Enchiladas are one of those dishes that everyone seems to make differently. From the filling to the tortilla to the sauce on top, enchiladas can come in all varieties! But this Texas-born girl will testify, when you find yourself privileged enough to be eating an authentic, homemade enchilada, it’s tough to find anything that can beat it. Such an experience will turn you into a bit of an enchilada snob.
There lay my problem when we moved to central Arkansas. At the time, there were slim pickings for really good enchiladas. So, I had no choice but to figure out how to make really good ones myself.
As my dad, a legit actual son of the Republic of Texas raised in San Antonio, and therefore obviously a Tex-Mex connoisseur always says, “Good Mexican food should be simple and cheap.” So, when I started on my make-my-own enchilada quest, I kept that advice in mind. PERFECT for those of us on budgets with busy schedules, right?
It took a few tries, but finally I found myself with a dish that my hubby and guests dole out lots of compliments over. Words are great (especially since I’m a words-of-affirmation-girl), but the proof is in the cleaned plates and second helpings.
A couple things I really like about this dish…
How EASY it is.
It requires very few ingredients.
It’s relatively healthy.
You can make it in the morning and pop it in the oven right before dinner, which makes it a great dish to take to new mamas, friends who’ve moved, or loved ones who are under the weather.
Alright, enough chit-chat. Let’s talk about how to whip this up!
Easy Layered Chicken Enchiladas (Serves 4)
4 large chicken breasts or 1 rotisserie chicken (pulled apart)
5.3 oz carton plain Greek yogurt
7 oz can diced green chilis
8 oz can enchilada sauce
10 oz bag of Mexican shredded cheese (you will only need about half of it)
1 bag of tortillas (I’ve never needed more than six tortillas, but it depends on how big your tortillas are. I also use flour tortillas, but you can use corn if you prefer.)
Toppings of your preference (i.e. shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, etc.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
If you’re using a rotisserie chicken, pull all the meat off. If you’re using chicken breasts, boil* them in a stockpot of water until they reach an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
(*Large chicken breasts can take at least 20 minutes to cook through when boiling. Be sure to use your trusty meat thermometer. Whenever I’m making a dish that will require baking already cooked chicken in the oven, I always prefer to use boiled chicken, because in my experience, it is less likely to dry out during baking.)
Once your chicken is cooked or pulled off the bone, use two forks to shred it and place the shredded chicken in a large bowl.
Add the entire cup of yogurt to your chicken. Drain the liquid out of your diced green chilis (there won’t be a lot of liquid) and add them to your chicken and yogurt. Grab a handful of your shredded cheese and throw that in too. Mix well with a spoon. Set aside.
Grab an 8×8 or 9×9 glass baking dish and spray it with your favorite non-stick spray. Now, grab your tortillas and make a single layer of tortillas on the bottom of your dish. Depending on whether or not you chose a circle dish or a square dish, you might need to tear your tortillas in half so they will line the entire bottom of the dish.
Next, scoop out half of your chicken mixture and spread it evenly on top of your tortillas.
Top with another even layer of tortillas.
Top that with the remaining half of your chicken mixture, evenly spread out.
Lay a final layer of tortillas on top.
Sprinkle half of the remaining shredded cheese over this layer of tortillas. Finally, slowly pour your enchilada sauce all over the top.
This is my FAVORITE pre-made enchilada sauce. As much as I would love to make my own, most nights, that just isn’t an option. This stuff is so good, you’d think it was homemade.
Pop your dish, uncovered, into the oven for 25-30 minutes until it’s bubbly on top and all of the cheese has melted.
You’ll have to use an inordinate amount of self-control to not dig in immediately, but if you’ll give it at least five minutes to sit before you cut into it, the enchiladas will cut and serve better.
So, after at least five minutes, cut, adorn with your favorite toppings, and serve!
My favorite pairing is Mexican rice. My husband’s preference is chips & queso. My daughter’s choice is refried beans. Pick a side that your whole family will enjoy and shout “Arriba!”
Well done, mamacita. Dinner’s served.
What are your favorite Mexican side dish pairings? I’d personally love a little inspiration for the next night we enjoy Easy Layered Chicken Enchiladas for dinner. Please comment below!
When asked to share my testimony, I always find myself pausing and asking, “Which part?”
