Coming Soon

The tea kettle just went off…so be patient with me while I get up to hunt for a tea bag to immerse into the hot water.  Okay – I’m back and my Caramel Chai Herbal Tea is seeping.  

9-27-14 Tea and Writing

It is early and the house is quiet.  I smell a rainy scent left over from Saturday’ storm and hear the hum of the refrigerator.  Crazy the amount of rain and wind we received.  Our lantana look like they have been beaten with a stick but it’s dark right now as I sit at my kitchen table and I can’t see if they are still slumped over or they have rested and are erect once again.  Sometimes we just need to wait and see.

I thought it would be fun to share a few snapshots of the past few weeks and what my hopes are to share with you in the future.

A few weeks ago my husband and I headed to Oceanside, CA  for vacation and we rode a train, took long walks on the beach, watched the sunset, went to a movie, and ate amazing  meals.  (More pictures to come) We didn’t get the weather we had hoped for – it was hot and our rental condo had no air-conditioning  but life is seldom perfect and we were thankful it worked out so we could go. 

One of salads I ate out was a Chopped Chicken Cashew Salad with a soy reduction and a miso vinaigrette which of course, I came home inspired and started trying to recreate.  I needed to learn how to may a soy reduction and a dressing which incorporates miso paste.  I’ve been successful and will be sharing how to make this soon.  First you’ll see a recipe for the soy reduction, then the miso vinaigrette and finally the salad.  The first two can be done ahead and this way the recipe won’t seem overwhelming.  

Chopped Cashew Chicken Salad - K. Strauss

The picture of the sky was taken while driving home – so pretty.

Oceanside 2014 - driving home (Maricopa)

I was asked this week how to make “homemade” iced tea.  Sometimes we are asked things that we’ve been doing so long we don’t even think about writing directions down for. So a short blog post will be coming soon.  

Green Tea3

Lastly I was asked to answer a few questions regarding my faith walk with Jesus over at Pouring Down Like Rain this past week.  Here is a bit of the post – the link to continue reading is listed at the bottom.

Was God always present in your life? Was it consistent?  Yes – I grew up in a Christian home and Jesus was introduced to me as a child. But I believe there is a time when your belief in God has to become personal and embraced as your own.

At what age did you really understand and start to have a personal relationship with Him?  I was 9 years old. My mom was very ill, my dad was working to provide for our family and I had 3 little brothers.  I spent a Friday night at my grandmother’s house.  This was great fun because she was an amazing cook and let me choose what was for dinner.  Pinto Beans and Cornbread – yum!  She then asked if I wanted to stay another night. I had to think about this because this meant going to church with grandma the next morning but choosing another dinner won out.  She surprised me when she said after dinner to go get cleaned up; we were going to church for a Saturday Special.   I thought “Church tonight too?”  Soon we were sitting in a church pew listening to a men’s quartet.  To this day – I don’t remember the name of their group; but I can tell you the words of a song they sang that changed me “Don’t try to tell me that God is dead.  I just talked to Him this morning.  Don’t try to tell me He’s not alive He lives within my heart.  His words are always by my side.  He brightens up my day.  Don’t try to tell me that God is dead.  I just talked to him today.”   I walked down the center aisle and accepted Jesus into my heart that night and knew I would never be alone.

Was God present in your parent’s life?  Yes

Do you attend church? Is this where you feel closest to God?  Yes – we float a bit between churches and sometimes when needed we are ministered to at home. But there are times when I am in the woods or sitting quietly by the ocean that my heart is quieted and I listen better.  I think being in His creation is a glimpse of His power.  I am awed by it.

Have you ever had a God moment or felt/seen the presence of God?  Yes – several times but this is the one making me smile as I write. Years ago I was a stay-at-home mom and my heart yearned to help make our house a home by doing some decorating.  Monetarily I didn’t have much to work with.  I took a piece of lined binder paper and drew 3 columns listing my heart desires, what I thought it would cost and then I left the 3rd column blank.  I gave this list to God – asked him to brainstorm and go shopping with me.  I would then place the actual cost in the column when the desire had been met.  One example:  New slip covers for outside furniture – Waverly fabric – I needed 10 yards (Regularly $26.00/yard – I received for $1.08/yard)  In a years time – everything on my list was complete with the monies I had to work with.

