My Personal Babel and Making Much of Me

My Personal Babel and Making Much of Me

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P
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I’m pretty sure I would have been the one to lay the cornerstone for the Tower of Babel.

My Personal Tower of Babel

I didn’t always think this. In my blind pride, I used to read the story in Genesis 11 and think, “Good night moon! These people are really thickheaded!”

But here’s how I know I could have been the one to place that stone; I have thought to myself what they said out loud at Babel,

“…so that we may make a name for ourselves…” (Genesis 11:4, NIV)

I confess, I have wanted to make a name for myself.

I have craved all the glory for a job well done.

I have thirsted for all the recognition for doing “good” deeds.

I have hungered, above all else, for the love and approval of people.

Though these are broad examples, you can probably imagine some specific ways these general desires might manifest in my life or maybe even in yours.

The truth is, all of the craving and thirsting and hungering leaves me empty no matter how much I receive. And leaves me in shambles when receive none. This name for myself is a dangling carrot that is never caught, and like an addiction, always leaves me grasping for more. More glory, more approval, more…

It never satisfies.

It is exhausting.

But I know that an exhausted, unsatisfied, shamble of a life is not what Jesus means for any of us. He says he “came that they may have life, and hive it to the full.” (John 10:10, NIV)

Jesus says there is more.

That more is this truth:

I was not created to have a Name.I was not created to have a Name.

In vain, I have searched the scriptures trying to find justification of building myself a tower; for making myself a name. It isn’t there.

But, I did find a Name. It just wasn’t mine.

“My name will be great among he nations from where the sun rises to where it sets… my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 1:11, NIV)

I found God’s name.

He says His name WILL be great.

One example in particular struck me hard. Jesus calls for God the Father’s name to be glorified.

Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28, NIV)

I claim to be a follower of Jesus. What have I not been following Jesus in this? I’m struck with this discrepancy in my Christianity. The truth is that I have been so occupied elevating my name, that I lost sight of the only Name that is worthy elevation.

Searching the scripture, I found that everything I am and everything I do is actually for the glory of God’s name, not my own.

I am created for the glory of His Name.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NIV)

Not that the task of elevating His name is mine to bear with my deeds or my life. Oh no, God is not depending on my performance to make His name great. What trouble He would be in if He were to depend on me with my false tower of Babel building and other missteps!

It is freeing to worship a God who is so powerful, He needs nothing from me. He needs nothing from me, yet He offers me a place to work by His side. He is a God who gives and has no need to take.

Now that is One whose Name is worthy of glory. Not mine.

So, I have come to the point where I am earnest about tearing down the idol I’m pointlessly trying to build of making a name for myself. I’ve been asking God to change me. To crumble my personal Tower of Babel. And because He gives, God is changing my heart to not just want, but to actually crave to place God and His Name in the rightful place: glorified above all else. And I am enjoying the freedom that comes from it. 

John the Baptist is an inspiring example of one who did not seek to make a name for himself. Ironically, he did in a way have a name for himself. People came to him to be baptized and forgiven of their sins. He actually had his own disciples!

Then Jesus comes on the scene.

When people around John see that those who were his disciples are leaving to become followers of Jesus, they say, “…-look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” (John 3:26, NIV)

John replies, “I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him… He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30, NIV)

Now, instead of thinking what those at the Tower of Babel said aloud, “…so that we may make a name for ourselves…” I think I need to start thinking what John the Baptist said aloud.

“He must become more, I must become less.”

I’m trying to filter my actions and thoughts through this one question: How can I make more of Him and His Kingdom and less of me in this situation?

I am Free

With this in the front of my mind, I am free in Christ to serve Him.  Free from the weight of bearing a name that I can never obtain because I was not created to bear a name. I can just be me.

I am free to be nothing because He is everything.

I am free to fail because He has already succeeded.

I am free to be rejected because He accepts me.

I am free to be me, when I recognize God for Him: Glorious.

I am realizing that this is where my cravings, thirst, and hunger for a name will be satisfied. It’s not in trying to fit into a role I was not created for. Much like pants that are too tight, I’ve been uncomfortable in my misplaced striving to make a name for myself. But in starting to live to make much of Christ who loves me and you more than His own life, I feel as though I’m slipping into my favorite jeans. It fits well.

Cravings are ceasing.

Thirst is quenching

Hunger is fleeing.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35, NIV)

Jesus, I come to You and I place Your Name high.

Ah, satisfaction.

In what ways do you make a name for yourself over making much of Christ?

If you can’t think of any, ask the Lord to reveal to you if you are missing anything. I am asking Him that too.

 

Overwhelmed?  Look to God!