Because to tell my entire story would take a book. Lately, I’ve noticed that because my story is so–shall we say, multi-faceted–I’ve inched away from most recent opportunities to share it. Even here, in this special place of Creating A Great Day, when all of us contributors were asked to consider sharing our testimonies, while I thought it was a great idea for everyone else, I didn’t really want to share mine.
Which part would I share? I mean, after all, I certainly couldn’t fit the whole thing into one neat and tidy blog post.
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit gave me a good slap in the head and reminded me that the hesitancy I was feeling wasn’t from HIm. It was from the Enemy who really, really doesn’t want for me to share any part of my story with you.
And, if you know me at all, you know I don’t like it when the Enemy gets a little victory. So, sign myself up to share my testimony I did. (Take that, Satan!)
But, I was still left with the practical question–which part?? How am I going to fit my whole testimony into one blog post?
Again, the Holy Spirit slapped my head. “You don’t need to share the WHOLE thing. Tell them about Houseboat. Tell them about when you surrendered.”
So that’s where we’re going to go, dear readers. To that point in my story.
But, to get there, you are still going to need a little background…
I was born to God-fearing parents, who talk the talk and walk the walk. As a young six year old, I asked my mom to explain the Easter story that I’d heard in Sunday school that morning, because I didn’t understand it. And right there on the steps of our church, I asked Jesus to forgive me of all my sins and to be my Lord and Savior.
As I grew up, the Lord worked through my parents, extended family members, family friends, and our church to expose me to His body across the world. As an eight year old, I heard God call me to overseas missions. Being a public school kid gave me the wonderful opportunity at a very young age to make the decision as to whether or not I would publicly stand for Jesus. It also taught me respect for people who follow religions other than Christianity. Most (not all) of my friends at school didn’t believe exactly what I did, and their families didn’t look or act like mine.
As a matter of fact, at school, I was the only “Christian” I knew. Everyone else who wasn’t Jewish or HIndu or Muslim or Catholic was Baptist or Methodist or Presbyterian or some other denomination of Christianity. I was raised in a non-denominational church, so I was (and still am) literally just a Christ-follower. Pretty much the only other plain ol’ Christian friends I had were the ones I went to church with.
This didn’t bother me, it just made me aware that I was not in the majority. Even though I grew up in the Bible belt, where there’s a church on every corner, I knew as a youngster that not everyone believed the exact same thing that my family and I did. And I loved my friends no differently for it.
But, I did have two very separate friend groups: my school friends and my church friends. We lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, a good twenty minutes from our church, and most of the kids who went to my church lived close to church. Only one went to school with me.
I’m so grateful my parents faithfully drove me to youth group and small groups and sent me on our church retreats every summer so I could cultivate those friendships. To this day, the friends I regularly talk on the phone with (and all the mamas with toddlers know you are only talking on the phone with a very small group of girlfriends) are girls from my youth group.
The summer before my sophomore year of high school, I was headed on a charter bus to our summer youth group retreat, called Houseboat. Behind me sat this cute guy in a baseball cap. He and I started talking on the bus and didn’t stop talking the whole week.
Thank goodness I had enough good friends and our youth group was wise enough to build in plenty of non-co-ed time that I was able to focus on the reason we were on a retreat to begin with: to grow in our walk with Christ.
My sweet friends wouldn’t even let me sit next to the guy during our evening worship services so I wouldn’t be distracted. And, man, am I glad I did. Because it was during one of those services when the Holy Spirit spoke through the speaker’s message and changed my life.
My Christian walk up until then was good. I certainly loved God and sought to serve and worship and become more like Him. And I was soundly “saved.” Even though I was six years old when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I 100% knew the severity and consequences of my sins and believed that Jesus was the only option for forgiveness. I knew He was the only way I could have a relationship with God here on earth and for eternity in Heaven. I’d also, at that young age, understood repentance–to turn from your sins. Of course, like all humans, I couldn’t not sin, but the desire to please God and not sin was there.
I had stood for Christ when it wasn’t pleasant. By the time I finished middle school, I had very few friends at school because very few chose to hold to the morals I held as a Christ-follower. However, by the time I found myself on this Houseboat trip, I had the opportunity to attend our church’s private school where many of my friends from youth group also attended. There, I was learning more about Jesus and the Bible and Christianity. On the outside, what could possibly be missing in my walk with Christ aside from just knowing Him better?
