Comfy in the Kitchen http://comfyinthekitchen.com Step by step, you'll get there yet! Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:20:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Living Life with God’s Power and Tools http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/living-life-with-gods-power-and-tools/ http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/living-life-with-gods-power-and-tools/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:19:18 +0000 http://comfyinthekitchen.com/?p=8510 People who don’t know me would never know it. I’m very easy going and free spirited, actually.  In fact, most people who struggle with anxiety hide it pretty well. They tend to be the ones who are very “put together”. They’re the happy, helping, volunteering, cooking, cleaning, working, mending, smiling, taxi-ing, calling, texting-to-check-in, dressed-perfectly kind of people. […]

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Living Life with God's Power and Tools

People who don’t know me would never know it. I’m very easy going and free spirited, actually. 

In fact, most people who struggle with anxiety hide it pretty well. They tend to be the ones who are very “put together”.

They’re the happy, helping, volunteering, cooking, cleaning, working, mending, smiling, taxi-ing, calling, texting-to-check-in, dressed-perfectly kind of people. The types who hate making waves. The ones who seek peace in all circumstances for fear of conflict. Often times, these folks are very well-liked and if by slight chance they aren’t, realistically it’s because someone is jealous of them. Because they’re picture-perfect right?

Ohhhh, no.

Let me tell you the truth about “my kind”.

Our outer appearance typically lacks balance with our internal struggle.

For some odd reason, us anxiety- prone people also tend to be “taker on-ers”. Don’t ask me why, we just are.

It could be our pride, people-pleasing attributes, irrational fear, false guilt, or whatever the case, our lives can get pretty heavy in an instant. We pile “yeses” on top of “yeses” out of an unbalanced mix of genuine concern and fear. Fear that we aren’t good enough, that we might hurt someone’s feelings, or fear we may look bad if we don’t overachieve.

The very thing that makes us anxious-having too much on our plate, is the very thing we do to ourselves-sign up for everything under the sun.

On top of all of that, we add a heaping second helping of fear to all that we avoid or anything that could happen. After all, this world is a scary place. This isn’t our home!  

Why, dear friends, do we give so much power to anxiety? And if you don’t want to label it anxiety…why do we give so much power to people, or to our circumstances, or to fear?

God’s word says in 2 Timothy 1:7:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

This means that whatever fears we are facing, whenever we are anxious, or whatever irrational thoughts we might have they are simply not from God. How do I know this? His words says so. He does not give us the spirit of fear.

But, what He does give us are extremely valuable tools-

Power.
Love.
A Sound Mind.

Do these words stabilize you as much as they do me? You see, these tools need to be used in order for them to be useful. If we hand over these tools for anxiety, worry, and fear, our jobs are not going to be done. God’s work will be done, it just won’t be done though us- someone else will be willing. We may look as though we’re busy, but honestly we are creating wreckage. There’s only so much that wreckage can do and only so long wreckage can go on.

Our power? Gone.
Our love? Gone.
Our sound mind? Out the window.
We loose it.
We simply cannot function the way God wills us to function if we hand over these gifts for wreckage!

Ladies, I encourage you right now to write down the name of someone or something you are handing over power to in your life.

It may be a person you’re avoiding, therefore you’ve rerouted your daily living so not to run into this person. Stop it. Live your life with God’s power and tools. 

Are you afraid to fly? Has this fear blocked you from traveling to your dream destination, visiting family from afar, or taking that missions trip you so desperately want to go on? Stop it. While I can validate your fear, I can also validate the chances of anything happening to you are very slim and are not worth living in fear over. Live your life with God’s power and tools.  

What about relationships? Have you been so emotionally wounded that you’ve surrounded yourself with walls, even blocking out Jesus? Did I just say Jesus? Yes, I did. Often times when people are hurting, they even shut out Jesus. Stop it. I get it, I’ve been hurt as well, but in order to make an eternal impact on those around you, you’ve got to let those walls come down and let love cover. You’re going to get hurt, plain and simple. Live your life with God’s power and tools. 

Anxiety. If we give it power, it will take it. The key is to accept the power God gives us through His spirt and to stop giving power to our emotions. 

I will leave you with this biblical truth:

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. ” ~2 Corinthians 10:5

Anxiety gets its power from our obedience to it. Let’s give God his power back in our lives. Let’s live our lives with God’s power and tools.

