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Women Living Well Blog: March 2011

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, March 28, 2011

My 7 Day Social Media Break

I'm taking a 7 day break from being social on social media to spend time with these wonderful people above! 

I will be back next Monday but while I'm gone, I would love for you to visit my friend Clare.  Clare just started blogging at the beginning this year.  She is one of my real life friends - we've co-led bible study together, lived in the same neighborhood and she was my fitness trainer for years.  She inspires me greatly and I hope that she inspires you too! 

Clare left a message for you:
Hi everyone! I'd like to thank you for visiting my blog over the past 3 months! Courtney was very kind to promote me on here and I am grateful that you all came and "checked me out"!

I'd like to invite you over to my blog again for a first at Peak313 Fitness. I'm having our first CHALLENGE and link-up for the month of April! I'm calling it the "Try It!" challenge.

In "Reshaping it all" by Candace Cameron Bure, she says, "Piggybacking one new habit with a regular routine is a great way to introduce a new change." One of my desires in having a blog is to teach you and introduce you to new things that you otherwise wouldn't choose. I am going to take you through 4 food items that you might not have introduced to your diet before. I'll examine why they are beneficial, different ways to incorporate them into your diet (with recipes!) and of course, CHALLENGE you to try them for the week!

Thanks Clare - I'm in and have a great week everyone!!!

Walk with the King,


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Egg-cellent Egg Salad

Today I'm featuring Janelle from Comfy In The Kitchen!  She says "This is a great recipe to have on hand when you just don't know what to make for lunch or dinner. It is so simple, easy, and tastes great! Add a salad or soup and you will have yourself a delcious meal. I love dressing this up on fresh croisannts with lettuce, tomatoes, and a toothpick! Today, I made it very basic ...we had baseball pracitce to get to, you know! I always make a few extra hard boiled eggs for children eat them up. Keep this recipe on hand for all the extra eggs you will have around Easter....Enjoy!"

Would you look at this! Who needs this many eggs?! LOL! I must have grabbed eggs every time I went to the store last week and now I have a pile up! I must put them to good use :)

First, add cold water for a large pot and place eggs in the cold water...turn burner on high heat. 

When the water begins to boil, turn off heat and remove pot from burner

Cover and let the eggs steam for about 10 mins. 

Pour out the hot water and add cool water to the pot and let sit for a couple of mins..

You are ready to peel..rinse any loose shell off with cool water.

Chop eggs into bite sized pieces (there is no special way to do this) add Miracle Whip, Mayo, Dijon mustard and salt. 

Mix well

Serve on bread, croissants, in a wrap, on top of lettuce, as tea sandwiches, in a phyllo cup...whatever you wish! This is a great staple recipe.

Egg-cellent Egg Salad
12 eggs
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1 cup Mayo (to tone down the sweetness of Miracle Whip)
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon)
1/2 tsp salt (or to your liking)
(You may also add celery and onions if you like- I did not because my children prefer it plain)

Place cold water in a large pot. Add eggs, turn on burner to high heat. When water boils, turn off heat and take pot off of burner. Cover with lid and let steam for about 10 mins. Pour hot water out of pot and add cool water. When eggs are cool enough to handle, peel and rinse. Chop eggs and add remaining ingredients and stir. You may make the night before and refrigerate. Spread on your choice of bread!

Thank you Janelle!!!!

Walk with the King!

If you are looking for more recipes or have one to share - visit Janelle's new link-up today!

You can follow Janelle on her own blog Comfy In The Kitchen or on Facebook and Twitter.

I am participating in Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, and Balancing Beauty and Bedlam recipe exchanges. I am also linked up to Raising Homemakers Weds. link up and Works For Me Wednesday! For more blogger recipes go to these links.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Your Husband Is Your Spiritual Leader

Last Wednesday, I posted a "Dear Husbands" post. It was a cry for husbands to step up and lead.  Now I turn to the wives.

Dear Wives,

Do you long for your husband to lead?  Some of you are married to a man who is mature in Christ, who has had parents role-model for him what a spiritual leader looks like.  Others married husbands who will not darken the door of the church.  While still others, have husbands who attend church every Sunday - but only if you wake him.  He might keep sleeping if you didn't do all the work to get the family there.