Well, I liked (and still do) control. And, I was pretty smart. I mean, not to brag, but I got mostly all A’s in school in upper level classes. As a neighborhood babysitter, I was respected and was even a lead Sunday school teacher at our church for a summer. I never got in trouble. I was also gifted with an assortment of talents–acting and modeling were two I was exploring and doing well in. For a fifteen year old, I seemed to be doing just fine controlling the things I had control over.
But there, sitting on top of one of those houseboats, underneath a sea of stars, I realized there was a big part of following Jesus that I hadn’t done…surrender. Following Jesus means letting Him be in control, not me. Following Jesus meant giving Him the pen to my story. I didn’t know what that would look like. But, I knew I needed to do it.
So I did.
And everything changed.
And this where the story gets multi-faceted. This is where I wonder, which part do I tell?
Do I tell about breaking my leg? What about that mission trip I took to Kenya? Do I tell about living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Guatemala–how do I not tell them about Guatemala? Do I tell them about nursing school? Working as a nurse? Hurting my back? Choosing to leave nursing? Starting my own business? Moving 9+ hours away from home to the last state in the continental U.S. that I wanted to live in (modern day Jonah situation, literally)? My mom’s best friend? The last year of our life?
Not here. Not today.
But, I will tell you about that guy. The one my friends wouldn’t let me sit next to, so I wouldn’t be distracted.
That guy who liked me as much as I liked him.
That guy who had already surrendered his life to Jesus.
We got home from that retreat, and God took us each on our own journeys for several years, journeys that drew us closer to Him in ways that we never could have grown if we’d been closer to each other than “just friends.”
Two weeks ago that guy and I celebrated six years of marriage.
And we both look back on that week on those houseboats and praise God that He opened my heart to surrender my life to Him. As my husband says, “Without God in control of our relationship from the beginning, I’m confident we would have messed it up.”
Our walk with the Lord, both as singles and as a married couple, has been filled with a wide gamut of experiences, emotions, trials, and joyous occasions. We shudder at what life would look like if neither of us had given Christ control of our life.
It hasn’t been easy. We’ve made mistakes. Daily we’re reminded that we’re not perfect. (Especially since we’re the parents of a toddler!)
But nothing else can replace this peace we have. A peace and a hope and an assurance that even though we aren’t perfect, God is. And He is always faithful.
We know, out of personal experience, that it is better for Him to hold the pen that’s writing our story than it is for us to.
We know that sometimes life gets hard. Really hard. But we have a peace that surpasses understanding and the strength of the Lord Jesus inside of us which keeps us pressing towards the goal of glorifying Him in all that we do.
Accepting Jesus as my Savior was a no-brainer. There’s no other way to have a relationship with God than through Jesus. There’s no other way to have eternal life. No other way to receive forgiveness.
Jesus asked God if there was a way other than the cross to redeem the world. Jesus had free will. He knew what was coming. He could have fled and saved Himself. But He surrendered to the will of God. He let God keep the pen.
And look what came out of that decision to surrender.
Have you surrendered your life to Christ? Given Him the pen of your life? What differences have you noticed since making that decision? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.
Weeknight dinners are all about fast, affordable, healthy, and crowd-pleasing at our house. That’s a lot of boxes to tick! (Especially since we have a toddler!) If you’re anything like me, the urge to just order a pizza or drive through your local take-out spot can be fierce at the end of a long day, especially once you hit mid-week. But, take-out or delivery usually only ticks the “fast” box. I’ve come to realize that if I use a few secret weapons, there are a couple dishes my family can enjoy for dinner that not only tick all my boxes but require minimal clean up afterwards. (And all the mamas cheered!) One of those tricks is easy weeknight burgers.
I’m going to let you into the mind of Lindsay for just a minute–I usually like the way food smells while it’s cooking or while I’m eating it, but 10 minutes after the meal, I’m over it. And if that smell is still lingering in my house even a couple hours after I’ve cooked, I just about have a comin’ apart.
Which is why easy weeknight burgers requires a secret weapon….