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He Goes Before Us. http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/he-goes-before-us/ http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/he-goes-before-us/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:29:13 +0000 http://comfyinthekitchen.com/?p=8497 “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” ~Deuteronomy 31:8 The weather was beautiful- a perfect day to go boating. My children had never been boating before- let alone tubing, but today was the […]

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“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” ~Deuteronomy 31:8

The weather was beautiful- a perfect day to go boating.

My children had never been boating before- let alone tubing, but today was the day. Our friends invited us out for an eventful afternoon of wind-seeking and water-splashing adventure -we were thrilled to live it up.

Our son was first to go – he nodded excitedly as the “Captain” explained the hand motions of tubing. “Thumbs up if you want to go faster, O.K. hand gesture if you want to live right there, and cut throat if you want to stop.”

Got it?
Got it.

Away our son fell into the tube with his bigger-than-life -vest on and an anticipatory smile that became infectious to the entire crew.

And off we went. A jerk of the rope and watchful eyes.

His thumb was sky-high, that smile was glued on, it was smooth and speedy sailing the entire time.

After about 15 mins, our daughter asked if she could have a turn. So, we cut throat and reeled our son in and sent out our youngest on her way.

Again, a jerk of the rope, watchful eyes, a huge smile and off we went.

Thumb up.

I sat next to the “Captain” and giggled “She still has her thumb up, she wants to go faster.” He replied, “Oh, I know she does but there are some boats up ahead making some waves – I don’t want her to get knocked off, I’m going to keep it right here.”

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I turned my head back to her and smiled adoringly.  Her grimacing water-sprayed face and her little thumb sticking up, just waiting for more speed upon request. However, that request was not going to be fulfilled.

Easy, girl. We’re going to live right here for now. “The Captain” sees something you do not.

Amazing how God speaks to us when we least expect it.

I wonder how many times I’ve had my thumbs up and ready to go, while God- seeing something that I couldn’t , said “No. Live right here.”

But, he answered that prayer for others? I don’t understand.

I bet that’s exactly how our daughter felt when saw her brother go before her and had smooth sailing with this thumbs-up request answered.

I wonder how many times I’ve been disappointed when I see other’s prayers being answered, but my prayers weren’t, only to have been protected by the hands of my Lord… my Captain, who promises to go before me.

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Strawberry-Orange Water http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/strawberry-orange-water/ http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/strawberry-orange-water/#respond Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:36:59 +0000 http://comfyinthekitchen.com/?p=8490 Hi Ladies, the other day I posted on the Comfy FB page that I’ve been having a hard time drinking enough water. Many days than I care to admit I drink more coffee and diet pop than I do water. This has to stop. Not too long ago when I was a guest at my sister-in-law’s house, […]

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Hi Ladies, the other day I posted on the Comfy FB page that I’ve been having a hard time drinking enough water. Many days than I care to admit I drink more coffee and diet pop than I do water. This has to stop.

Not too long ago when I was a guest at my sister-in-law’s house, she had this refreshing strawberry-orange infused water sitting out -I literally drank 4 glasses in a row because it was so delicious.

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That’s all that it is…sliced oranges, sliced strawberries, water and ice. I recently started making this in a large water pitcher so to add more water into my daily routine.

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Ahhh…

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When I was browsing the web, I realized Bembu also shares many more infused-water recipes that help not only with hydration, but also with detoxing! Place infused water in mason jars with lids to have refreshing and healthy drink options readily available in your fridge!

Here’s a quick video from the Doc that I’d like to share about how much water we should be drinking. Gulp. He even mentions for us to try to water our plants with coffee and see what happens. That put things into perspective for me and encouraged me to drink more H2O!


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Drink up! 

Dear Lord, Thank you for supplying so many of us with water in abundance. I  know that I personally take this for granted. In turn, many people in third world nations have to walk miles in dangerous terrain to get a bucket full of unsanitary water. Please help us, in fortunate places, see how blessed we truly are and give us the means to help those who don’t have water that is easily accessible. In Jesus name, Amen. 