Sometimes as wives, we can create a mental checklist to evaluate our husband's spirituality.  It might look like this:

1. Did he sing loud at church?
2. Did he initiate Bible time with the family?
3. Did he pray with me before we went to bed?
4. Does he act like that guy in my small group - who appears to be a spiritual giant?
5. Does he read the Bible as much as I do?
6. Does he go to a men's study group? Cause I go to the women's study group?
7. Does he express with words how much he loves Jesus like I do?
8. Is he as giving with our money as I am?
9. Does he know as much about the Bible as I do?

And we come to the end of those questions and confirm - nope - he is not all those things therefore "my husband is not the spiritual leader of our home - I am."

While I do believe that there are many husbands failing in their role as spiritual leaders...I want to encourage you to not go down this very dark path - it will not lead to a spiritually stronger husband.  He will sense that you disrespect him in this area and rarely will a man be motivated by our disrespect.

I've been there - early in marriage, I looked over my check list and declared my husband was not measuring up. I had just graduated from Bible college - I (in my pride said) I certainly know more! I lead a Beth Moore study! What does he lead? He sings so quiet - I love to sing praises - loudly! In my heart I declared - I am more spiritual... I I I I I I I I I ! Ugh - so ugly...  My man is my leader - in every area.  He quietly reads his Bible every single morning using a "Read through the Bible plan" - but his walk with God simply does not look like mine!

It seems so easy for us wives to criticize our husbands in this area. We have an ideal we want them to meet - and we fail to realize that the day he walked down the isle - he became the head of our home.  Ephesians 5:23 doesn't say - he ought to be the head of the home - it says he is!

I hear so many women say - "he's not leading". The reality is - your husband is ALWAYS leading...he may just be doing a lousy job. And if he has abdicated his leadership to you - then he is still leading - leading by abdication.

Three areas I failed in, early in marriage, was 1.) to realize that he is going to mature (just as I have)- he's come a long way in 13 years! 2.) to evaluate myself as more spiritual is pretty arogant and ugly to God & 3.) to recognize that a man's walk with God looks different than a woman's!  Some men may be openly expressive and flowery in worship - but after 35 years in church I have seen this is the exception not the rule.

God made our men strong and fierce to fight battles, slay bears and make bold moves for his kingdom. My husband's faith is unwavering. His integrity stellar.  His courage to be a truth teller unstoppable.  His knowledge of theology deep.  But will he get flowery about his love for Jesus?  Not a chance. 

His walk with God looks different than mine - just like your walk with God might look different from mine. 

And here is a point I want you to take away from this post - if you take nothing else from this - hear me on this:

Leave room for your husband to mature in this area.  Do not treat him like he is less than you if he is not as spiritually strong.  Think of the first day you held your first child in your arms.  Were you a mature parent - ready to handle every issue that you would face in parenting? What if he had a mental checklist and you were not measuring up to his standards as a mom?  You'd be devastated.  If you need anyone's support as a mom - it's your husband's.  In the same way, he needs your support in his role of leadership. 

Give your husband room and time to mature.  Pray for his leadership rather than criticize it.  Take note when he does do something right.  Your husband is in a place of inescapable leadership.  That is a tremendous burden to carry.  Lighten his load, step back and let your husband lead. 

Walk with the King!

This post is linked to Raising Homemakers, Titus 2sdays, and We Are That Family.

Today is Women Living Well Wednesday! It's a Link-Up Day!!!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don't forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, finances, recipes, organization and more!)

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning Your Facebook Account

During the year of 2010, 250 million NEW people joined Facebook bringing the total users on Facebook at the end of 2010 to 600 million! Facebook is growing and the pressure to be there is not going away.  It's the new front porch. 

Last summer I went on evening runs through my new neighborhood and it was the dogs, crickets and me outside.  Everyone else seemed to be inside enjoying their family, air conditioning, computers, and televisions.  I thought - I know my friends on Facebook, blogland and twitterville better than my next door neighbors

So let me preface all that I am about to say about Facebook with this statement: Technology is neutral.  It can be used for good or bad.  We, the sinners, determine whether we are going to use it for good or evil.  

I personally enjoy Facebook but for those who regularly participate we can find secret sins creeping in - or worse - our sinful heart is revealed for all to see. And I wonder if we should PAUSE and do some spring cleaning in this area of our lives.

I Timothy 5:13 warns young women about becoming  "idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not." ESV   Facebook is an easy place for women to become idle and busy bodies.  So Let's Ask Ourselves:

Am I using Facebook to complain about my husband, children, the weather etc?

