall under? This sweet friend was in the same category so it was extra encouraging to hear it from someone who truly understands.

 

Those words have stayed with me and helped me find grace for myself. Notice I said grace, not excuses. Yes, I still want to work hard to take care of our home. But I’ve come to terms that I might not have the same results as others, and that’s okay.
 struggling-to-keep-up-with-house-chores-does-not-make-me-a-homemaking-failure

 

The Life-Giving Home

For Christmas I asked my husband for Sally Clarkson’s book The Life-Giving Home. I really had no idea what it was about. I thought it was going to offer me some inspiration for keeping a tidy home and cooking good meals. While Sally does touch on those things a bit, this book was about so much more. In this book co-written with her daughter, they discuss the many ways to cultivate God’s goodness in your home and give life to your family and all who enter your home. Cleaning and cooking have their place, but habits such as listening, deep conversations, and making time for family devotions and celebrations are life-giving as well!

 

As I scurried through this book, completely enthralled, I realized that my value as a wife, mother, and homemaker is not determined by how clean my house is.  God has designed us as women to bring life into our homes in many different ways. Struggling to keep up with chores does not make me a homemaking failure! House cleaning might not be my best quality, but I certainly have other areas where I thrive. There is no perfect homemaker.  As hard as that might be to believe about some of the women in your life, they too have areas in their life that don’t come naturally.

 

This doesn’t mean that we stay where we are. We can definitely strive to form better habits. Sometimes we just have to rise above what’s not natural for us and get the job done.  There is definitely value in having a tidy home, so this post is not to undermine such chores.

However… 

 

If, like me, you find yourself struggling to keep up with the house cleaning, here is my message:

 

We don’t have to feel sorry for ourselves when certain aspects of homemaking don’t come naturally. We should look for the gifts we’ve been given and appreciate the ways we care for our family that come easy to us. Maybe it’s the yummy food we cook, the adventurous spirit we have, the way we are emotionally in tune with the individual needs of our family members, or our love for story time. I’m not sure what your niche is, but Momma, you better believe that you have one! We can go about our lives confidently, knowing that Christ gives us what we need to serve the ones we love with glad and true hearts. While our responsibility to care as a wife, mother, and homemaker is great we can find strength in knowing that we have a heavenly Father who cares for us.

 

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“The Lord himself watches over you! 
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.”
Psalm 121:5

 

Give Yourself Grace

 

So pick yourself up, fellow struggling homemaker! Offer yourself some grace and realize you are exactly what your family needs.You might find that you’re not struggling as badly as you thought. You’ve got this!

 

Prayer for Moms Across the World

Prayer for Moms Across the World

Lori S

Lori S

I'm Lori! My husband and I have been married since 2008. We adopted our son in July and live in Memphis, TN. One of the things I love about Creating a Great Day is that it is focused on inspiring women to the woman that God wants them to be. Every woman is different, and we all have talents to honor God and walk alongside each other in this spiritual journey called life. Have a blessed day!
Lori S

My husband and I adopted our son almost two years ago. Ever since we decided to adopt, I have had a wide range of emotions on Mother’s Day. Knowing that I will always share that day with my son’s biological mother encourages me to think of other women who may experience grief and joy on this day. This reflection helps focus my thoughts and prayers during this time. Join me in honoring these women in our thoughts and prayers this week!

A prayer for moms everywhere

Dear God, we come before your throne today, asking for your intercession in the lives of women across the world. We pray for…

  • the women who become moms today. Guide their hearts, minds, and emotions as they experience motherhood for the first time.
  • the moms who have lost children. Bring them the peace that comes only from you.
  • the mothers who work outside (or from) the home to provide for their children. Whether they work one (or three) jobs, help their work and sacrifice to be appreciated and noticed.
  • the moms who stay home with their children. Help them feel loved and appreciated by their children and spouses.

Father, we also pray for the moms who…

  • have chosen to place their children into adoptive families. Give them the peace and clarity they need in their lives. Help those around them celebrate their choice for life, but allow those moms an emotional space to grieve.
  • live in poverty. Help give them the emotional, spiritual, and financial supports they need to lead their family toward you.
  • are raising their children on their own. Remind their neighborhood or church communities to rally around them so those moms never feel alone.
  • became mothers through adoption. Bless their motherhood journey and give them the strength and clarity needed to raise their children in a new family.
  • became moms through foster care. Give them courage to fight for what they know is right and the ability to love even when it hurts.

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We pray for…

  • the moms who protect their children from violence, war, and abuse. Let them know that there is still light even in darkness.
  • the women who have lost their own moms. Encourage us to surround these women with love. Help us give them the space they need to celebrate and grieve simultaneously.
  • the women who suffer from depression, anxiety, or mental illness. Put people in their lives to encourage them and help them get the support they need.