It’s such an underused tool in our kitchen, and I think that’s because most of us don’t like cleaning the broiler pan. I’ll share a couple tips for that later. Broilers can be a mama’s best friend on a weeknight. They’re fast, and they allow me to cook inside my oven instead of on my stove top. Cooking burgers on a stove top means it smells forever. Using my broiler also lets me cook inside which means I don’t have to attempt to use my husband’s grill outside or wait for him to get home to fire it up and grill me some patties. When the goal is to have all four boxes ticked and dinner on the table as he’s walking through the door, I just can’t wait for him to get home.
So, the broiler is secret number #1 to easy weeknight burgers.
Secret #2: The freezer.
I usually do my grocery shopping at the beginning of the week or over the weekend. Some meats might not last all week in the fridge, but they will last all week if I pop them in the freezer until the day I’m ready to cook them. Same with hamburger buns. Most of us aren’t using hamburger buns every day, am I right? And when 8 come in a package, and my toddler isn’t eating them yet, that means me and the hubby are going to take weeks to get through all eight. Those buns will have mold on them by week 3 for sure. So, I pop them in the freezer as soon as I get home from the grocery store along with my pre-made hamburger patties. (I like Laura’s. They’re extra lean and hormone free and come in a package of four.)
And now I wait until the day comes (haha – Thursday usually) when I have no idea what to make for dinner, and I’m tempted to order a pizza or drive through our local hamburger place and get a few burgers to go (and a chocolate shake).
That is when I take those frozen patties out of the freezer and let them start defrosting. Depending on how much time I have, I’ll either put them right on the counter for a bit and then move them into the fridge, or I’ll just put them straight into the fridge.
When it comes time to actually make dinner, I pull out however many hamburger buns I need from the freezer and set them on a plate on the counter and let them hang out till I’m ready for them.
Toppings and Sides–Anything Goes!
Next, I make sure my top rack in the oven is in its highest position, and turn on the broiler to HIGH.
Then I pull out whatever I have on hand for toppings. We usually have all the standard hamburger toppings on hand. Once easy weeknight burgers are on your REPEAT menu, you’ll start collecting your favorite toppings too: ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, sliced cheese, etc. If I have the fresh stuff (i.e. lettuce, tomato, etc.), hooray! If I don’t, oh well, I’ve got the other basic condiments I like already.
Same goes for sides. Use what you have. Bag of kettle chips? Frozen broccoli you can steam up? Can of baked beans? Carrots? EASY. If keeping things easy is your goal, don’t pick something that requires more than one plate or bowl or pot to prepare it.
Side note: The burgers cook so quickly when broiling, that I take care of my sides and toppings before I start them.
I spray my broiler pan with my favorite non-stick spray (I love grape seed oil personally) and season my hamburgers (I just use a few shakes of seasoned salt). I place my hamburgers onto the broiler pan and pop them in the oven.
This next part is going to be 100% up to you and your family’s preference on burger doneness. I recommend starting with 2 minutes, then flipping, and putting them in for 2 more minutes. Until you know how fast your broiler cooks the thickness of your burgers, you won’t know exactly how long to cook them. Keep in mind the burgers will continue to cook once you take them out of the oven. You can always use your trusty meat thermometer if in doubt. I like a well-done burger, so I cook mine for 4 minutes on one side, then flip, and then put them in for another 3 minutes.
While your burgers are broiling, pop your hamburger buns in the microwave if they’re still frozen. I microwave 2 buns for 30 seconds. Next, if you want some cheese on your burgers, put them on your bun and pop them into your toaster oven for a quick toasting.
When they’re done and your burgers have gotten to your family’s preferred doneness, you’re ready for toppings and sides!
And dinner is served! (Da da da daaaaa!!!!)
Next, dinner is over. It was yummy, and healthy, and fast, and affordable. You did good, mom.
Now it’s clean up time.
The only beast you have to tackle is the broiler pan. Everything else should be a quick drop in the dishwasher.
I use my scrubbing brush to get all the burger-goo off of both pieces of my pan. (This takes 2 minutes max.) If there are any sticky spots from my spray, I rub those really quickly with my steel wool brush. Then I pop the whole thing in the dishwasher! I have had my broiler pan for 10+ years. My mom gave it to me (it was hers) when I left for college, and she had just gotten a new one. This thing could totally be 20 years old for all I know and has been in COUNTLESS dishwashers. Non-stick spray, scrubber brush, steel wool brush, and the dishwasher = my tips to an easy clean up with the broiler pan.