 

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National Ice Cream Day- Sweeter with Personal Creations! http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/national-ice-cream-day-sweeter-with-personal-creations/ http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/national-ice-cream-day-sweeter-with-personal-creations/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 19:50:46 +0000 http://comfyinthekitchen.com/?p=8478 One of the “sweetest” (no pun intended) companies I have had the pleasure in working with with is Personal Creations. When they told me about the National Ice Cream Day campaign- I was so excited and knew I could not resist. As many of you know, ice-cream has a sentimental value to our family and this “meal […]

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One of the “sweetest” (no pun intended) companies I have had the pleasure in working with with is Personal Creations. When they told me about the National Ice Cream Day campaign- I was so excited and knew I could not resist. As many of you know, ice-cream has a sentimental value to our family and this “meal ministry” was not only going to be fun and yummy, but healing for our family.
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I made sure to keep it a secret that we were getting a surprise in the mail that week.  I would have missed those excited faces if I didn’t!  Especially that one on the left.

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And when they opened the gifts, they were even more excited.
Personalized ice cream bowls?! Yes!
And what goes in personalized ice cream bowls? You know it.
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I’ve never seen such adorable bowls– they were a lot bigger and heavier than I imaged, which was a pleasant surprise with little ones. I have a feeling these will be in our family for years and years to come.

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We had plans to go to a drive-in theatre with friends that night and thought …hmmmm, we might need to get together before hand for a little ice cream. 

Dear friends, an ice cream social is an excellent way to minister to children, friends, family, neighbors or people you are having over for the very first time. It’s not only fun, but it’s inexpensive. I purchased all of my items at Aldi’s which was about $15 total for 10 people with enough left over for the next night.

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For a perfect potluck you can even ask friends to bring their favorite topping and add it all to the spread. These kiddos look intense…

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What a fun treat to have before going to the drive-in movies!

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Thank you, Personal Creations

 

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Taco Tuesday Meal Ministry http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/taco-tuesday-meal-ministry/ http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/taco-tuesday-meal-ministry/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 13:24:54 +0000 http://comfyinthekitchen.com/?p=8462 One of my children’s favorite dinner-nights-of-the-week is “Taco Tuesdays”. This particular night we decided to bless an additional family with a meal ministry and made a little extra. It was a very simple way not only to provide a meal, but love and care for a family that has been hurting. I pray you will […]

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One of my children’s favorite dinner-nights-of-the-week is “Taco Tuesdays”. This particular night we decided to bless an additional family with a meal ministry and made a little extra. It was a very simple way not only to provide a meal, but love and care for a family that has been hurting.

I pray you will take this idea and make “Taco Tuesday” a fun day for your family and a family in need as well.
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Ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning. I also use ground turkey for a healthier choice.

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Shredded cheese and lettuce in ziplock bags…

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Homemade salsa is such a treat.

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Meal ministry has to have a dessert, right? Especially if there are kiddos involved.

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Add tortillas and chips and you’re off to fiesta!

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One thing I’ve learned about meal ministry is to always- I mean always– make the same meal I have made for others, for my own family. I want my family to know that they are my priority, yet it is so important to be the hands and feet of Christ for others.

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Grilled Pocket Potatoes http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/grilled-pocket-potatoes/ http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/grilled-pocket-potatoes/#respond Sun, 19 Jul 2015 00:42:00 +0000 http://comfyinthekitchen.com/?p=8454 This quick, easy and delicious way to prepare red potatoes on the grill will leave you feeling spoiled!  Side dishes, especially potatoes, can take a while to cook or bake… but not these spuds. Keep this recipe in your back pocket! It’s a keeper. Quarter red potatoes and lay a handful on a square of […]

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This quick, easy and delicious way to prepare red potatoes on the grill will leave you feeling spoiled!  Side dishes, especially potatoes, can take a while to cook or bake… but not these spuds. Keep this recipe in your back pocket! It’s a keeper.

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Quarter red potatoes and lay a handful on a square of foil. Dot with butter and sprinkle with dry Italian dressing mix. Close up pockets tightly and grill on medium heat for 20 mins, turning half way through.

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The outcome? Perfectly grilled and seasoned potatoes (with an oven to spare for other sides or desserts). Enjoy!

