19 August 2014

S'mores Nachos

S'mores Nachos are a combination of two of my favorite snacks recently.  With youth ministry camps and conferences this summer, I've definitely had my fill of the chocolate-graham cracker goodness at bonfires.
And come on...what can you not love about chips, cheese, and salsa?!
So combining the two would definitely be a match made in Heaven, right?
Well at least I thought so...

This was crazy easy to make with only 3 ingredients {Stacy's Cinnamon/Sugar Pita Chips, M&M's, and mini marshmallows}

1// Preheat the oven to 350

2// I used a round cake pan to fill with the goodies.  Pita chips go in first, then M&M's, and last but not least the marshmallows...leave a few M&M's and marshmallows for snacking purposes

3//  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the marshmallows are a lovely shade of toasted brown

These must be good because I consumed some for a pre-dinner snack yesterday, "light" dessert yesterday, and part of my breakfast of champions this morning.
A sweet treat for when you're feeling s'mores-y but don't have time to whip up a bonfire!

Speaking of dessert, I need me a late afternoon snack....

14 August 2014

Getting fit.

I am learning healthy living is two-fold thing: exercise and healthy eating.  In the past, ol' exercise and I have not been to good of friends.  Do you have those awkward relatives you see only at holidays several times a year that you just never seem to get along with?  Well for a long time that has been me and exercise, until recently...

It really would...

On Mother's Day I did a 5K walk/run with my Mom and sister for
ovarian cancer in support of my aunt who was recently diagnosed.  Participating in that really struck a chord within me in terms of taking care of myself and getting healthy.

May 19th I decided to start running with Couch-to-5K and just this week I finished it.  I have NEVER in my life stuck with exercise this long.  I am pleasantly surprised how much I like running and how good it makes me feel...who'd of thunk exercise was good for you?! Apparently, I never read that memo.

With Couch-to-5K I have been running 3 times a week, and now that I'm done I want to keep doing it.  I have decided to set some goals for myself in terms of getting and staying fit.  This fall I want to run in a couple 5K's.  On Mother's Day, I want to run in the same race I did last year with my Mom and sister, only this time as a 10K.  In 2015 to commemorate the big 30, I want to run the Detroit half marathon.
Eeekkk.  I am really really excited to challenge myself like this, because now I am believing I can actually do this craziness.

I have "perfected" many a diets over the years, but never saw the importance of taking care of myself by staying in shape.  Growing up, I was well known to complain that I didn't like to sweat.  I know, I know, weird and strange because lets face it we all sweat...but it felt nasty and gross to me.  So why on earth would I want to exercise?!
Its crazy now because after a good run, I don't really mind the sweat.  I am eagerly saving away for a kick a$# pair of running shoes (hope I make you proud Dave Ramsey), trying to find good socks that won't give my tootsies blisters, and researching the best stretching techniques.

What better way to celebrate exiting my 20's than a half marathon??  Well maybe winning the lottery or going to Ireland again would be a smidge cooler...but physical fitness isn't a bad option either.

October 2015. 13.1 miles...I'm coming for ya!!!

11 August 2014

My Greatest Fear...that became my greatest lesson

Growing up the two things I was most afraid of were the dark and deep bodies of water...but especially the second.  As a little kid, I was always scared of the deep end of the pool; no matter the swimming lessons or the noodle I lounged around on I was so afraid of drowning.  When I was around 10 or 11, I almost drowned in a pool while at a friend's swim club.  My friend's older brother jumped in to get me; it was horrifying.  Even as an adult, I am still scared of the deep end of the pool and get a little nervous about swimming in lakes from time to time.
Facing your fears can be one of the most challenging but also rewarding things in life; especially when you see yourself come out stronger, which is something I relate more to in life right now.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus.  A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to go away for a weekend with teens on a youth conference.  The night before we left, I was praying with this story.  That weekend at the conference, there were several times this passage came up...even through the worship music.  Since that weekend, I have spent a lot of time reflecting this encounter with Peter and Jesus.
I have always heard that the reason Peter sank was because he took his eyes off of Jesus, which yes I get that.  But I have come to understand it all in a new light; Peter sank because he was so consumed in his fear, it became all-consuming to the point even looking away from Jesus for a moment had very real consequences.  When fear rules our lives it distracts us from what is true, good, and worthy.  When fear becomes all consuming, it wears down the spirit...it feels as if we are trying to swim our way out of it, just like Peter tried to fight against the water as he began to sink.

In my own life, it is so easy to get wrapped up in fear: fear of things I cannot control or the difficult situations I fear will never change.  But this story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus is a powerful reminder for me right now; to never ever let my fears consume and overtake life.  No matter how strong the winds or loud the thunder, life will only consume me if I allow that to happen.  Fear is one of the emotions that perhaps most trips me up in life; it makes me stumble and doubt myself and God.  Rather than to submit to fear, have courage and be strong...the waves have never and shall not consume me.
My fears, whatever they are, will only consume as much as I let them.

"When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.  'It is a ghost,' they said and cried out in fear.  At once Jesus spoke to them, 'Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.'  Peter said to him, 'Lord, if it is you, command me me to come to you on the water.'  He said, 'Come.'  Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.  But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, 'Lord save me!'  Immediately, Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'
(Matthew 14:26-31)


Your grace abounds in deepest waters...and my soul will rest in Your embrace...

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