Am I measuring my worth based on how many friends I have?

Am I portraying a fake reality?

Am I addicted to checking my page every 30 minutes?

Have I used a sharp tongue toward someone and need to apologize?

Do I have some bikini shots up from 5 years ago that need deleted? (read my modesty post here)

Am I married and flirting with a guy (other than my husband) on Facebook?

Am I married and developing a deep emotional connection with a man other than my husband on Facebook (read my post about this here)?

Am I ignoring my children or husband to hang out on the front porch?

Do I feel excluded from some of my friends when they post pictures together and get jealous?

Am I feeling envious of someone's house, car, clothes, friendships, status, looks etc? 

Am I distracted in my daily life by a Facebook debate?

Am I malicious when I respond to someone with thoughts that oppose mine?

Am I using my status updates to brag?

Am I using the information I've read on Facebook to gossip with friends in real life about a friend on Facebook?

Look at this extensive list of dangers that exist each time we log onto Facebook!  Did you realize all the temptations that Facebook opens up for you?  I honestly did not the first time I created my account.  Yet - as I sat down to write this post these thoughts came pouring out of my mind in rapid fire.  Why?  Because I've either participated in the above sins or have been troubled as I have watched Christian sisters pulled into these danger zones.

Dear Christian sisters - we are followers of Christ - our Facebook accounts must reflect this!  We are the salt and light of the world - our Facebook updates must look different from the rest of the worlds.

I'm not saying that every status update must be a Bible verse or hymn.  BUT I am saying that our lives are not our own.  We belong to Jesus and so our finger tapping must reflect his heart - not ours.  Let's let Jesus permeate everything we do - from loving our husbands and children to hanging out on the front porch.  Pray for your friends, encourage them, be bold and share what you read in your quiet time, respond to friends in crisis, connect with missionaries and encourage them, pass on a blog link to a blog post you read today (hint hint lol!!!), or a youtube that speaks truth into your friend's lives.

And a good rule of thumb to follow is - no Facebook until you've read THE BOOK and have had some face to face time with your Heavenly Father.  You will need to be saturated in his truth to handle the onslaught of temptation and ministry that is presented to you everyday on Facebook.  I'm praying for you sisters!  Let's make a difference for the glory of God on Facebook!

Walk with the King!
This is linked to Titus 2sdays, We Are That Family, Raising Homemakers and A Holy Experience.

Today's post is a part of the "Put Your House In Order" Series. Please visit the ladies below!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Easy Cheesy Beautiful Bread - A Must See!

Janelle featured this Cheesy Bread on her blog at ComfyNKitchen last fall and I felt this was a must see!!!  It's SO simple - you just use bread from the bakery and jazz it up - I can do this!  Hooray! Check this out!
Janelle says: "This cheesy bread is a conversation piece in itself..I make this two ways, the way I am showing below is one way, another way is to stuff the bread with swiss cheese and sauteed diced onions and finish as directed. I make this bread for company all the time- it is amazing!" 

Start with a round loaf of bread from the bakery-lay it on a foil lined baking sheet (you will use the foil to wrap the bread) and make slices into the bread at a 30 degree angle, then do the same in the opposite direction-the depth of your slices should be about 75% through the bread, leaving it in tact. 

As you are slicing hold the bread together

Stuff with shredded Mozzarella cheese

Pour 1 stick of melted butter over top

Sprinkle with garlic powder and parsley

Cover with foil and bake in a 350 oven for 40 mins 

Open the foil and bake another 10 mins

Tear apart and ENJOY!Easy and Cheesy Bread
1 round loaf of bakery bread
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup butter (1 stick melted)
garlic powder

Place bread on a foil lined baking sheet, reserve enough foil to cover the bread. Slice bread diagonally in both directions 75% through the bread making sure to keep it in tact. Fill cuts with cheese, pour melted butter over top sprinkle with garlic powder and parsley. Bake in a 350 oven for 45 mins. Open foil and bake another 10 mins until golden.
Thank you Janelle!!!!

Walk with the King!

If you are looking for more recipes or have one to share - visit Janelle's new link-up today!

You can follow Janelle on her own blog Comfy In The Kitchen or on Facebook and Twitter.