Grilled Pocket Potatoes
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 12 Red potatoes
  • 1 Stick of butter, sliced
  • 1-2 Pouches Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix
  • 6 Squares of foil for making pockets
Instructions
  1. Wash and quarter potatoes placing about 2 potatoes each on foil squares.
  2. Dot with butter and sprinkle with seasoning.
  3. Close tightly and place pockets on grill for 10 mins, flip then 10 mins more.

 

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Renewing Our Minds http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/renew-our-minds/ http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/renew-our-minds/#respond Sat, 18 Jul 2015 01:42:43 +0000 http://comfyinthekitchen.com/?p=8439 Hi Ladies, I have a very special guest today who shares my love for meal ministry. Katie never ceases to amaze me with her love for the Lord and for those around her. She has used her testimony to introduce others to Christ and to encourage them to lead healthier lives by offering healthier alternatives. […]

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Hi Ladies,

I have a very special guest today who shares my love for meal ministry. Katie never ceases to amaze me with her love for the Lord and for those around her. She has used her testimony to introduce others to Christ and to encourage them to lead healthier lives by offering healthier alternatives. She has such a contagious smile and welcoming demeanor. If you don’t know her already, I have a feeling you will love her just as much as I do.

Katie says:

The Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 that we should not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

When I began to apply the truths of this powerful scripture to my own life, I finally began to see true transformation that turned my life around. I went from living a life that was bound and limited, to one that was free from the restrictions that once held me back.

If you are desiring a transformation in any area of your life, I would encourage you to begin by asking yourself three general questions.

1. First, ask yourself the question: How do you see yourself?

The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” This means that it doesn’t matter how much we try to change the outside, what we believe about ourselves and how we see ourselves on the inside will ultimately be what we become on the outside.

I would encourage you to start this journey by getting alone with God, and ask Him to show you any areas that you may be believing lies and to help you see yourself as He sees you!

2. How do we begin to see ourselves as God sees us?

In order to start to see ourselves as God sees us, we have to start to reading and trusting what God says about us in His Word. A great place to start is Ephesians 2:10, which says, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” This means that God created each one of us with a unique purpose! Even more specifically, God gave each one of us gifts, talents, and strengths to fulfill this purpose.

I would encourage you to start asking yourself; What are your God-given gifts and strengths? For example, do you have a servant’s heart? Are you compassionate? Are you an encourager? Begin by asking the Lord to show you the things that He has placed on the inside of you that make you special and unique. Write these things down and choose to focus on these things daily.

Ask the Lord to develop these qualities within you and to give you the desire to bless others with them. When you start to focus on living your life to bless others with your God given gifts, I can promise you that you will begin to see the world around you through God’s eyes and it will take your eyes off any negative thought pattern that used to plaque you. Not only that, but you will begin to leave a lasting impression on others and impact those around you in a powerful way!

3. How do we transform our minds with God’s Word?

Joshua 1:8 says, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” If we want to be transformed from the inside out, this scripture tells us that the most important thing we could do is spend time in God’s Word every day and to do what it says! This doesn’t mean that we can read the Bible once a week or once every few days and expect to be radically changed. The key word in Joshua 1:8 is continually!

We can see in the second part of this passage that we are to meditate in the Word day and night. The meditate means to think upon, or to ponder. When we spend time reading the Bible each morning, we can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us stay focused on the truths of those scriptures all throughout the day, which is actually a form of meditation! Not only will this type of meditation lead to true peace and joy, but it will bring you to a place where you will find true transformation that comes from the inside out.

A renewed mind brings transformation!

Renewing your mind is certainly a process, and it generally takes a period of time to uproot lies and plant the truth of God’s Word… But when you do, there is a transformation that takes place that is so beautiful and freeing!

A renewed mind also doesn’t mean a life free from problems or negative thoughts… we are all bound to have days where the enemy will try to come back and tempt us with lies. The difference, however, will be that we will be able to recognize the lies and combat them with the truths of God’s word, which means we won’t fall prey to the same deceptions that we used to!

One thing is for sure, in this life we will all face trials, but when we surrender them to the Lord, He can take our broken hearts, thoughts, and lives, and transform them into something beautiful!

