What’s for dinner

We are having planned-overs for dinner tonight.  Easy beef pot pie:

  • 1 leftover steak, diced
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 pkg. brown gravy mix
  • 1 can mixed vegetables, drained
  • 1.5 cups bizquick baking mix
  • milk – for baking mix batter

Cook potato in salted water until tender, add brown gravy (prepare according to directions, diced beef, and veggies, incorporate all together, then pour into 4×4 glass baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine baking mix with milk until consistency of pancake batter, pour over top of beef mixture.  Bake at 375* until batter is browned on top, and toothpick comes out clean when inserted into crust.

This is a great way to use up leftovers.  Mashed potatoes can be substituted for the biscuit crust, and any left over veggies would work in this.  Top with cheese and serve with a green salad and you’ve got a plate of good old fashioned comfort food, quick and easy!

Evolution of a Prayer Journal

I’ve been spending more time in my prayer journal this week.  It’s a lot of the same stuff I talked about in previous posts, but now, since discovering the bullet journaling phenomena, I am moving everything over to a composition notebook, for the sake of more effective archival and retrieval.  Also, it is sometimes very difficult to put my thoughts into verbal words, as my mind is prone to wander about and fixate on the next shiny thing that grabs my attention.  Having a lined journal will allow me to wrangle those thoughts all into a hopefully cohesive and coherent prayer, from my heart to God’s…and one day, will be a good way to remember His goodness to me.

Since I am fortunate enough to be a stay at home wife and Grammie, I have extra time in my day for prayer.  I may not always have this opportunity to spend this kind of time in the presence of God, so I want to show my gratitude by doing it well, redeeming the time, so to speak.


From the time I wake, until the time I go to sleep, I want to be in a habit of keeping company with my Lord.  There are several ways I accomplish this, one of which is memorized prayers.  When I wake up and ideally, before my first sip of coffee, I want to give my day to Jesus.  “Good morning, Lord!  I love you.  What do you want to tell me today?”  I put on the coffee, and continue in worship:  “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.”  It’s here that I often see the first thing He wants me to do today…maybe dishes that didn’t get put away the night before, or a load of laundry that needs to be put on…Sometimes I just take mental note, other times, I may jump right in and get it going while the coffee is brewing…but when that coffee is ready…I’m all about the waking up!  I pour a big cuppa, add my favorite sweetener and stir it all up and take it to my prayer spot.  Here, I keep my Bible, my journal(s), special pens/pencils, religious reading material that I’m working through, and prayer aids, such as chaplets and/or rosary.  I say my morning prayers, then make a mental note of the prayers I pray weekly…I have different areas of specific prayers that I have divided up into my seven day week.  This way, I feel I give adequate time and attention to the things I am praying for.  I don’t try to journal much during this time, but just sit and wake up using the prayers and/or prompts that I already have written out.  This gives me time to set my heart and mind on things above, and I find my day goes so much more smoothly this way.  When the parish bells chime at noon, it is a reminder to pray the Angelus.  I don’t have it memorized yet, so I put it in my prayer journal at midday.  I also am developing the habit of praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  It plays on our local Catholic radio station every day at 3pm.  I love to sing along, and almost have it memorized.


I have been using the CAST model of prayer for just over a year.  There are things I LOVE about having it in a binder, and there are things that are not working for me.  I am hopeful that keeping a composition notebook with a good index will help me keep the things I love and fix those things that didn’t work.  For the time being, I’m maintaining the one, creating another, and using them both in different ways…and I keep a separate journal for planning my days.  I’m wondering if this will continue, or if I will decide to combine them all somewhere down the road.  We’ll see.  For now, it’s nice just to have some semblance of an organized plan.

You can see in my photo, I try to pray for a lot of different things…these are things that are on my heart often, some days I pray for more than one area, whether I’m on that day or not.  This is just a prayer prompt for those days when I don’t know what to pray.  Eventually, I will have collections and prayers for each category, but for now, it’s just a prompt.  I am also in the process of getting to know the saints, and have given some of my favorites a permanent place in my prayer routine.  I love the thought that I have prayer support from that cloud of witnesses that surround us.  (Hebrews 12)   Isn’t the Body of Christ wonderful?  When we are in Him, and He in us, even physical death cannot sever us from His body, which is the Church.

About that rock wall at the foot of the cross:  I told my sister that some days I feel like the young girl on “Secret Life of Bees” (and if you haven’t seen it, go now, borrow, rent or purchase a copy and watch one of my all-time favorite movies ever).  She is a sensitive soul, and feels her sorrows deeply.  When she is heavy and burdened, she runs to a rock wall on her family’s property, and leaves her sorrows there.  How I need a rock wall…like the wailing wall in Jerusalem…but alas, we are apartment dwellers,🙂. So, I have the next best thing, a pile of rocks where I can leave my own anxieties, burdens, and sorrows.  It fits with my CAST verses, and now I have them in a handy journal.  I like the thought of seeing them reduced to one little rock in a pile that has been cast off…and somehow, I feel lighter, even just looking at the pile of burdens that I am not carrying anymore.

Well, that’s it for today.  Would love to see your prayer journals and hear how you organize your prayer time.  Blessings.