And there you have it. Easy weeknight burgers. I’m curious to know, do you have any easy dinner dishes that you use your broiler for? I’d love to hear what they are in the comment section!
Easy Weeknight Burgers
Pre-made burger patties
Burger seasoning (I prefer seasoned salt)
Favorite burger toppings: ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato, etc.
Place top rack in oven to its highest position. Turn broiler on to HIGH. Defrost hamburgers buns and pre-made burger patties if necessary. Season patties with seasoned salt or preferred burger seasoning.
Place patties on broiler pan after spraying it with non-stick spray. Broil patties for 2 minutes, then flip, and broil for another 2 minutes.
Continue to broil until burgers have reach your desired doneness or have reached desired internal temperature with meat thermometer.
Once cooked, remove patties from broiler pan. Toast hamburger buns in toaster oven (add cheese before inserting into toaster oven if desired). Remove buns and place on a plate. Add patty to one bun and adorn with your favorite toppings.
Enjoy with a simple side such as steamed broccoli, kettle chips, or baked beans.
On my way to the post office this afternoon, I passed our local high school’s cross country team out for their afternoon practice run around our community. All of a sudden, memories flooded my mind of my high school cheerleading practices.
One year we had a set of amazing coaches who made us “work to wear our skirts.” And by work, I mean work OUT. I can’t tell you the number of times I thought I was going to pass out–which was pretty much every single time we ran around our school’s campus or the local park’s running trail. I was by no means a runner. None. But it was a small price to pay considering all the fun we got to have in practice, at camp, and of course, during those fall basketball games cheering on our classmates.
As I watched the bright-faced cross country girls pass my car, I couldn’t remember if I had ever thanked my mom for asking me if I wanted to try out for cheerleader. This was before the days of social media, email addresses, or even school websites with a posted calendar of events. Parents received information through the mail, or sent home with their students, or they attended a PTA meeting. Because I was a new student at my high school and tryouts were held in the summer, I didn’t know about this opportunity.
I’m thankful for my mom’s boldness in asking me if I wanted to do it. Because she asked, I had all of those amazing experiences and built friendships I still cherish to this day. If she hadn’t brought it up, I never would have had the opportunity to even say, “YES.”
An Opportunity for God to Say YES
And then I felt like the lady in those Prego commercials.
*Cue chimes and a wavy scene transition.*
“What else have I been missing out on?”
The biggest question is how many times have I missed out on an opportunity for God to say “YES” to something I didn’t ask Him?
Praying in Boldness
Several weeks ago I asked God for something pretty big. To be honest, it had been years since I’d prayed a prayer this bold. The last bold prayer I’d prayed was for a very special family friend to be healed of cancer. Prior to that prayer, I had prayed many bold prayers with the authority of the Holy Spirit. Prayers that were answered “YES” before my eyes. BIG, BOLD, New Testament stuff. Praying for our friend’s healing, I had no doubt we’d receive word one day that she was healed. But we never did. Instead she went home to be with the Lord.
I was so mad at God. I was so disappointed. I was heartbroken.
Over the next few years I slowly began to realize, with a lot of wrestling, that line I’d heard forever: “God always answers prayers. Sometimes His answer is just ‘No.'”
An Unexpected Dilemma
And so here I was, several weeks ago, looking at a canister of infant formula on my kitchen table. My daughter was two weeks away from her first birthday. We’d been nursing for almost an entire year. I committed to nursing her for an entire year since that first latch. It had taken a lot of sacrifice. A lot. But it was the decision my husband and I felt was best for us and for her.
And then my milk dried up. Just 2.5 weeks before that first birthday.
A quick call to the pediatrician’s office resulted in the OK to go ahead and start her on cow’s milk. There was just one problem with that. Even the slightest bit of dairy made her break out in scary-looking welts around her mouth. The nurse encouraged me to give it one more shot. Well, my daughter loved the cow’s milk, but the welts popped up around her mouth and down her chest and abdomen afterwards.
So I made another call to the pediatrician’s office. This time their orders made my stomach drop. Put her on a specific formula until her one year checkup, and I could pick up samples at the office.
I drove down there with knots in my stomach, and by the time I got home with the canisters, those knots had only tightened.
I stared at those canisters in utter disappointment. So many feelings, all personal and they are too lengthy to write about here, but with every fiber in my being I did not want to give her formula.