Prayer for a transformed mind:

“Father, I pray that you would search my heart and mind and show me any area that is not in agreement with what you say about me in your Word. Help me to see the gifts and strengths are that you have placed on the inside of me, and help me to use them for your glory. I pray that as I study your Word that it would come alive to me, and that you would help me to find truths that would replace any lies that I have been believing. I pray for your Spirit to strengthen me, and to help me discern any lies that would come at me from the enemy and to replace them with your truth. Lord, I ask that you would transform me from the inside out, and that you would help me to become all that you created me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Katie-Farrell-Dashing-Dish-Blog
Katie Farrell is the founder of Dashing Dish, a website that provides delicious healthy alternatives for the foods you crave. Katie is also a Christian wife, a licensed nurse, and the author of  the books Dashing Dish and Devotions for a Healthier You. For more about her story, please visit her here.

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10 Thoughtful Meal Ministry Ideas http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/10-thoughtful-meal-ministry-ideas/ http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/10-thoughtful-meal-ministry-ideas/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 13:37:22 +0000 http://comfyinthekitchen.com/?p=5704     There’s no doubt that meal ministry is a blessing. I’ve seen the look of gratitude from the eyes of many new moms, those who are mourning, those who are healing…and those who Just. Need. A. Break. Making someone a meal is faith in action, it’s loving, it’s helpful, and it’s healing. My heart’s deepest desire-and […]

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10 Thoughtful Meal Ministry Ideas 

 

There’s no doubt that meal ministry is a blessing.

I’ve seen the look of gratitude from the eyes of many new moms, those who are mourning, those who are healing…and those who Just. Need. A. Break.

Making someone a meal is faith in action, it’s loving, it’s helpful, and it’s healing. My heart’s deepest desire-and I know yours is as well,  is to find ways to serve these special individuals in the best way possible…so that the blessing of a meal is truly a blessing. Let me explain…

Here are 10 Thoughtful Meal Ministry Ideas… to bless them best

1. Ask Questions! If you are heading up a “Take Them a Meal” schedule, be very specific in your instructions at the top of the invite. Make sure to ask the family if they have allergies, are on a certain diet, their likes, and dislikes. You certainly don’t want to make a peanut butter pie for a family with a child who has a peanut allergy. Now, this would be with very good intentions, but in the end not the blessing you wanted them to have.

2. Schedule Meals Every Other Day -After years of planning meals, I’ve noticed a common thread…”Janelle, I appreciate these meals so much, but can you change delivery to every other day instead of every day? My refrigerator is overflowing with leftovers that we have not had enough time to eat”. When our family experienced a death, my friend Katina set up a Take them a Meal asking me what dates we would be home and how many meals we needed during that time. It was so helpful and appreciated. 

3. Use Throw-Away Containers: Your recipient will be so relieved he/she doesn’t have to clean-up and find you later to return your dish {I recommend Chinet Bakeware!}. Not long ago one of my friends mentioned she had a huge “lost and found”pile of dishes. She was going through way too much in life to remember who they belonged to and felt bad she couldn’t return them. If you do, by chance, have to make and take in a dish you need back, put your name on it and let your recipient know he/she can leave it on his/her porch the next day and you will pick it up.  

4. Offer Your Recipient “Cooler Service”: Families in mourning might prefer to set a cooler outside their front door for meals to be placed in rather than to answer the door.  There are times in our lives when we are struggling so badly, we have no conversation to offer…or when we just don’t have the energy to clean our home and opening it up to a stranger {or even someone we know} is embarrassing.

5. Ask Your Recipient If They Would Rather Have “Take-Out”: Some people are stand- offish about eating food made by someone they don’t know. That’s okay! I would much rather know that so I can bless them in a way they want to be blessed! It’s not about me! Gift cards are also very much appreciated.

This option is great for long-distance meal ministries as well. I will never forget dear Adina from TTAM sending me a meal even though she lives miles away. Find out where your recipient lives and google delivery services around them. Or, you can use services such as A Bowl of Good

6. Ask Your Recipient If They Would Prefer Freezer Meals: Good stress is still stress…when a new mom is nursing and the door bell is ringing, it can be pretty stressful! Delivering a freezer meal ahead of time {a week before the due date} gives a new mom comfort in knowing a meal is available, but she doesn’t have to open her home to guests if she’s trying to get acclimated with her baby’s routine. 