  To continue reading – please click HERE

Hoping you have a great week.  

 

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What I’m listening to

Music is the language of the heart.  It often speaks to our brains in a way that regular communication can’t.  Sometimes there aren’t words and sometimes it feels as if kindness, encouragement, hope are being poured out on the hurts we carry. 

Colony House2

There is a new band called Colony House and their first album is my new favorite.  It has great music with a message that gives it  a lasting quality – not “one hit” wonders.  It’s not all that surprising that I would be drawn to this music – after all I’ve listened to their dad’s music for over 25 years, read their mother’s book and followed their family story over the past few years.  These young men have lived and experienced more than a human would ever sign up for But God continues to use their lives for His good and dare say the good of others.  Learn more about their story HERE

This was Mary Beth’s (two of the band member’s mom) Facebook post the morning of July 23, 2014 regarding Colony House:

“I am smiling today with tears rolling down my cheeks… A very very good thing! I am humbled and thankful for all of our friends and family who have walked through the fire that forged this project. THANK YOU! To the Giver of all gifts… Thank You Jesus for holding Will Franklin Chapman in your grip every step of the way. This story is one of a marathon, and not a sprint… We will SEE one day the full redemption Willy… just you wait! You have been brave.. Your lungs are full and your body is indeed breathing… and Maria will indeed take your hand…she loves you so much. Keep your hope… and don’t be afraid of your questions, for it is in the questions that we find God. He holds all the answers and until heaven, we walk with a limp, but we walk together as family, holding each other upright. Caleb Chapman, there is not an older brother on the planet that has held what you have held… you possess the wisdom and the strength of a mighty warrior. In the bible, Caleb was the first to speak up and say… “let’s go and conquer this land”…. which is what I pray you do for the land your headed needs redeemed and conquered! Your name means whole-hearted, and that is how you have loved Willy Frank… stay the course and take the land! Scott Mills you my friend and “adopted son” have been a vital part of the journey. Your friendship to my boys couldn’t have come at a better time. You are faithful and we have noticed… I know your family is so proud… and you need to know we love you and count you as our own! Jillian Edwards and Julia Chapman…. you are the real rock stars….. you hold them up and send them out with so much love and support… It makes this Momma smile! I couldn’t have asked for better wives and partners for my boys… For you I have prayed… and God answered with you two … I love you both so much.. ok, I’m done… To everyone who believed… I am humbled…. be blessed… “

Every life will have times we don’t understand – times we are asked to sink or swim.  Times when it’s just too big and we feel like we are drowning in the unknown of the whys. – as if an octopus has us and just keeps pulling us down.   I know I have felt this way at times in my own life and know it’s only because of my whispering “Help” to God that the oxygen mask of his love and those He sent my way kept me moving.  

So if you are looking for something new to listen to.  Take a listen to what the children of Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman and their friend, Scott, have been up to.  The transparency that is shared in these songs are so very powerful and I know it took such great courage but I believe God is already using the songs to bring an encouragement, healing and hope that points us to Jesus to a hurting world.

Colony House

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-UnZl_Kocg&feature=youtu.be

Take a listen – available on iTunes or M3 download – I am happy to have new music to listen and workout to.

 

Note – This is not a paid promotion but an offered opinion.  However if you should purchase anything that is linked a small bit of money will come my way to help support the cost of Deliciously Inspired and for that I am very appreciative.

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What Kind of Mom Will Your Kids Remember?

This was written in 1998 and my now adult children were 14 and 10.  I was teaching a mentoring class called TwiG (Teach What Is Good) at Grace Community Church in Tempe, AZ which was created to bring the older woman (which I am now one of) and the younger woman together (Titus 2:3-5).   I recently shared this at a local MOPs (Mothers of Preschooler) group in April.  It was interesting to read my words 16 years ago. 

