We are ready to go! The boys and I are headed to AZ & then MI to visit family while Andrew goes to Summer camp in NM. I am sad to miss out on camp & Andrew is sad to miss out on seeing the family, but it's a great opportunity for us both to use the time we have wisely :) Last year it was a bit crazy and hard on the kids carting them to camp, so we decided to try something different this year. None of my extended family has met Gabriel & the last time they saw Weston he was just a baby! So Andrew can focus on ministry for a week, & we can have fun running around with cousins, grandparents & aunts and uncles. Can't wait!
The first is a BBQ Chicken Sandwich with grilled nectarines- yummm
and then some Pulled Chicken
Street Tacos with a fresh corn salsa
The chicken is a breeze to make in the slow cooker: combine 4 large chicken breasts, 1 onion thinly sliced, 8 oz apricot preserves and enough BBQ sauce to cover the chicken. Cook on low 6-8 hours or until chicken shreds easily with a fork.
Remove chicken and onions from the cooker and shred. Add enough sauce from the cooker to make it pretty saucy :)
To make the sandwiches: slice 1-2 firm nectarines and grill over med heat. Layer with the chicken on your favorite toasted roll and enjoy!
To make the tacos: cut the kernels off two ears of corn and combine with 1 large sliced tomato and 1 cup arugula. Saute over med heat with 1 T oil and and seasonings of your choice. Place chicken and salsa into heated corn tortillas and you are done!
I have been studying the book of Daniel and have been convicted and encouraged by the awesome stories of faith and the power of God. Chapter 3 tells the well known story of Daniel's 3 friends who are thrown into a furnace for refusing to worship the idol that the king had made of himself, but God miraculously saves them showing the king and his people that He is a powerful God and honors those who honor Him, but He will humble those who refuse to worship God.
Even after the king saw God's power displayed, he failed to humble himself...so the Lord greatly humbled him until he repented. The powerful king lost his mind and lived in the wild as an animal until he was broken enough to realize that we are nothing and God is everything.
I was thinking that I/ we can be very much like the king, erecting idols of ourselves in our minds and expecting others to "worship us".... pay attention to us, like us, honor and admire us, and when we don't get treated like we feel we should get treated we act like the king and get angry, defensive or have a pity party thinking that "no one likes me ". The king's main problem was that his pride was wounded, and pride is at the heart of every offense taken. When we make our interactions about ourselves and our own glory, people will get "burned". But if we are truly seeking to bring God glory in all circumstances, we will forget about our offenses and rejoice when people see Christ in us! If we make idols of ourselves we will always be hurt, offended and disappointed. But if we smash the idol of self we can easily stand back, brush off the offense and give God the glory.
I thought for a few minutes about ways that I see the "Idol of Self" in my life and here they are :) :
1. frustration when someone interrupts "my plans" for the day, failing to see it as an opportunity to bless or serve others
2. needing to insert my preference or opinion into every conversation
3. feeling sad when someone doesn't recognize or affirm something "good" I did
4. thinking or speaking negatively about someone while elevating myself
5. holding on to past offenses, not forgiving others who have hurt me and allowing those things to change my relationship with that person
6. passing judgement
7. by being too busy to make time for those who need something
8. doing things for man's recognition instead of God's glory
9. being overly nervous or self-conscious or concerned about others opinion of me
10. being jealous of other people's things, talents, family, position, reputation, you name it!
So convicting and good at the same time. I am thankful to the Lord for revealing these areas in my life that I need to work on by His strength!
The extremely prideful king learned his lesson and so can we!
Daniel 4:37 " Now I Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of Heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride."
I am finally getting around to posting these pictures of Andrew's graduation party! It was such a lovely day and we hired a student ( thanks Connor!) in our ministry to take most of the photos for us so that we could just enjoy the time. It was the easiest party I have done, using things we had already, oriental trading co. and costco to keep the cost down ( as well as the help from family!)- proving to myself that you don't need to spend a lot to make it fun!
We had a fun low-key day celebrating Weston's birthday. I made an airplane shaped cake, we had take out lunch and a few presents with Nanni here and Omie and Grandpa via facetime on our iphone :)
So happy we have the technology to stay connected with our family
After a nap, Andrew and Weston headed to the Mets vs. Dodgers baseball game for Weston's first ever ball game :) So special! As you can see he is very excited to go, and felt very special to be going all by himself with daddy. I asked him if I could go and he said " no, you need to stay home with Nanni!" :)
Leaving the ball park, the Mets didn't win, but the birthday boy didn't mind
Happy happy birthday to our big 3 year old! He has blessed our lives in so many ways! What a joy and gift to be a parent, to understand more deeply the Love our heavenly father has for us as we learn and grow in our love for our children. So grateful we have a perfect Father above to show and guide us imperfect parents with our imperfect children. I would lie if I said this past year has been easy, but it has been good! We have learned so much as parents, learned so much more dependency on Christ, and laughed & cried alot :)
We are so in love with our funny,smart, energetic and affectionate boy! Happy Birthday Weston!