Burrito mix

In my little kitchen this month, I concocted a delicious, frugal yet filling supper to feed a crowd.  I had two of my children and three of my grandchildren sharing this one, and there was still plenty leftover to pack in husband’s lunch the next day.  Here is the recipe (I loved it so much, I added it to my journal for future reference).  Enjoy.

image

Words, words, words…

imageThe English language is often lacking in words to describe one’s state of mind, deep feelings or ideas.  Lucky for us, other languages do a much better job at verbalizing these for us, and I found a list that I can see myself referencing many times in the future.  How nice it is to have a word for “the inconsolable longing in the human heart for we know not what; A yearning for a far, familiar, non-earthly land one can identify as one’s home.  (Sehnsucht (n) Origin:  German)

Check out the rest of the words, and see if you can relate at all to any of them.  I wrote down my favorites in my journal to keep on hand…in fact, I think I found the perfect word to call my journal, LOL…Vagary (n) Origin: Latin – An unpredictable instance; a wandering journey; A whimsical, wild, or unusual idea, desire, or action.

Letting Go of the Old

Did you ever need a reset?

I do.  I’m in a slump as of late, and need to reset, regroup, and refocus.

I have come to a place in my life, where I’m seeing things more clearly, experiencing God’s presence and hearing Him speak to my heart in ways I have only dreamed of; and at the same time, I feel an anxiety in my spirit…a simmering frustration that occasionally bubbles up and spills out of my mouth in biting words I don’t really mean to say, and hot tears that defy my own ideas of stoic self-discipline.

I know that a large part of my problem is  my own “all or nothing” attitude.  I find something that I love to do, and all sense of balance goes out the window…I throw myself 100% into the new thing that I love, and forget to maintain the essential disciplines that keep my little world turning here.  Facebook, which was intended to be a TOOL to keep me in contact with my children, has turned into a vice for me.  I lose all track of time, and find it difficult to walk away…as a result, my relationships and responsibilities have suffered.  I think this is at least partiality the culprit in my bubbling anger…I’m irritated at myself, and feeling lazy and unmotivated to change, so I surf around on Facebook…escaping what I know I need to do, for the sake of one more article, one more comment, one more share…until I’ve wasted another afternoon instead of doing what I know I need to do.

Anyway, until I can find some semblance of self control again, I’m disabling my Facebook, and re-vamping my schedule to reflect a more balanced list of priorities.  I hope to be reading more and journaling again, which hopefully will lead to some new blog posts here.  My posts here will no longer show on Facebook, as my personal page there will be no more.  Please bookmark NewThings if you wish to follow.  I don’t know how long I’ll be MIA on FB, but would appreciate your prayers in the meantime.

Blessings.

Therefore Hebrews

I’m digging around Sacred Scripture for mercy.  Since that is my word for this year, I want to learn all about it.  What is it, why is it necessary, how can I get some…all questions I hope to answer in my quest.  

So, typical to the way I function, I pulled up a Google search for verses about mercy, and took the first one:

Hebrews 4:16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Let us therefore…

What is that “therefore” there for?

To find out, I’ve learned, we must read the Scriptures in context…so…

I backtracked to the beginning of chapter four, and found another “therefore”, so I backtracked to chapter three…guess what?

Another therefore, sending me to chapter two…

Again…”therefore…”

Therefore, I have thus decided to begin at the beginning of Hebrews, for the sake of nailing down what in the world all those “therefores” are there for.

While I read, I will be looking for reasons why I am urged to approach the throne of grace with boldness.  Because, I desperately WANT to receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need.  I have a feeling I won’t be stopping at the end of Hebrews 3…in fact I have a feeling Hebrews might just be my study tool for 2016.  Anyone want to join me?

A New Word for a New Year

My word for 2015 was “joy”, and I had many experiences that brought me joy, as well as opportunities to exercise my understanding of joy, in faith, because if I was walking by sight, I would not describe some of these moments as joyful.

But there was joy in the midst of it all.  There in the broken heart that chose to extend love and grace to the undeserving and ungrateful.  In the answered prayer for safety, and guidance, and wisdom for one walking in darkness.  In the packing up of dashed hopes and broken relationships, and the prodigal’s return to the family who cherishes and cares for her.  In the song belted out at the top of her voice, high above the brokenness, in the smile through the tears, in her warm hugs and acts of service.  There is joy because the Giver of joy is present, even in the middle of the pain.  He comforts, fills the heart with a peace beyond comprehension, and then fills the mouth with a song.  He comes alongside and sings the song when we forget the words.  He is present, in us, working through us, spreading that joy to others through us, his broken vessels.

This year, I was given the word “mercy”.  I intend to study the word, dig around the Sacred Scriptures for examples and pictures of this mercy, as well as follow the Holy Father’s teachings in this year of mercy.  About a week after receiving my word “mercy”, I happened on this blog post, and was challenged to view prayer in a different way.  As I meditated on this new perspective, the Holy Spirit quickened in me an acronym for mercy to use in my prayers.  

Make Every Regret Count (for) You

I read somewhere that the most recorded request of Christ when he was on earth was “Kyrie Eleison” or “Lord, have mercy”.  I’m finding it to be one of my most uttered prayers as well, and now, instead of just asking that He heal it, fix it, make it better, or make it go away…because sometimes He doesn’t…my prayer for mercy will be, Lord, make every regret count for You.  I think it’s another way of praying as Jesus did, “God, if it is your will, let this cup pass from me, but nevertheless, not my will but yours be done”, or “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, here on earth as it is there in heaven”.

I’m excited (and a little afraid…with a healthy fear) to see what will come with a shift in perspective.  I have a feeling it will dovetail with my 2014 word “surrender”, and I’d like to think I will get to revisit my word for 2015 in a new light as well.  Pray for me, we can pray for each other, that the Lord will have mercy and grant us His peace and joy as we strive to live for Him.  In Jesus Name.  Happy New Year!