7. Order a Pizza on a Friday Night! Friday nights are our family’s fun nights! I remember coming home with our 3rd baby and a sweet neighbor ordered us a pizza and made us dessert. When my dear mother-in-law passed away this year, Courtney  was so thoughtful to send our family a gift card for pizza. Again, it was such a blessing for me not to have to cook and it was a fun Friday night meal. (BTW, pizza is my favorite meal-it honestly is.) 

8. Add a Tidbit Tray For the Week:  When you deliver a meal, add cut up fruits, veggies, meats and cheeses in a separate container. This will be a convenient treat for the family to snack on throughout the week {Thanks to my friend Melissa for this tip}.


{Tip: Send along a “Tidbit Tray” for a week of healthy snacks!}

9. Add a Breakfast Casserole: This Fall, when my husband had surgery, a dear friend of mine Jennifer, brought me delicious soup for dinner and made me a breakfast casserole to have the next morning. That meant 2 meals were covered for my family! Wohoo! Such a great idea.

10. Make a “Grown-Up Meal and a Kid’s Meal“: It happens in a lot of families…the kids don’t have the same taste buds as the adults do. I do this especially when a child is the focus of the meal ministry…what child doesn’t smile when he sees dirt pudding?

Thank you to all of you who pour your hearts, time and energy into making meals for those who need them. When I wrote this post I kept thinking of the familiar quote “Good, Better, Best..never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best”. All meal ministries are  a “good thing”, but being sensitive to our recipients needs will take our ministry from better to best.

Thanks again and keep serving, my Friends!
Love to you, Janelle

P.S. What are some helpful ideas that you have to share? I would love to hear them.

 

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Just Show Up http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/8419/ http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/8419/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 22:22:23 +0000 http://comfyinthekitchen.com/?p=8419 Hi Ladies, this post is very near and dear to my heart. Please welcome my friend, Melissa and her very touching post. Melissa writes: We’ve all seen them in our facebook newsfeed… Heartbreaking posts from someone who has lost a loved one or diagnosed with cancer or enduring financial hardship, or painful divorce…the list goes […]

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Hi Ladies, this post is very near and dear to my heart. Please welcome my friend, Melissa and her very touching post.

Melissa writes:

We’ve all seen them in our facebook newsfeed…

Heartbreaking posts from someone who has lost a loved one or diagnosed with cancer or enduring financial hardship, or painful divorce…the list goes on. And as women, we deeply desire to comfort these broken hearts through words.

But can I honestly say, there is one repeated comment I see on facebook…over and over again. I cringe when I see it. And then I cringe again.

“Let me know if you need anything.”

Just typing it makes me squeamish.

Have I ever told a hurting person this in the past? Unfortunately yes. But I have learned through my own trials a better way to comfort.

Three years ago, I was struggling through one of the worst times of my life. (details for a future post) I was physically, mentally, and emotionally unable to function. Going down to a weight of 100 pounds, I had to take a 4 month sabbatical from my counseling job and was unable to care for my 3 small children without constant outside help from family and friends.

For a high functioning, dependable woman who had worked since 11 years old, I can not begin to express how painfully discouraging my inability to quickly “pick myself” up was at this point.

On a Saturday afternoon I was staring out my window, (I did a lot of staring those days) I watched an unrecognized car pull in my driveway. It was Sherry, our secretary, who lived in the town nearby. When I opened the door she lovingly explained, “Melissa, I was out picking blueberries with my grandchildren and I wanted to bring some to you for your kids. They are already washed.”

They were already washed.

Tears are running down my face as I type– thinking about that white colander of washed berries, ready to set on my table for my children to eat. Because of my health, standing at my kitchen sink washing fruit was a chore…yes a chore. I am sure there many of you that can relate. So those washed blueberries were very meaningful to this mama.

That life touching experience taught me a very significant life lesson….
JUST SHOW UP.

Too many times, we wait for a struggling person to ask for help. They may need someone to help put laundry away or take their children for a few hours so they can rest. Unfortunately, their mental and physical energy may be too low to be able assign us to these needed tasks. Or they may not want to feel like a burden or even know what they need. That’s why we just have to SHOW UP, look around and offer to do what’s needed without being asked.

Are there some people who are very private and possibly offended by help? Yes. And we want to respect their boundaries.

But who could seriously be angry at a plate of brownies or a pot of soup? My bet–they’ll be grateful.

Here are some simple ways to help a struggling person in their day-to-day life.