Overwhelmed? Look to God!

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D
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I am going to be perfectly frank.  I did not want to write this post.  Motivation eluded me and I just could not write it.  But because writing helps me process my feelings and issues, I knew I had to write it.

Feeling Overwhelmed!

You see, I have this problem.  When I get overwhelmed, I get anxious and I procrastinate.  I only do the things required of me.  I withdraw.  It makes sense in my mind to not do things when I have too much to do!  I focus on one thing and let everything else go.  Right now, I have so much going on that if I do not schedule things, I get nothing done (even then, it is questionable).

Finally, I decided to get started.  While I had some ideas for some topics, I did not have an inspirational verse to build on.  I needed some inspiration so I opened my Bible app on my phone and the “Verse of the Day” popped up.  I usually do not pay much attention to it, but this one caught my eye:

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 
Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)

This was the verse I needed!

Not just for this post, I needed this verse for me!

God knew what I needed!  Had I gone to the Bible earlier today, I might have had a calmer day.  All I did was see this verse and I knew that God had meant that for me today.  I did not even have to finish reading it before it changed my mood.  Now, I just have to remember this and remember that God is always there for me and to turn to Him first.

What do you do when you get overwhelmed?

Do you go to God first?

 

Grace, Contentment and a Glass of Wine

Grace, Contentment and a Glass of Wine

I am a recovering Army brat who loves to travel and start new adventures. My handsome husband and I met at Oklahoma Christian University and he whisked me away to Kansas. So, I bought some ruby red high heels and made Topeka my home. I have a rough and rowdy Princess 4-year-old girl, amazing twin boys (almost 3) and a newborn baby girl who all make every day an adventure. We are grateful to be part of an amazing church in Topeka who regularly challenges and encourages our whole family. I have been both a full-time working mom and a stay-at-home-mom and/or both at the same time at one point or another. I am constantly seeking God’s wisdom on “balancing it all” and following His plan for my life, not mine.
Elizabeth P
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Grace and contentment.

These are perhaps two of the most difficult concepts to grasp as a mother. The glass of wine…well that’s just well deserved.

Becoming a mother opens a whole new realm of inner struggles and identity searching. Let’s face it, I’ve prayed for patience, wisdom and strength more in one hour today than I ever did before kids.

I recently read a blog about raising children and being a mother in a community rather than in the relative isolation that modern society in America tends to accept as normal.

The blessings that require so much fromWhen I read this article, I was a new stay at home mom and I felt alone.

Alone and burdened; inadequate and overwhelmed. The struggle surrounding the self-created isolation was real. I don’t know if the author of the article is a Christian, but the longing for a daily fellowship or cohesive community rang true to my soul.

And then I remembered I had that available to me in spades.

At least I should…within the body of Christ; fellow believers and fellow moms in all stages and situations raising their children to love the Lord.  Truly, this is the fellowship we crave isn’t it?!

Psalm 133:1-3 (ESV) says:
Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore.

How good it is when we dwell in unity, it is like precious oil on the head.

My heart swells when I read those verses and think about my relationships with other Christians, most especially my “mommy friends”.  Sadly, our culture and society has pitted us “mommies” against one another for various reasons and “atrocities” we commit in our life choices. Stay at home moms vs. working moms, moms of one vs. moms of twelve, moms of _______ vs. the world.

We all struggle.

Whether we work full time, stay at home or anything else in between, I believe we all continue struggle with feeling alone in our choice, like a lone warrior on a quest for well-adjusted children. The  pride that often rears its ugly head in motherhood sometimes fosters a defensive or competitive spirit even in the most subtle of ways, or even insecurity because we are guilty of not giving each other grace. It’s even harder to give ourselves grace. Then we feel discontentment.

1 Peter 4:10 (ESV) says:
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

All of our lives look as unique as the people Christ created us to be even before we were knit together in our own mother’s womb. As women of God, we should have an abundance of grace for other moms.  We are called to love one another and many times, that looks like grace.  It is so much easier to have grace for others when our heart is right with the Lord.

Sometimes it’s hard though

sometimes we are angry about our own situation, or at the very least disillusioned as to what life or motherhood was supposed to look or feel like. Sometimes we feel displaced or overwhelmed, inadequate, or just plain exhausted. Sometimes it seems easier to run away.  During these is when we need to remember Galatians 6:2 (ESV):

 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

and a glass of wine - CopyEveryone struggles with contentment.