Mother's Day 2014 - Flowers 1

WHAT KIND OF MOM WILL YOUR KIDS REMEMBER? – February 4, 1998

 I always wanted to be a mom.  And after six years of marriage, both Jeff and I were in agreement it was time to start our family.  I’ll never forget the day I found out Tamara was on her way.  Oh- I wanted to shout the news out.  Calling the newspaper was not out of the question – this had to qualify as front-page news.  From that day on – the life that I shared with my husband was no longer my own.  My thoughts and decisions were now influenced by the startling revelation that someone would call me “mommy.”  Tamara’s outgoing nature brought joy into our quiet world.  Three years later a little boy who most always has a smile on his face and a hug ready joined our family.  Two children with individual needs both requiring a solid foundation of love to grow in.  I’m learning that there are extreme joys that cause the heart to soar in the land of motherhood.  And along with those highs also come gut wrenching, energy-sucking lows.  My children are God’s greatest tools for my growth – not just as a mother but in discovering my own strengths and weaknesses.  It is in the care of others that we face some of life’s greatest decisions – to pull close with our arms wrapped tightly around or to let go and let them fly, to laugh or to cry over a situation, to encourage in an area that is best for my child and not myself, and to allow them the freedom to fail to name a few.

What kind of mom will my kids remember?  Who knows?  I probably won’t know that answer until I sit around as a grandmother and listen as they tell their children about the times when they were growing up.  But I have some ideas of what kind of heritage I’d like to give them.  And I believe with God’s help, that we are what we practice to be.

Memories:  I want my kids to remember their mom laughing.  She didn’t take everything in life so serious.  She wasn’t so much of an adult that she forgot what it felt like to be a kid.  And, just maybe I might have a small degree of influence in teaching them what fun was all about. (Funny Slippers, birthday theme parties.)

Availability– I want my kids to remember that I was there to listen.  I was willing to put aside what I am doing when they needed to discuss something.  When they walked through the door from school, it was their time to tell me about their day.  They didn’t find me on the telephone or in the middle of a project.  For it is in the quiet moments of listening that our children can hug our hearts.  I remember  Evan curled in my lap, his little fingers tracing the outline of my face, saying, “Mommy when I draw your face with my fingers it is a heart.”

Home – I want my kids to remember that the house we lived in was a home.  It provided a place of rest from the outside world.  Not a fantasy land, but a place where they knew they were loved.

Boundaries – I want my kids to remember that I loved them enough to say “no,” to set limits on their actions and that there are consequences for their actions.  To learn that love is not all about sweetness that lets you do whatever you want.  As their mother, I was willing to do what was necessary for their best interest no matter how hard it was on me.  Hebrews 12:11  “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Marriage:  I want my kids to remember that I loved their dad and our marriage was very important to me.  And that when times were tough, I didn’t give up.   They saw their dad and I have differences of opinion and somehow we still loved one another.  That anything worth having is worth working for.

Value:  I want my kids to remember that I valued myself from God’s perspective.  I was able to model taking care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually so I could take care of them. 

Cheerleader:  I want my kids to remember that more times than not I encouraged them in their endeavors.  That they had permission to try something and it was okay to fail.  My ears and time were open to provide opportunities in areas that interested them and help them in areas that didn’t come easily.  Our motto:  A family is a team and that a team works together and pulls for each other.

Guidance:  I want my kids to remember that God guided their mom.  It was her time spent with Him that strengthened and sometimes gave her a shoulder to cry on and an ear to rejoice to.   For she was just an ordinary woman and she needed help in learning to be the mother God had called her to be.  Is. 40:11 “He tends his flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart, he gently leads those that have young.”

Chances are my kids will never express everything from the list above.  That’s okay.  I’m not trying to win The Best Mother Award of All Times.  I am however striving to be The Best Mom I Can Be for Tamara and Evan.  And when I have goals in mind, I can work towards those.  I’d rather that what good they remember about me as a mother becomes part of them and they’ll be able to pass it on to the next generation.

 TwiG/’98 – Debbie Hallock (All rights reserved)

I see a new project for me – What Kind of Grandmother Will Your Grandchildren Remember?  

I’d enjoy hearing your own goals as a mom/grandmother and hope that you have a lovely Mother’s Day.

 
Available on Pinterest
What Kind of Mom - Pinterest

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