  • Take them a meal- it doesn’t have to be fancy!
  • Drop off some groceries
  • Walk their dog
  • Take their kids for a few hours
  • Cut their grass or weed flower beds
  • Fold laundry
  • Clean dishes in their sink
  • Offer to run errands for them
  • Drop off a cup of their favorite coffee
  • Make a fruit and veggie tray for their kids.

I know this post is not necessarily about overcoming a specific hardship. But I hope this post can offer to each of you a purpose in your suffering–to learn how to comfort others. (2 Cor 1:4, Gal. 6:2)

Please share any additional ideas how to help others or even share with us how someone “showed up” for you.

Melissa

10857878_10152779535981645_5899787544918077_nMelissa is a Christian, a Pastor’s wife, a homeschool momma of three beautiful children and a Licensed Counselor. Her greatest joy is to spread the Gospel of Jesus and share His love by comforting others… in her job and every day life.

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3 Questions to Help Calm the Chaos http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/3-questions-to-help-calm-the-chaos/ http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2015/07/3-questions-to-help-calm-the-chaos/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 14:43:28 +0000 http://comfyinthekitchen.com/?p=8363   “When my world is shaking, heaven stands. When my heart is breaking. I never leave your hands.” ~ JJ Heller Chaos. It can come on strong and can even take us under if we let it. The truth is that the very definition of chaos- utter confusion and disorder, is the exact opposite of […]

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“When my world is shaking, heaven stands. When my heart is breaking.
I never leave your hands.” ~ JJ Heller

Chaos. It can come on strong and can even take us under if we let it.

The truth is that the very definition of chaos- utter confusion and disorder, is the exact opposite of who Our Lord is. 1 Corinthians 14:33 states:

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Dear Sister, let’s combat this issue together with God’s word. When I feel chaos coming I ask myself these very questions and I challenge you to do the same.

1. Is What I’m Worried About Rational?

“But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.”
~2 Timothy 2:23

I don’t know about you, but there have been many times when I’ve become consumed with “what- if thinking”. My mind can brilliantly take me to imaginary places where I don’t belong, places God warns me about in His Word. Borrowed troubles that I just don’t have the mental capacity to adopt, mainly because they just weren’t meant for me. Have you done this too? If so, ask yourself if it is a reasonable concern. Is there evidence that I need to take this on in my life? Am I speculating or am I facing the facts? Cut out anything that does not need to be there.

2. What Can I Take Off My Plate?

“If the Lord does not build a house, then those who build it work in vain.”
~Psalm 127

The epidemic of “yes” when we should have said “let me pray about it” or perhaps even a straight out “no, thank you” is running rampant. Often times what we need to take off our plates is something we should have never scooped up and dished on to begin with. It’s ok to say no. It’s also ok to be honest and let others know that you took on too much and need to step back.

Life will still go on if you aren’t able to be a room mom, or make homemade meals every night or if you need to live out of your laundry baskets until your children are 18.

Keep in mind that the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23). Anything that threatens your fruit, isn’t fruit! If adding one more thing to your list causes you to loose it- it’s a weed in disguise. 

 

3. Where Do My Boundaries Need Established?

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” Mark 1:35-38

It’s a beautiful and encouraging thought to know that even Jesus had to set boundaries in order to do what he was set out to do. So often I am reminded that I need to “bring it on in”. My boundaries can seemingly extend from the Mid-West to the Middle East. It just isn’t what God wants here. I am not made to be a very wide and walked on doormat, I am made to be a vessel.

This is something that many in ministry struggle with, and is often times the culprit for “burn out.” If I am thinking rationally, I know that that if my boundaries aren’t clear in my own mind, they aren’t going to be clear in anyone else’s.

When my boundaries are wide, I make myself an open target for chaos.

Again, bring it in, Sister. Draw a line in the sand and stick to it, by doing this it will do you and everyone around you a favor. In turn, “Burn out” does nothing for anyone.

Dear friends, I hope and pray that by asking yourselves these questions you can be released from some of the bondage of chaos and go on living a life of freedom. Remember, if you are living in chaos -it is not God’s will. We live in a fallen world, but take heart that wherever you are, no matter what you’re going through, our Savior is the Prince of Peace and He is always with you.

But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
~Matthew 14:30-32

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