I am convinced that every mother, no matter what her situation, struggles with contentment in her “version” of motherhood. For me, I struggled with it the most after I had my first child. I found myself in a situation where I wanted to stay home but couldn’t (which hurt), but at the same time I struggled with loving my career and knowing that God had called me to do certain things outside the home. Then after my twins, I struggled with a calling to stay home with my kids in this season. I have been completely double minded, living on opposite spectrums of “my heart’s desire” searching for how to follow Christ’s will for my life. It seemed endless. Truly, the double mindedness of our own human hearts is at the center of the “mommy wars”.

You know what finally helped me find contentment and grace?

That community I mentioned. The body of Christ. Sisters in faith who listened, who mentored and who pointed me to God’s Word. A community of believers who challenged me in my double minded thinking, but also challenged me to understand that God’s will in an individual’s life is ultimately between that person and their Father.

I want to encourage women who feel isolated or discontent, or struggle with grace, to find a fellow believer in Christ as a prayer partner to hold you accountable for spending time in the Word and seeking Christ. I encourage you to be intentional in finding a mentor, an older sister in Christ who lives out Titus 2 and will teach you.  These women can dwell with you in unity, they can bear your burdens and give you grace all while pointing you toward Christ and being a godly mom.

The important things to do.

That’s the most important thing: that we are purposing to grow in our relationship with Christ and disciple our children.  Christian women in every stage of life and in every situation are striving toward that same chief end.

I pray that you find community, even here, and for you to know that you are not alone and that other women know exactly how you feel. Have grace on other moms, don’t let your pride, discontentment or defensiveness in your own life cause you to break fellowship with sisters in Christ or keep you from having a blessed friendship.

Finally, go have that glass of wine with a fellow sister or two. Or tea, or coffee. Or chocolate. Just build a deep community of faith in Christ, have grace for one another and be content in your season of life.

Romans 8:28 (ESV): And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Have you ever struggled with being discontent with your life ? What helped you overcome that feeling?

 

Gideon Moments

Gideon Moments

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Oh, Lord, your ways are not my ways, but I want your ways to be my ways.  Many times, however,  I struggle and fight your ways.  Does anyone else but me seem to have this issue?  I’ve had my share of Gideon moments.  I’m not always hiding out but sometimes I struggle to understand if this is REALLY what God wants.

The Struggle

I think I struggle with accepting what God wants when it tends not to go along with what I initially want.  I don’t always know what I want but there are times, I know I don’t initially want what He is calling me to do.  Can you relate?

I think that is why when I read the story of Gideon, I feel like I can relate a little.  Here I am feeling like I am not the best choice for the position God is calling me to, but feeling called nonetheless.  And I just want to make sure that I know I’ve heard God right!

Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.”  And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.
Judges 6:36-40

My latest Gideon moment

It started a handful of months ago.  An idea popped into my head and I thought, “Well, that’s not a bad idea but I don’t necessarily think I need to do it.”

Like all ideas, I started to vet them out, because if they are not from God, I want to know and stop them immediately.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:1

So, how do I vet these thoughts?
  • I bump them up against God’s word.  If all is good, then continue to the next point.
  • Pray about it.
  • Specifically ask if this is something God wants me to do.
  • Then ask if this is something God wants me to do now or does He have a different timeline in mind.
  • Then pray about accepting it, especially if it is something I didn’t initially want to do.  Asking for forgiveness for not following God immediately typically falls in this step for me, too.

Over the past several months, I have been going through this process.  I kept getting the green light from God, even though most of the time I would have preferred a red.  And then my Gideon moment finally came.

I did everything I felt I was supposed to do to get the ball rolling.  I obeyed.  But I wanted to make sure this was really what He wanted me to do.  I didn’t want to go against His will at all and just felt very torn. So I laid my garment out and said to God,

“You know I want to obey you. I want your ways to be my ways but I’m torn.  I’m not sure this is even going to work out because after committing to do a certain job, I realized I forgot to mention that I might be moving, I’m going out of town for a bit, and my availability isn’t flexible at all.  Lord, I have to tell them this and if it is not your will, help them to not accept my help.  Let me know once again that this is from you and I’m not doing this outside of you. Let them say yes, if it’s from you.”

Truly, with what I had to share, it would have been very easy for them to say no and I sorta hoped they would, but instead I received a cheerful yes.

My Pride

And then I cried.  I cried for many reasons, one being that right now I’m just extra emotional. (We’ve had a tough year. Even though I see and feel all of God’s blessings, it is still a little difficult.)  Then I cried because doing this means I will be away from my kids for a little bit. Last but not least, I cried because I realized my pride was standing in the way of what God was calling me to do.

It was the last that got me the most.  I always want to be open to whatever God is calling me to do, but in this case, I stumbled over my pride.