An Answer to a Bold Prayer
So I prayed a bold prayer. It kind of felt like wheeling an old bike out of a garage after years of sitting there without being ridden. A little rusty, but it rolled.
“God, if You could open Sarah’s womb [Genesis 21:2], you can give me milk. Please give me milk.”
After three or four days of nothing, that night my daughter and I tried again.
Y’all, my milk came in like a geyser, and I had to hold back tears.
If I had never asked, I never would have had milk to give her those next few weeks. And, I would have missed the opportunity to physically be a part of a miracle.
It felt like I was getting a hug from God that first night. Gentle. Soft. Reminding me that He does still answer bold prayers with YESes, and not from just those who we think of as prayer warriors, those who seem to have a “direct line to God,” but from me, from you.
We’ll just never know unless we ask.
What bold prayers are you afraid to ask God? What bold prayers have you asked God that He answered “YES” to? I’d love to hear about them.
Do you ever have days with a great perspective? Where you think to yourself, “I am Superwoman! My toddler ate kale, spinach, and all the healthy things today! She took a three-hour nap! I cleaned the entire house and had dinner made before my husband came home! I had my quiet time with God, and did two loads of laundry. I. Am. Superwoman!!”
Cue the eyerolling or hysterical laughter.
Maybe that happens once in a blue moon, am I right?
…Or Maybe I’m Not Superwoman
But most days around my house, things don’t look quite so super. The fruit cup has been thrown all over the kitchen. My floor is only clean-ish because my two dogs lick up the toddler’s thrown food and a robot vacuum picks up the dogs’ ever-shedding fur. When naps aren’t as long as I need them to be, everything else seems to fall apart too. Clean house? Well, at least everything is off the floor at some point so the robot vacuum can do its thing. Sometimes things get moved from floor to bed and back again…several days in a row. Of course dinner gets on the table–it comes straight out of the crock-pot, or the freezer, or to-go boxes. Even though quiet time with God is even more necessary than coffee, often it does not happen. Laundry? Well, everyone has clean undies, so we’re good, right?
Today was totally one of those days.
And it was a Monday which made everything even more unpleasant.
Sometime between nap #1 and lunchtime, I FaceTimed my mom in pure desperation, distraught over the fact that my daughter’s main food groups seemed to be Cheerios, apple juice, and animal cookies. I felt horribly guilty about getting mad at her earlier for pulling my hair (her favorite pastime). And the house–oh, the house. I had turned off the robot vacuum mid-session because I just couldn’t deal with ALL THE NOISE anymore.
My mother in all her infinite, life-speaking wisdom addressed the food group issue first.
“Look at it week by week. If she gets what she needs each week, she’s good. And she is. You’re doing a good job. Just take it week by week.”
Week by week.
I’d heard that before. Way back during my nursing school days. All the doctors would say to me, “Just take it a week at a time. If you think much farther ahead than that, you’ll go crazy.”
So that was how I functioned. A week at a time.
Week by week. I can do that. I’ve done that. So I can do that now.
When everything is crazy and feels like it’s out of your control, it’s so easy to loose perspective. To think that ALL your child is eating is Cheerios. To feel like you can’t get anything accomplished. To think your entire world exists solely within the walls of your home.
But how do you get perspective when it really does feel like your entire world exists within the walls of your home? (Stay-at-home and work-at-home ladies, I’m talking to you.) Or what if your entire world feels like your office and your job and your co-workers? (Career women, here’s your sign.) Or what if you’re in that in-between place where you’re still trying to figure everything out? (Single ladies post-college, there’s yours.)
How Do You Get Perspective?
How do you get perspective when everything seems so big? So out of your control? So hard?
Yes, intentionally. Otherwise, the only perspective you’ll have is whatever you put in front of your eyes and ears. And “whatever” is exactly where the Enemy is lurking.
Whatever scrolls by on your Facebook, Instagram, or other social media outlet.
Whatever that model looks like on the TV commercial during Saturday’s afternoon football game.
Whatever the magazine headlines at the grocery store check-out line say.
Whatever the Enemy whispers to you as you wipe up another mess off the floor, squeeze into those tight jeans, or loose your cool behind the steering wheel.
“You’re not cut out for this.”
“You’re not skinny enough.”
“You don’t take good care of yourself.”
“You’re an emotional wreck.”