And we lift up these women as well…

  • the moms who love their children but not their spouses. Help them realize that one of the best ways to show love to their children is to love their spouse.
  • the moms who are struggling in their relationships with their children. Let them know that you are with them. Always.
  • the women who are “mother figures” in the lives of children in our homes and communities. Equip those women to engage, mentor, and love children.

We ask you to cover these moms (and others) with your love, peace, and mercy. May we never forget the importance of what the word “mom” means. In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

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Six Tip to Prepare for a Mission Trip Praying the Psalms We all struggle  A Mother to More than Your Own

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Road Trip Tips: Traveling with Little Ones

Road Trip Tips: Traveling with Little Ones

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

Does your family have a road trip coming up? Perhaps you are putting off travel because the idea of a long drive with a baby or toddler seems daunting. With family eight hours away, we’ve become pros at long drives! It’s not always easy, but it can be done. It’s even possible to have some fun along the way! We have made the drive between south Houston and central Oklahoma too many times to count with our little girl, so I hope some of the lessons we’ve learned will encourage you as you plan for your long trips!

Road Trip Tips for Babies and Tots:

1. Pack with bags.

Organization is crucial!

Pack one bag with snacks, eating supplies, and bottles/cups. (If you are pumping, use a separate bag for pump supplies.) Bring plenty of snacks! We’ve found it works best to let our tot graze rather than depend on scheduled meals and snacks. It keeps her happier on the road. We try to keep the snacks pretty healthy, like cheese, fruit, raisins, and pretzels. But be sure to have a treat for the last leg of the trip which always proves challenging!

Bring a second bag with diapers, wipes, changing pad, change of clothes, and gallon ziploc bags for any messy items.

A third bag can be packed with small books, toys, and additional entertainment items. Try to pack a variety of items including some new ones for added interest.

Note: this is what you need for your drive time–not your entire trip! You’ll feel like you’re bringing your entire house when you travel with a little one!

2. Milk.

The little ones have to have it. If your kids are anything like mine, they like it warm. This can be a challenge while on the road! My favorite way to find warm cow’s milk is at Starbucks. You can ask for a small glass of milk steamed to the “kid’s temperature” and transfer it to bottle or cup. If you need to warm up mother’s milk or any other milk you’ve packed, Starbucks, as well as many other fast-casual restaurants, will bring you a glass of hot water you can use to warm your bottle in. Sometimes gas stations have warm water for tea you can use as well!

3. Chick-fil-A.

Enough said. This is your ideal stop for food and/or restrooms. You will always find clean bathrooms with changing stations at Chick-fil-A, and they treat people with young kids like royalty.

4. Let them move! 

Park stops are great when the weather is nice! You can pack a picnic or pick up some food in the drive-thru to enjoy outside. I highly recommend you take at least thirty minutes to let your kids eat and burn some energy. If they have been snacking, they might not need to have meal time, so let them just play! If the weather isn’t great for outdoor play, look for a restaurant with a play area. Tiny ones can even play in the car.  While our daughter was still in the infant stage, we made sure to let her have some time to play on our laps and enjoy snuggles on our stops.

Depending on your trip, there might be time to see something interesting along the way. It might seem inconvenient to make stops for play, but it can do quite a bit for the mood of the trip!

5. Dress comfortably. 

Road trips are not the time to pull out the baby jeans and all the extra style. Keep them in soft cotton that is easy for diaper changes. If you’re traveling in cold weather, I recommend keeping their clothing light. You can wrap them in blankets when you go inside or put on their coat when it’s time to play. Babies can quickly get too hot in those car seats once the heater kicks on, and then they might get grumpy!

6. Relax and give yourself plenty of time.

Add on at least an hour and a half to your usual drive time. If you are nursing you’ll probably add even more time depending on the length of your trip. It is not safe to nurse while the car is in motion! Know that there will be more and longer stops–and be okay with that. Your kids can tell when you are stressed and it will cause them to get worked up. There will probably be some tears, but hopefully some naps too! There can be lots of opportunity for fun. Don’t keep yourself on a tight schedule or it will be stressful! Proverbs 14:29 has some great wisdom for us on our road trips: “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” Patience will go a long way when you’re in tight quarters as a family!

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7. Youtube

Many parents have all sorts of screen time restrictions (especially for the youngest children), but if you find yourself in stop-and-go traffic on a road trip you might want to reconsider. Our favorite song videos to watch on Youtube are from Little Baby Bum, Baby Joy Joy, and Super Simple Songs. If you do not have an entertainment system in your car you will need this in your bag of tricks!

take-the-trip

Traveling in the car as a family has potential challenges but it also has potential joys. You have time to bond and enjoy each other much more than when you are spread about at home. If you are traveling with little ones, the home of extended family is most likely your destination. I cannot express how important it is to take your kids to see the ones you love. Don’t let a long drive hold you back. Make the effort and take the trip. Let your kids fall in love with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Explore God’s world together, from your car, and may your family go on many adventures, growing closer on each one!

What are your best tips for long drives with little ones? 

 

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road-trip-tips-traveling-with-little-ones-pinterst

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