I’m thankful for God’s grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. I’m thankful for God finding ways to show me where pride is still lurking in my heart.  He is molding me, just like He is molding you.

When setbacks happen in your spiritual life, realize He will use them for His glory and to mold you into the person He needs you to be.  He is merciful and full of forgiveness. May we all seek His forgiveness as He continues to shine light on the darkness lurking in our hearts.

May you be encouraged the next time you too have a Gideon moment. God can take you where you are and then show you why you should wholeheartedly put your faith in Him!

 

 

Just for fun, here is a hilarious song about Gideon that a local congregation created for their VBS week:

Gideon Moments (1)
Crumbs in the Butter, Butter in the Jam

Crumbs in the Butter, Butter in the Jam

How many of us grew up with the kitchen etiquette:  No dirty butter knives in the jam jar! Use a spoon!

Maybe you are laughing at the absurdity of trying to convince four kids and a husband to follow such etiquette, as you survey a breakfast table laden with glaciers of peanut butter, jelly and Cheerios, lakes of milk, juice, and coffee, and in the distance, slopes of dishes the size of Kilimanjaro threatening eruption… You are grateful to not have one more spoon to wash!

It’s not that it’s a bad rule.  The jelly thinks it’s a great rule.  But how many of these rules do we hold so tightly to, to the extent of interfering with our joy?

The enemy, often successfully, uses too many things to rob our joy. 

It’s time we make a couple of new pacts for Grace’s sake:

NOTHING Blocks Out the Joy of the Lord.

“Neither death nor life, angels nor demons, fears for today nor worries about tomorrow…can separate us from the love of God.” (Romans 8:38, NLT)  Since nothing can separate us from God’s love, that in itself should be enough to keep us filled up with His joy!

GRACE Flows Freely Through Me.

“So we praise God for the glorious grace he has freely poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.” (Ephesians 1:6)  Extending that grace we’ve accepted from God to those around us will in turn add another drop of joy in our heart.

The list of replaceable things:

  • Those fancy dishes from that one fancy store that you secretly use when no one else is home because naturally, no one else can be trusted.
  • That cute vase knocked over by a house guest (wasn’t it a garage sale find anyway?)
  • The DIY project it took 6 months to complete between sick kids, school projects, birthday cakes, broken things requiring immediate attention and priority repair…

The list of forgivable things:

  • An excited voice waking the baby
  • Trash day forgotten, again
  • Oh, those dishes–is there no one who will automatically rescue the mound without solicitation?!
  • Toast crumbs in the butter dish
  • Gloppy remnants of butter in the jar of jam

We can choose to focus on “all the things” that irritate us and allow dissension or we can swing our thoughts in the direction of the graceful, compassionate peacemaker and emanate His character.

We can choose to focus on -all the things” that irritate us and allow agitation or we can swing our thoughts in the direction of The Graceful Compassionate Peacemaker and emanate His character. (2)

 

— BEFORE WE CAN SWING, WE NEED TO CLEAN!  —

How can we change the focus of our thoughts?

Space Savers:

heart vaultemotion vaultmemory vaultStress, worries, annoyances: these all gluttonously consume much-needed valuable space in our precious heart, emotion & memory vaults.  Think about how a vault locks it’s valuables tightly inside, so that without a key, code, or thief, there’s no way in or out. Praise God, there’s a key (to the Kingdom, Christ Jesus), and a code (the Word of God), to protect us and to help us stand strong against Satan the thief!  Satan wants nothing more than to break into your heart vault, steal your precious joy, deceive you into forgetting you have God’s Grace, and fill your mind with frustration, bitterness, loneliness, and misery.  We have to clean out our vaults and seal them with the things of God.

The list of things that can be removed:
  • Fretting over mud on the floor
  • Nagging to lower the toilet seat
  • Harsh disciplining for an accidental spill
  • All the other things going through your mind right now

What if we choose to do a clean sweep of the unessential annoyances & worries from within our precious selves, and decide to be un-offend-able (unable to be offended).

Think of the space in our hearts and brains that would be suddenly empty, free, and clear!  Like a freshly cleaned out pantry, ready to be restocked.  I don’t know about you, but I could use all the extra shelf space I can get–in the pantry and the brain!

Once we get all that sticky stress, anxiety,  nagging, fretting, micro-managing, control-freaking, OCD-ing, perfecting and pet-peeving thrown out, we’ve got SO MUCH EMPTY space to fill!

I guarantee by switching our focus to things of real & lasting importance, it will:

1) put us in a better mood–which leads to people who actually want to be around us! (So they weren’t avoiding me because I forgot to wear deodorant?!)