“Your house doesn’t look like the one in the Southern Living catalog.”
“You’re wasting your time.”
“You’ll never reach that goal.”
“He doesn’t think you’re important.”
“They don’t love you.”
HALT! Right there! Because that’s exactly where he wants to get you, and if you let him keep talking to you like that, he will.
It’s time to speak up and send him back to hell and get some perspective that isn’t his.
True perspective comes from knowing the Word. And in these days, friend, we need to know it a whole lot better than we do. Not only do we need to be speaking it to ourselves on an hourly basis, we need to be speaking it into our husbands and our children. It is our responsibility as wife and mother and sister and daughter to speak life into the home we find ourselves in.
Secondly, we have to cut out talk that is not life-affirming.
And y’all, this one might hurt a little. You might have to cut some actual people out of your day-to-day life to make this one happen. (For more on how and why to do this, read Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. If you haven’t read this book, click on over and order it off Amazon or iTunes.) Even if the person is someone you can’t cut out of your life, the Boundaries book will help you with that too.
This also might mean disconnecting from social media. Whether that means deactivating an account, unfollowing or unfriending specific people, or simply deleting the app from your phone, you are being fed perspective through these outlets. It needs to be life-affirming. If it isn’t, it needs to go. Same with television shows and the music you’re listening to. Start paying attention to what is actually going into your mind. If it isn’t positive, life-giving, or speaking the truth, cut it out.
Thirdly, find the life-speakers in your church.
Plug in with them. This can seem like a daunting assignment. Where to start? Where will that fit in with this busy schedule? What if I don’t like them? Or, what if they don’t like me??
Do you have a home church where you actually feel at home? I’ll betcha they have small groups. Look at your calendar, find three nights you have available, and find a small group whose schedule lines up with yours. Sign up and go. Commit to it for a semester. If you don’t click with that group, you can most likely switch to another one. And I am praying right now that you will find a new best friend in that small group–someone who will like you for all your quirks and preferences.
What if you don’t have a home church? Do you know someone with similar values to you who has a home church? Or someone who is transparent about his/her faith, and it lines up with yours or where you’d like for yours to be? If you ask them if you can go to church with them one Sunday, they will fall out of their shoes, and when they come to, they’ll say YES. Their church also probably has a small group you can plug into.
Finally, find a community group who will lift you up.
Now, this next suggestion is really going to blow your mind. It’s gonna sound like CRAZY talk, but you could also plug in somewhere other than your church. What? Find life-speakers elsewhere?! Yes. Don’t spill your coffee.
Bible Study Fellowship. MOPS. MOMSNext. Your local community center or library might even have support groups who meet for all kinds of different reasons. Do you like to quilt? Maybe they have a quilting club. Go check it out!
Personally, I find a lot of positivity, truth, and life-speak in my weekly Mary Kay training meeting. Feel free to tag along as a guest with someone who attends. Maybe you will feel as encouraged as I do!
Whatever kind of group you find, the key is it needs to be a life-speaking, truth-centered environment. That is what keeps our perspective where it needs to be.
Proper perspective tells you:
The world isn’t as dark and scary as the news suggests.
That perfect moms don’t exist. But good ones do, and you are a good one.
It’s 100% okay you let your children eat fast food three times this week.
Nice people are almost everywhere. Not everyone hates everyone who is different from them.
That you are cut out to do exactly what God has called you to do, whether that means you’re working four 12-hour shifts in a row this week, or you’re being deployed to the Middle East (or your husband is being deployed to the Middle East), or you’re getting a job promotion that you’re not 100% sure you’re qualified for. If God is calling you to it, you are.
You are enough.
The life-speakers who saturate themselves in the truth will remind you on your less-than-superwoman days that you are enough because Christ is in you. He is the rock, and His works are perfect. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
They are the ones who will remind you to take it a week at a time. To look at the big picture outside of the four walls of your house or your office space or this limbo phase you’re in.
It is the life-speakers who will pray for you, who will hold you accountable, and who will affirm you as you clean up the sweet potatoes off the floor after another attempt at a healthy lunch, drive another carpool to soccer practice after a long day at work, respect your husband, and go out for that 15th job interview.
Okay, so we’re not superwomen. But with the right perspective, we’ll realize that’s okay. We probably wouldn’t want to wear the same superhero outfit every day anyway, right? 😉