Sunday, November 18, 2012

Truly Thankful

At 27, I think I am just beginning to truly grasp what it means to be thankful.

As the years go by, we learn to value faith, family, friends, and our lives more because of the loss, growth, and change we experience. There have been a number of character-building events in my life this past year that contributed to my deepened sense of gratitude for God and His grace:

  • The passing of my sweet Meemaw
  • Making it through two lay-offs at work
  • Traveling to Scotland
  • Running three 5k's
  • Hearing a heartfelt apology
  • Experiencing my first lay-off
  • Watching loved ones deal with health issues
  • Completing a chronological Bible-reading plan
  • Networking that led me to a job with endless opportunity

As cliche as it sounds, time seems to pass so much more quickly as I get older. And yet, I think I can look at my life more objectively.

I am so incredibly thankful to God for His priceless gift of salvation. It's a gift I could never earn. A gift I could never deserve or feel entitled to. It's a gift I should not feel guilty about but should live my life to honor and share. It's a gift that keeps giving. Salvation is an everyday thing. It's not frozen in time at the moment of acceptance - it saves and keeps saving.

I am thankful for a family who supports and encourages me through every season without fail and who models unconditional love in a way that never ceases to amaze me.

I am thankful for a Bible-teaching church and a pastor who presents the Word clearly and unapologetically.

I am thankful to live in a country that allows me to practice my faith freely.

I am thankful for my education in a field I feel called to.

I am thankful for the opportunity to use my education to pursue excellence at work.

I am thankful for a home and food and warmth.

I am thankful for health.

Thank You, Lord, for yesterday, today, and tomorrow!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Trading the Traditional Turkey Taco

It's time for turkey!

I eat turkey all throughout the year, but it's fun to find new ways to highlight it in the fall when it's the first protein that comes to mind for many meals. I found a recipe recently that I forwarded to Mom, and we decided it was time to schedule a cooking date!

These turkey taco lettuce wraps are delicious! There are a ton of spices that really boost the flavor (for those of you meat-lovers who may not be as keen on this lean protein), and the tomato sauce keeps it moist. I give this dish a thumbs up for flavor and a thumb lick for it's somewhat messy but very fun presentation.

Here are some pics and the recipe I tweaked:




Ingredients: 
  • 1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp chili powder 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • ½ tsp oregano 
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (red and green add a little color) 
  • ¾ cup water 
  • 4 oz can tomato sauce 
  • 8 large lettuce leaves from Iceberg lettuce 
  • Optional toppings: cheese, tomatoes, sour cream 

Directions:
  1. Brown turkey in a large skillet. 
  2. Add dry seasonings to turkey and mix well. 
  3. Add pepper, water, and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Take the lid off and simmer until liquid has evaporated. 
  4. Wash and dry the lettuce. Place meat in the center of lettuce leaves and add optional toppings, if desired.

Original recipe


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Getting sidetracked

The other day, I was picking up some groceries, and I got sidetracked. Now, this wasn't one of those end caps intended to rope you in for a "Mega Sale" or "Deep Discount" - some item you would not have gone out of your way to buy, but now that it's staring you in the face, you can't resist. This was just me browsing and taking a step into the craft aisle. Always dangerous for women.

I found myself flipping through a book of decorative scrapbook pages. The borders were so creative and modern, and I felt a connection with them...almost as though I designed them myself! They seemed to come out of my imagination!

I started to put the book in my basket...but then I stopped. What on earth would I DO with those artsy, decorative pages? Oh, sure, I could make a scrapbook (duh) or work on a collage or mod podge a frame or book cover. Yes, all those things I could do with this paper. But I didn't have a project in mind, and I have a half-used book of the same type of paper at home.

I really do like to be crafty, and it's good to have extras at home to *inspire* when I'm looking for a project to dig into, but I think for now, I'll leave the new scrapbook paper at the store as a treat for another day. And maybe between now and then I'll come up with a new project to dig into.

Maybe it will be a flower project...I sure seem to like taking pictures of flowers.