2) gives us energy–no workout session or green grass drink necessary this time (though I am an advocate of all things healthy!) and

3) makes room in our “pantry-vault” to think about lots of other cool stuff.

The list of things to keep safe:

So, think instead on these things. Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is …

Truth – God IS good, His mercies are everlasting (Psalm 100:5, KJV)

Honor – God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7); He looks past the person to the position (child of God).

Right – God will always do what is right. Not opinion vs opinion, His justice triumphs over that which is morally wrong (Isaiah 41:10; Deuteronomy 32:4)

Lovely – How lovely is your dwelling place! (Psalm 84); How lovely are the works of His hands – flowers, butterflies, a hug between siblings, a smile.

Commendable – All that Jesus went through for our sake; It is commendable if someone endures the pain of unjust suffering because they are mindful of God (1 Peter 2:19)

Virtuous – He gives wisdom to all who ask; Be strong and courageous; Display modesty and self-control; She who has clean hands and a pure heart will stand in the Lord’s Holy Place (Psalm 24:3)

Praiseworthy – Why am I discouraged? I will put my hope in God…Yet I will praise Him (Psalm 43:5); Though the house is a wreck…yet I will praise Him.  Though there’s yet another toddler mess to clean up, I will praise God for this creative child, and praise the creation made with those tiny hands!

The list of things that summarize:

Clean out all the things from within you that are robbing joy and keeping you from receiving and extending grace.  Swing your thoughts to the things of real and lasting importance.  May God’s grace and the joy of the Lord fill you.  May you share the never-ending bounty of grace with all the people in your life.

 

Un-Crazy Your Summer (Plus a Great Easy Recipe)

Un-Crazy Your Summer (Plus a Great Easy Recipe)

I am a recovering Army brat who loves to travel and start new adventures. My handsome husband and I met at Oklahoma Christian University and he whisked me away to Kansas. So, I bought some ruby red high heels and made Topeka my home. I have a rough and rowdy Princess 4-year-old girl, amazing twin boys (almost 3) and a newborn baby girl who all make every day an adventure. We are grateful to be part of an amazing church in Topeka who regularly challenges and encourages our whole family. I have been both a full-time working mom and a stay-at-home-mom and/or both at the same time at one point or another. I am constantly seeking God’s wisdom on “balancing it all” and following His plan for my life, not mine.
Elizabeth P
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It’s time to un-crazy your summer.

A mentor I deeply respect once told me, “Busyness is not a spiritual gift.”

This sage piece of wisdom has resurfaced in my mind more frequently as my family grows. To some degree, life is just busy! It is busy in all sorts of ways, and honestly, we are busy in some way or another in every season of our lives.

How many times have you answered, “Oh, we’ve just been busy!” when someone has asked how you’ve been doing lately? Is that what we should accept as the norm for our families?

As we face a spring and summer full of extra busyness with graduations, trips, weddings, family events, block parties, and holidays, I want to encourage you to consider a couple tips.

Tips to Un-crazy a Busy Summer

1.  Don’t let a busy summer and routine change keep you from reading your Bible and spending time with God. As we see with Martha in Luke 10, Martha was anxious and troubled with all her preparations but Jesus wanted her to sit and listen to the “good portion” like her sister Mary.  Guys, if I’m like anyone in the Bible, it’s Martha. Don’t be like Martha and me, spend extra time with the Lord.

2. If you have kids, try not to over-extend your kiddos for the sake of attending something. Sometimes, certain family gatherings scheduled smack in the middle of nap time just aren’t going to work. That’s OK.

3. Be intentional about days of rest. My family recently went through a four-day event binge which ended on a Sunday evening. My husband and I realized we never got a day of rest together as a family. There’s a reason God built that in…and even Jesus encouraged his disciples to rest in Mark 6:31. Anyway, that’s not a schedule we plan to replicate any time in the near future.

4. If you’ve committed to “bringing something” find three easy crowd-pleaser recipes for rotation. Easy and delicious is the key. One of my favorites is below. It’s fresh, healthy, and so easy.

In the end, there are some things we need to do and some things we don’t. Setting boundaries for yourself and your family through your decisions on calendar commitments can make all the difference.

Texas Tabbouleh

This is my version, which I adapted from this original recipe.

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa (cooked according to package directions, cooled to room temp). I also like couscous if I don’t have good quinoa on hand.
  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes, diced small
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped red onion
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of sweet yellow corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (2 if you like heat)
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, plus a few dashes more to taste before serving
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese

Directions:

Mix everything together in a big bowl. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but overnight is better. Before serving, taste and add a little bit more oil and lime juice if it’s dry.

 

 

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