I am participating in Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, and Balancing Beauty and Bedlam recipe exchanges. I am also linked up to Raising Homemakers Weds. link up and Works For Me Wednesday! For more blogger recipes go to these links.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dear Husbands - A Letter To The Men

The title of my blog is Women Living Well. I write to women, but from time to time I receive an email that says, "my husband is so glad I read your blog - he reads over my shoulder." lol!

And so though my ministry is only to women - today I want to write directly to the husband who might be peaking over his wife's shoulder.

Dear Husbands,

We wives have loved you since the day you slipped that ring on our finger. You were everything we dreamed of and more! We want to live a life filled with open hearts, open dreams and 2 hearts beating as one. Some days we sense distance - we draw near but you are under the stress of work and bills and daily pressures. We know you just need us to hold your hand and be still. We want to talk till the the sunsets and then comes up again and we know - you don't. We know that living with a woman is not always easy - we are such opposites and yet this is what makes the possibility for intimacy endless.

Sometimes we attempt to lead - either it's because you are being silent in an area or we want to change your mind. It may almost appear that we don't want you to lead us and we want to call the shots.

But do you really want to know the truth?

Do you really want to know our hearts cry?

Please - "Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone
Won't you lead me?"

We want you to lead.

Wives, do you see the burden your husband's carry?

This video captures both sides so well. For a moment, imagine the burden your husband carries on his broad shoulders everyday. The role of leader can be lonely.

And I see the hearts cry of the husband - "Father lead me cause I can't do this alone."

Are you longing for your husband to lead? Pray for him...and when he steps up and leads...step back and let him.

Walk with the King!

Update: I just got a humbling tweet that said "My husband was "watching over my shoulder" & said he heard it B4 & it made him think. We had a nice talk after." 
This post is linked to Raising Homemakers, Titus 2sdays, and We Are That Family.

Today is Women Living Well Wednesday! It's a Link-Up Day!!!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don't forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, finances, recipes, organization and more!)

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Weekend Birthday Bash

Alex turned 8 last week and Alexis is about to turn 6! So this weekend we had our big birthday bash!
It started out with a massive snow storm! It was breathtakingly gorgeous outside!
Then daddy took Alex on his annual trip to Friendly's for his birthday breakfast! (Side note: Friendly's is a chain of ice cream shops in the mid-west. I worked there for 4 years as a waitress! We LOVE Friendly's in my family!)

The theme for the birthday party was dogs! Alexis wanted 101 Dalmation Dogs.

And Alex wanted military dog fighting planes. The centerpiece was our pinata!

Mommy made 2 pans of lasagna for our relatives, along with Caesar Salad and Italian bread.

Then we took pictures before all our guests arrived!


Cousins! (a couple are missing in the picture)

The cake was from Dairy Queen. Our local Dairy Queen said - "choose any theme and we can google it and put it on your cake!" Awesome huh? They did a GREAT job!

Singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles.

Lexi's favorite gift - roller blades! She spent her Sunday afternoon rolling through the house! We need some warm weather so she can use these OUTSIDE lol!

Tired parents! lol!


The evening ends with wrapping paper, plastic cups, balloons, new books and toys scattered.

Mommy gulps as she reflects on the memories of her little ones who each day grow a little bigger.


Time seemed so slow during the Barney days.


Time is moving so fast I just want to hit the pause button.

Where did the days of binky's, bottles and blankies go?


Completely gone - never to return.

Tear *

She wonders is she good enough?

Is she doing the right things for her children?

Has she given them too much, too little, enough?

It seems like life is 2 steps forward, one step back.

Signs of maturity sparkle but then the bubble bursts and ugly messes she never saw coming spill out.

And she wonders - trembling - how will this end, will they live well?

She lays her head in the chest of her strong man and says, "I think this is hard for a reason.
God is making sure I don't think I can do this in my own strength.

He is keeping me humbled so I will learn to persevere in prayer.

It seems I forget to pray on my knees when we take 2 steps forward.

But on days when we are one step back, I am reminded I am weak. He is strong."

And 2 who are 1, comfort each other as together they look to the future with hope.

Hope in a great God who is faithful.

Hope that in our weaknesses, God will give us strength for the days to come.

Hope that our children will be the next generation to shine like lights in a dark world.

And hope for future generations.

Lord, have mercy on us - help 2 who are 1, spiked hair son and dimpled daughter. Strengthen us. May we be fully committed to you.

2 Chronicles 16:9 "For the eyes of the Lord range through out the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him." NIV

Walk with the King!

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