Balancing is an Art

Balancing is an art.
Life is uncertain.
Moments so unstable.

We stand, sure-footed
And a wind, an unforeseen circumstance
destabilizes the most confident.

Falling is not failing.
It’s a lesson to persevere
Don’t ever give up.

We grow stronger
more confident
more flexible

Balancing is an Art
Not learned in a day
A lifetime of commitment.

My daughters learning to balance.

My daughters learning to balance.

Power Lunch for a Dollar

Short on time, money, and energy? Here’s a lunch with a punch of nutritious flavor that is quicker than fast food, won’t break the bank, and give you a mid day boost that you desperately need.

Power Lunch for a Dollar

1 can (5 oz) Tuna in water (not oil, ick!)
1/2 super ripe Avocado
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash pepper

Mix together in a bowl with a fork and then enjoy!

To be honest I didn’t actual measure the ingredients, but I’m guessing this is a very close estimate. I just sorta pour and mix and see how it looks and tastes to me, and wow was this tasty! I originally was going to put this wonderful tuna mixture in a whole grain wrap, but I was so hungry I just devoured it as soon as it was all a nice moist combination.

It literally took me five minutes to prepare AND eat.

By using avocado, I think this is a great alternative to what I used to do to make tuna by using a TON of mayo. Yes, the avocado still has a lot of fat, but it is healthy fat and contains MANY other great benefits.

Also, this little meal really does cost only a dollar to make (maybe a little more if the tuna and/or avocado aren’t on sale). Regardless, it is still a great deal and full of nutritious energy!

Silent Night

Everyone knows the first verse from “Silent Night” which is  lovely, but have you stopped to listen and ponder the second and third verses?

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior is born
Christ, the Savior is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

The idea of this reverent silence reminds me of a quote from my all time favorite author, C.S. Lewis. This is from a passage in his book The Screwtape Letters:

“[The demon Screwtape writes:] Music and silence–how I detest both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell–though Cover of "The Screwtape Letters"longer ago than humans, reckoning in light years, could express–no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise–Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile–Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it.”

In this past year our house has been anything but quiet. We now have a 21 month old and a 6 month old. Our daughters love each other tremendously and although they are young, I know they will be great friends…and our house will only get louder with the squeals of playful sisters. Life is full and life is good. We have been so blessed, but I need to remember the importance of silence. God speaks to us in the still, quiet moments, and he restores our soul in the absence of Noise.

So, for this Christmas Season (and into the next year and beyond) I encourage all of you to discover what is making the most Noise in your life (electronics, activities, work, everyday distractions?) and mindfully make a little more quiet time. Take a break from some of the holiday busyness a let Jesus’ light and love fill in the silence.

Grace and Forgiveness

Today I read this devotional from A.W. Tozer Grace and Forgiveness – Bible Gateway Devotionals.

It really struck a chord with me, especially this part:

What a gracious thing for us that Jesus Christ never thinks about what we have been. He always thinks about what we are going to be. You and I are slaves to time and space and records and reputations and publicity and the past-all that we call the case history. Jesus Christ cares absolutely nothing about anyone’s moral case history. He forgives it and starts from there as though the person had been born one minute before.

I find myself consistently dwelling on the past. Praise God that Jesus “never thinks about what we have been.” If He forgives me and sees all the wonderful potential in my life, then certainly I need to forgive myself (more), move on (why is this such a process!?) and focus on becoming who I am meant to be.

Just because I am forgiven doesn’t mean that I won’t still make mistakes. I am not perfect 🙂 There is a fine line, I think, in becoming complacent and having the attitude of “Well, if I mess up, I’m forgiven! No biggie!” and not giving yourself grace for the inevitable slip-ups we have from simply being non-perfect and, you know, human!

I could write a lot more, but I think I would find myself rambling just a little too much. And, as good as it is to write out these few simple thoughts I need to pry myself from the computer and get back to some mommyhood duties. Fortunately, since it is nap time for the kiddies that means a short nap for me and trying to clean the crayon off my table… 🙂

I Don’t Believe in Santa Claus, So Shoot Me.

Prompted from a friend’s post, I am also blogging about the ever approach Christmas holiday and the big, jolly fat man: Santa.

I don’t believe in Santa, so shoot me. Obviously, since I am an adult, I know I am not expected to believe in Santa, but I feel the weight of society hanging around my neck expecting me to perpetuate the myth of Old Saint Nick. Guess what? I’m not going to do it.

As a child I knew who Santa was, but I didn’t believe he was some magical man who came down our non-existent chimney loaded with “toys and goodies”. I never felt deprived in any way. All of my presents had a name associated with them. This one was from Aunt so-and-so, here’s one from Uncle Billy bob, these are from mommy and daddy. And I received them with joy and gratitude. I said “thank you” to the gift giver and even wrote out thank you notes.  (or drew pictures when I was younger). I still watched all the favorite holiday cartoons. My favorite was “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”. But, it was just a nice story. I didn’t need it to be true.

So, why am I writing out this long vent about not “believing”. I am just getting DARN tired of always having to explain and justify myself. I am tired of being frowned upon for my kids not growing up in a “santa” home. Why is it such a big deal?

If you want to believe or have your kids believe, go ahead. I don’t care. Celebrate Santa all you want, but don’t try to guilt me into following your commercialized tradition. It’s not like I am all “anti-santa” and I am not going to go up to your kid and say, “Guess what? Santa isn’t REAL!” I don’t care if I use a santa napkin at Christmas dinner, or if I get pictures of santa on my Christmas cards.

But for our house, we will not be writing letters to the North Pole, and we will not pose for pictures with a guy dressed up in a red suit at the mall. I’m sure we will still sing all the favorite Christmas carols, and we’ll probably decorate reindeer shaped christmas cookies. But please, do me a favor, and stop trying to make my kid believe Santa Claus is really watching whether they’ve “been naughty or nice”.

I love Christmas. It is my favorite holiday by far. And my kids will know Saint Nick, you know the real “santa”, the generous historical figure, but he or the magical version is not the center of our holiday. If that makes me a Scrooge, than “bah hum bug” to you!

Stop Being Supermom and the 3 Things that are Most Important to being a Great Mom

Recently read this blog post: Dear Moms, Jesus Wants You To Chill Out.

And I thought I would pass on these words of wisdom. As moms, we really only need be concerned about doing these three things:

  1. Love God
  2. Love Husband
  3. Love Children

Don’t worry about being a super mom.

I am still going to try to keep a clean, organized house, make meals from scratch, and other nice “extras”…BUT if we eat pizza we buy, have books and toys from one wall to the other, and the kids are still in PJs at 2pm…IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD! I am not a bad mom, and my kids will still grow up with good values.

As the article also states, Moms, stop comparing yourself! This only leads to discontent, disillusionment, and disaster. If you find yourself more discouraged than lifted up by reading different “mom” blogs, just stop reading them altogether!

So,  I’m gonna go chill out, and I hope you do too.